Newcastle Critical Discourse Group

Past Programmes

SEMESTER 2 2018/19

April 1st 

16:30-18:00 ARMB. 2.90

Populism and Memory

David Farrell-Banks (Newcastle University)

Magna Carta in online populist political discourse

This presentation will look at the manner with which history and heritage is used by (re)emergent right-wing populist (RWP) groups across Europe. This will build on work undertaken over the past two years as part of my PhD research. This work has looked at the use of two historic moments – the 1215 first sealing of Magna Carta and the 1683 breaking of the Siege of Vienna – in European political discourse and official heritage displays. For this paper I will primarily discuss the role of social media in the political mobilisation of these historic moments, focusing on references to Magna Carta on Twitter. The ambiguity of these historic moments is argued to be intimately linked to the affective nature of their use in political discourse. I introduce the concept of the ‘moving moment’ as a means of further understanding the use of history across political discourse.

Sophie Schmalenberger (Aarhus University)

Populism beyond the “Never again!”: The AfD as Memory Alternative for Germany

Germany is no longer a blank spot on the European map of populism: The success of the AfD as national populist party is a decisive caesura in a nation where post-Holocaust culture so far constituted a formidable normative hurdle for similar parties, made vulnerable by daunting comparisons with the country’s NS-past. However, existing populism scholarship does not offer a comprehensive framework for understanding the emergence and success of the AfD in context of post-Holocaust Germany´s ‘hostile’ historic and politico-cultural environment.

It is here where my PhD project aims to develop a novel theoretical approach based on the integration of populism research and memory studies, that is apt to analyse how the AfD successfully manoeuvres ‘on the edge’ between German post-Holocaust culture and ethnocentric positions as well as nationalist Euroscepticism. The central idea brought forward is that the AfD´s national populist positions are embedded within the frameworks of an ‘alternative German-ness’ that builds upon an alternative memory culture: Through public communicative and performative acts that strategically mobilize aspects of German past and memory, AfD actors (re-)construct how the past matters for the present self-conception of the German nation. In doing so, the AfD opposes the liberal democratic politico-cultural fabric of post-Holocaust Germany by offering an alternative idea of what it means and feels like to be German, This ‘alternative German-ness” is not radically new but connects to intellectual and emotive elements already existing or having existed previously within German society. My presentation will introduce this theoretical framework as work in progress and offer some first analytical examples as basis for further discussion and questions.

February 27th

16:00-18:00 ARMB. 3.39

Mark McGlashan (Birmingham City University)

Political in- and out-groups on Twitter: a corpus-based discourse analysis of the Football Lads Alliance

This paper investigates (collective) identity/identities and methods of investigating an online protest movement as a site for ambient affiliation, “where […] individuals do not necessarily have to interact directly, but may engage in mass practices such as hashtagging in order to participate in particular kinds of ‘belonging’” (Zappavigna 2017: 216). Specifically, this paper is interested in how followers of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) Twitter account linguistically signal, construct and aggregate around various identities and how these identities relate to discourses of marginalisation and social inequity, and draws on methods from corpus linguistics and Critical Discourse Studies/Critical Discourse Analysis (CDS/CDA) to do so. The analysis will explore discourses in twitter followers’ tweets and biographies, and will consider how language, alongside the functionalities of Twitter, are used to signal identities and create forms of belonging as well as exclusion.

Dr Mark McGlashan is Lecturer in English Language in the School of English at Birmingham City University. He holds several postgraduate research degrees in language and linguistics from Lancaster University. His interests predominantly centre on Corpus-based (Critical) Discourse Studies and the application of corpus methods to the analysis of a wide range of social issues including nationalism, racism, sexism, and homophobia.

February 14th

16:00-18:00 ARMB. G.11

Michał Krzyżanowski (Örebro University, Sweden & University of Liverpool, UK)

Normalization of Exclusion and Discursive Shifts: Right-Wing Populism in/and the Discourse on the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe

My presentation highlights strategies of normalization (Krzyżanowski 2020a, 2020b) seen as discursive processes of legitimizing views, ideologies and positions that, although traditionally treated as radical and politically/socially unacceptable, increasingly become accepted within the widespread norms of public expression. I draw, inter alia, on the concept of normalization as originally used in social-psychological studies (Vaughan 1996) as well as in critical social research on discursive channeling of extreme positions into elements of acceptable social status quo (Link 2013, Wodak 2015). Empirically, my presentation explores dynamics of political discourses on the recent ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe (Krzyżanowski 2018a & 2018b; Krzyżanowski, Triandafyllidou & Wodak 2018). It draws on my long-term work on the anti-immigration discourse of European right-wing populist parties (Krzyżanowski & Wodak 2009; Krzyżanowski 2012; Wodak & Krzyżanowski 2017) and online uncivil society (Krzyżanowski & Ledin 2017) as well as on discursive media responses to ideological projects of right-wing populism (Krzyżanowski 2019). The presentation provides a critical-analytical look at the case of Poland where the right-wing populist imaginaries of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ have acted as carriers of the unprecedented discourses of racism and hate since 2015. As I show, the strategic and opportunistic introduction of anti-immigration rhetoric in/by the political mainstream in Poland in recent years has contributed to the widespread dissemination and acceptance of discriminatory views. Through the presentation, I intend to show that normalization is part and parcel of a wider multistep process of strategically orchestrated discursive shifts (Krzyżanowski 2013, 2018a) wherein discourses characterised by extreme positions – such as e.g. racism, discrimination and hate – are being enacted, perpetuated and eventually normalised as part and parcel of pronounced right-wing populist strategies. In the said process, normalization also entails creation of a new form of borderline discourse (Krzyżanowski and Ledin 2017) where civil, rational and politically-correct language is increasingly used to pre-legitimise (Krzyżanowski 2014, 2016) uncivil, radical and extremist positions and ideologies as part of discursive strategies that aim to make them look as rational and acceptable elements of the effectively exclusionary and nativist ‘common sense’.

 References

Krzyżanowski, M. (2012). Right-Wing Populism, Opportunism and Political Catholicism: On Recent Rhetorics and Political Communication of Polish PiS (Law and Justice) Party. In: A. Pelinka and B. Haller (Eds.) Populismus:Herausforderung oder Gefahr für die Demokratie? Vienna: New Academic Press, 111-126.

Krzyżanowski, M. (2013). Policy, Policy Communication and Discursive Shifts: Analyzing EU Policy Discourses on Climate Change. In: P. Cap & U. Okulska (eds) Analysing New Genres in Political Communication. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 101-135.

Krzyżanowski, M. (2014). Values, Imaginaries and Templates of Journalistic Practice: A Critical Discourse Analysis. Social Semiotics 24(3).

Krzyżanowski, M. (2016). Recontextualizations of Neoliberalism and the Increasingly Conceptual Nature of Discourse. Discourse & Society 27(3).

Krzyżanowski, M. (2018a). Discursive Shifts in Ethno-Nationalist Politics: On Politicisation and Mediatisation of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Poland. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1-2).

Krzyżanowski, M. (2018b). ‘We Are a Small Country that Has Done Enormously Lot’: The ‘Refugee Crisis’ & the Hybrid Discourse of Politicising Immigration in Sweden. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1-2).

Krzyżanowski, M. (2019). ‘Brexit’ and the Imaginary of ‘Crisis’: A Discourse-Conceptual Analysis of European News Media. Critical Discourse Studies 16(2).

Krzyżanowski, M. (2020a). The Normalisation of Interactive Racism: Right-Wing Populism, Discursive Shifts and the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Poland. To appear in Social Semiotics.

Krzyżanowski, M. (ed.) (2020b). Strategies of ‘Normalisation’ in Public Discourse: Paradoxes of Populism, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Exclusion. (Special Issue of Social Semiotics). London: Routledge.

Krzyżanowski, M., A. Triandafyllidou & R. Wodak. (2018). The Politicisation and Mediatisation of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 16 (1-2).

Krzyżanowski, M. & R. Wodak. (2009). The Politics of Exclusion: Debating Migration in Austria. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Krzyżanowski, M. & P. Ledin. (2017). Uncivility on the Web: Populism in/and the Borderline Discourses of Exclusion. Journal of Language & Politics 16(4).

Link, J. (2013). Versuch über den Normalismus. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Vaughan, D. (1996). The Challenger Launch Decision. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Wodak, R. (2015). The Politics of Fear. London: Sage.

Wodak, R. & M. Krzyżanowski. (eds.). (2017). Right-Wing Populism in Europe & USA: Contesting Politics & Discourse beyond ‘Orbanism’ and ‘Trumpism’. (Special issue of Journal of Language & Politics 16:4). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

 

Bio

Michał Krzyżanowski holds a Chair in Media and Communication Studies at Örebro University, Sweden as well as a research appointment as a Chair in Communication & Media at the University of Liverpool, UK. In 2018-19 he is also Albert Bonnier Jr. Guest Professor in Media Studies at the Department of Journalism, Media & Communication, Stockholm University, Sweden. Michał is one of the leading international experts in critical discourse studies of media and political communication. His key research interests are in dynamics of right-wing populist discourse, normalisation of racism and of politics of exclusion as well as in diachronic analyses of politicisation and mediation of crisis in European and transnational media. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international Journal of Language and Politics and a co-editor of the Bloomsbury Advances in Critical Discourse Studies book series. More information: https://www.oru.se/english/employee/michal_krzyzanowski and https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/communication-and-media/staff/michal-krzyzanowski.

 

SEMESTER 1 2018/19

October 10th

16:00-18:00 ARMB. 3.39

Ruth Page, University of Birmingham

November 14th 

16:00-18:00 ARMB. 3.39

Dhiaa Janaby, Newcastle University, and Ender Taher, Newcastle University

December 5th

16:00-18:00 ARMB. 3.39

Dr Wasim Ahmed

Abstracts

Ruth Page, University of Birmingham 

Collective Identity, Multimodality and Snapchat Live Stories

This paper explores the multimodal construction of collective identity in Snapchat live stories.  Live stories are sequences of 10 second video clips recorded through a mobile phone, which are collated by Snap Chat’s team and made publically for 24 hours before being removed from view. The data reported here is a sample of 26 stories (a total of 877 snaps), taken from a larger set of 130 live stories, observed between June 2016 and June 2017, and covers stories about sports events, festivals, concerts and protests. In this paper, we propose a new framework for collective identity, derived from Zappavigna’s (2016) work on individual subjectivity in social photography, arguing that collective identity can be represented, inferred or implied.  This framework refines van Leeuwen’s (2008) distinction between individualisation and assimilation as options for social actors, especially as this sheds light on the emerging genres of the selfie and group selfie. Recognising the highly contextualised interpretation of collective identity, the methods we use address concerns about the subjective nature of multimodal critical discourse analysis (Machin and Mayr, 2012) by providing a stepwise process for annotating audio-visual data that incorporates inter coder reliability tests as a theory-building practice. The results of the analysis are used to explore the forms of citizen journalistic documentation found in Snapchat, and to show how collective identity can be construed positively or negatively, depending on the topic of the story.

Bio

Ruth Page is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham

Dhiaa Janaby, Newcastle University

Discourses on Wars and Conflicts: The Discursive Construction of Iraq in the US Press

This paper examines the recent history of the discourses on wars and conflicts in Iraq and the macro discourses of the representation of Iraq through key historical events. The aim of the research is to examine both continuity and changes in this representation on the basis of the changes taking place on the international political scene in general and with regard to the involvement of the US in particular. This paper also discusses some of the challenges, shortcomings and concerns with regard to studies on Iraq as one of the key Middle Eastern countries, and issues of critique and under/mis/representation in discourse. An interdisciplinary framework that combined corpus linguistics with the Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) to CDA is employed in the research.

The results of the research shed light on how the treatment of the same events and social actors in the US press were different in the different wars: for instance, during the US-led invasion, the Iraqi people (Kurds, Shiites) appeared as worthy victims, a portrayal that fitted in with the propaganda that the war had a humanitarian motive. However, they were never represented in this way during the Iraq-Iran war. Similarly, although Saddam was portrayed negatively in the Iraq-Iran war, he was much more sharply vilified, and demonised during the US-led invasion in relation to crimes that had been committed during the Iraq-Iran war with which he was not connected.

Bio:

Dhiaa Kareem Ali is a PhD student at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. Prior to joining Newcastle University, he used to work as a teaching assistant at University of Kufa in Iraq. His research interests are centred on critical discourse studies, language and/in politics, nationalism, racism, prejudice, discrimination, argumentation analysis as well as populism. 

Ender Taher, Newcastle University

Female Visibility/Representation in Saudi Arabia: A Critical Multimodal/Discourse Analysis of the 2013 IKEA catalogue and Press Discourses on Saudi Arabia

This study examines gender representation in Saudi Arabia using combined approaches of Multimodal Social Semiotics and Critical Discourse Studies. The thesis conducts a critical analysis of both advertisement and media discourses. The former focuses on verbal and visual analysis of the 2013 IKEA catalogue, and the latter pertains to the verbal and visual discourse of ‘Western’ newspapers’ portrayal of Saudi Arabia in their coverage of this particular catalogue issue, i.e. removal of female images from the Saudi version. The aim of this study is to investigate both the discursive practices in the catalogue and in the press coverage so as to deconstruct the issue of female visibility in Saudi Arabia and how publication of the catalogue would provide a suitable discursive opportunity for stereotypical representation of Saudi Arabia as the ‘Other’.

Two overarching questions guide the analysis in the thesis: (1) how were females represented in the 2013 Arabic IKEA catalogue, which was distributed in Saudi Arabia? (2) How do the examined newspapers discursively represent the social actors when reporting the exclusion of females? In light of these questions, the thesis undertakes a twofold analysis. The first is a verbal linguistic analysis of both the catalogue in Arabic and the news reports covering the issue. The second part of the twofold analysis is a visual analysis of the UK and Saudi editions of the 2013 IKEA catalogue as well as the images accompanying the news reports, based on Kress and van Leeuwen’s Visual Grammar (1996, 2006).

The findings reveal a sharp contrast between the textual and visual representations of females in the catalogues. Females are linguistically visible within the Saudi edition but are visually excluded, which revealed IKEA’s linguistic and visual sexism. Conversely, linguistic and visual representations in the newspapers complement each other and reveal the ways in which news sources construct Saudi Arabia in the context of women’s rights, as certain negative themes associated with Saudi Arabia emerge, e.g. ‘backwardness’ and ‘the oppression of women’s rights’. The analysis further reveals that women’s rights is a common discourse in this context, with a tendency to be accompanied by discourses that perpetuate stereotypes of Saudi women being ‘oppressed’ and ‘invisible’. Such representations are inherently linked to a wider critique of Orientalism and negative Otherrepresentation of Islam in the mainstream ‘Western’ discourses on Saudi Arabia.

Bio:

Ender Taher is a PhD candidate at the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University with research interests mainly in Multimodality and Critical Discourse Analysis.

Potential of Digital Methods for Conducting Qualitative Critical Textual Analysis

This talk will firstly provide an overview of a PhD topic that performed an in-depth textual analysis of Twitter data related to three major infectious disease outbreaks of swine flu, Ebola, and the Zika virus. Building on over four years of research the talk will then provide an overview of digital methods and tools for the analysis of social media data which can be utilised by social scientists. The talk will then outline how digital methods can support research into digital discourses including topics such as populism and nationalism, misogyny and hyper-masculinity, religion and identity, and islamophobia.

Dr Wasim Ahmed, Northumbria University

Potential of Digital Methods for Conducting Qualitative Critical Textual Analysis

This talk will firstly provide an overview of a PhD topic that performed an in-depth textual analysis of Twitter data related to three major infectious disease outbreaks of swine flu, Ebola, and the Zika virus. Building on over four years of research the talk will then provide an overview of digital methods and tools for the analysis of social media data which can be utilised by social scientists. The talk will then outline how digital methods can support research into digital discourses including topics such as populism and nationalism, misogyny and hyper-masculinity, religion and identity, and islamophobia.

Bio

Dr Wasim Ahmed is a Lecturer in Digital Business at Northumbria University Business School. His teaching interested are based on digital methods for extracting insight from social media platforms. His recent work, for instance, published in Online Information Review explored the potential of new digital methods and social media visualisation techniques for analysing breaking news stories for journalists. He has also published in interdisciplinary journals for instance analysing the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion for the journal Public Health where he identified two clusters of Twitter users representing echo-chambers of pro-abortion and anti-abortion content. He gained his PhD from the University of Sheffield, which investigated Twitter data related to three major infectious disease outbreaks and performed an in-depth thematic analysis of tweets. He has delivered over 60 digital methods and social media talks in over 11 countries and has published widely read articles for the London School of Economics and Political Sciences Impact Blog related to social media analytics. Dr Ahmed also has a number of media appearances related to the impact and influence of social media in society.



SEMESTER 2 - 2017/18

February 14th

Sarah Hill, Newcastle University

Exploring Disabled Girlhood Through Online Self-representation

ArmB 3.39 1600-1800


March 14th

Ruth Page, University of Birmingham

Collective Identity, Multimodality and Snapchat Live Stories

ARMB 2.09 1600-1800


May 2nd

Chris Roberts, University of Roehampton

'Media Discourse and the ‘common sense’ newsframing of the financial crisis

ARMB 3.39 1600-1800


Abstracts

Sarah Hill

Exploring Disabled Girlhood through Online Self-representation

A growing body of work situates girls’ online self-representation practices within postfeminist discourses of girlhood (Shields Dobson, 2015). However, disabled girls are largely absent from existing work, just as they are often missing from the wider postfeminist media culture, which constructs white, middle-class, able-bodied femininity as the normative ideal. In examining disabled girls’ self-representation practices, this paper aims to contribute to rectifying this absence while also subverting the commonly held notion that girls’ self-representation practices are risky and trivial by demonstrating how these self-representation practices work to elevate the voices of disabled girls within the contemporary mediascape through a ‘politics of visibility’ (Tembeck, 2016: 8), as demonstrated through recent gendered social media campaigns such as #HospitalGlam and #DisabledandCute.

I will explore how disabled girls and young women represent themselves online through a case study of a severely sight impaired blogger, paying particular attention to how they navigate postfeminist discourses through their self-representation practices. Specifically, I argue that in order to be afforded visibility, these disabled girls must present themselves as simultaneously motivated and motivational subjects who ultimately shore up the principles of “neoliberal inclusionism” (Mitchell and Snyder, 2015). 

Bio

Sarah Hill is an Early Career Academic Fellow in Media, Culture, Heritage at Newcastle University. She is currently researching disabled girls’ online self-representation practices and her work has appeared in the journal Girlhood Studies. She is also writing her monograph – Young Women in Contemporary Cinema: Gender and Postfeminism in British Film – for I.B. Tauris, which is based on her doctoral research.

Ruth Page

Collective Identity, Multimodality and Snapchat Live Stories

This paper explores the multimodal construction of collective identity in Snapchat live stories.  Live stories are sequences of 10 second video clips recorded through a mobile phone, which are collated by Snap Chat’s team and made publically for 24 hours before being removed from view. The data reported here is a sample of 26 stories (a total of 877 snaps), taken from a larger set of 130 live stories, observed between June 2016 and June 2017, and covers stories about sports events, festivals, concerts and protests. In this paper, we propose a new framework for collective identity, derived from Zappavigna’s (2016) work on individual subjectivity in social photography, arguing that collective identity can be represented, inferred or implied.  This framework refines van Leeuwen’s (2008) distinction between individualisation and assimilation as options for social actors, especially as this sheds light on the emerging genres of the selfie and group selfie. Recognising the highly contextualised interpretation of collective identity, the methods we use address concerns about the subjective nature of multimodal critical discourse analysis (Machin and Mayr, 2012) by providing a stepwise process for annotating audio-visual data that incorporates inter coder reliability tests as a theory-building practice. The results of the analysis are used to explore the forms of citizen journalistic documentation found in Snapchat, and to show how collective identity can be construed positively or negatively, depending on the topic of the story.

Bio

Ruth Page is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.

Chris Roberts

'Media Discourse and the ‘common sense’ newsframing of the financial crisis.

This paper is oriented around the notion that the financial crisis and the subsequent austerity policies have been effectively [re]framed in such a way as to render alternatives and alternative narratives almost impossible to produce. Normative assumptions - what Mark Fisher calls ‘Capitalist Realism’ [2009] – are dominant or almost the only frames of reference for narrating the crisis and ‘solutions’ to said crisis. The question will be posed that, restricted as it is by various normative news values; aesthetics; source relations; resource and time pressures it is in fact not possible to effectively “tell the story” of the financial crisis and its aftermath within the narrow discourses of media and journalism.

This work-in-progress paper seeks to develop a systemic and systematic frame and mode of analysis regarding the media’s narration and explanation of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the austerity discourse that followed. The paper will examine the ways in which said reporting establishes a mode of address, and establishes a frame through which the crisis was and is understood. Most acute for this paper is the rhetoric, the discourse, the linguistic and lexical choices and the impact this has on the epistemology of the UK political economy. The paper will argue and demand that a wider range of sources, discursive features, and solutions are proposed, and that said solutions or proposals are beyond and not restricted to neoliberal “solutions” to the crisis of its own making.

Bio

Chris Roberts is Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Media and Culture at the University of Roehampton.

 

SEMESTER 1 - 2017/18

October 25th

John E Richardson, Loughborough University

The Imagined Community: ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ in British fascist discourse

ARMB 3.39 1600-1800

 

November 29th

Lyndon C.S. Way

 From concert to on-line musings: The transformative nature of political discourse in popular music performance and consumption

ARMB 3.39 1600-1800

 

December 13th

 Amir Saeed

The Influence of the Nation of Islam and Islam on British-Muslim Ex-offenders.

Malcolm, Muhammad and Redemption.

 ARMB 3.39 1600-1800

 

 

 ABSTRACTS

John E Richardson, Loughborough University

The Imagined Community: ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ in British fascist discourse

Since the publication of Anderson (1983/2006), many have taken it as axiomatic that the nation is “an imagined political community” (p.6).  In addition, a nationalist will imagine their nation as simultaneously archaic and eternal; as always have been and always will be. Continuity of ‘the nation’ is central to this nationalist imaginary – preserving the timeless qualities that are assumed to make Us Us.


A cursory glance at the names of British fascist political parties since the 1920s indicates just how central the words Britain and British are to the British extreme-right. But what (or who) do they mean by ‘the British’? And what kinds of ideas and arguments are used by British fascists to define and demarcate Us from Them? These are the questions that I aim to address in my talk.

 

 

 

 

Lyndon C.S. Way

From concert to on-line musings: The transformative nature of political discourse in popular music performance and consumption

Relations between popular music and political discourses are fraught with uncertainty, views ranging from the highly optimistic to those which are far more limited. It is an under-examined area in discourse analysis, though there are notable exceptions (van Leeuwen 1999; Machin 2010; Way and McKerrell 2017). Here, I extend this area of research by examining a recording of a concert and its accompanying comments on Youtube by the politically active band “Grup Yorum”. Firstly, leaning on Multimodal Discourse Studies, I analyse how the concert multimodally articulates progressive political discourses such as egalitarianism, Kurdish rights, workers’ rights and the injustices of unbridled capitalism through not only lyrics, musical sounds and visuals, but also speeches, guests, song selection and dance. This analysis also reveals the limits of this particular performance and performance in general. I then analyse a sample of comments which accompany the video to reveal “the interpretative resources and practices” of fans (Fairclough 1995: 16). I find that comments do not deal with the actual events represented in the video but personalise these and seek to frame these in terms of wider forms of allegiances to, and betrayal of, a true national people and in the light of homogenised and reduced forms of history.

 

References

 

Machin, D. (2010), Analysing Popular Music, London: Sage.

Van Leeuwen, T. (1999), Speech, Music, Sound, London: Macmillan Press.

Way, L. and McKerrell, S. (eds) (2017) Music as Multimodal Discourse: Media, power and Protest, London & New York: Bloomsbury.

 

 

 

 Amir Saeed

The Influence of the Nation of Islam and Islam on British-Muslim Ex-offenders.

Malcolm, Muhammad and Redemption.

 

The Nation of Islam’s appeal and recognition has transcended the boundaries of ‘race’ and national borders (Egg 1998, Gardell, 1996). Just as the Civil Rights and Black consciousness movements have inspired human rights activists around the world the Nation Of Islam’s rhetoric has been a motivating symbol for many non white and minority communities across the globe. (Marqusee,1999, 1995). Malcolm X’s and Muhammad Ali’s images are increasingly employed in contemporary youth culture (Saeed, 2013).

This article examines why the NOI has been such a key figure and for many non-white communities and especially the Muslim and South -Asian Diaspora in the UK (Saeed, 2003). This argument is based upon empirical work conducted with British-Pakistani ex offenders who trained in a gym in the North of England. This work was funded through a grant received by a Mosque in North of England that wanted to address the issues of an ever-increasing Muslim presence in UK prisons.

The offenders specifically spoke with pride of how Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and the NOI in general provided them with the impetus for exploring Islam and raising self. The participants were well aware that the NOI theology was not strictly Islamic (Dyson, 1995). However they argued given the NOI’s prominence in youth culture, especially hip-hop and sport (Saeed, 2013), it provided an influential role in influencing young British Muslims.

Given the anti-Muslim rhetoric espoused by leading social commentators following 9/11 (Saeed, 2007), the NOI’S appeal and message of social justice seems more relevant than ever. Recent anti-war demonstrations in the UK saw Malcolm X’s image employed by young British-Muslims demonstrating what they perceived as social injustice being committed to Muslims around the world in the name of fighting terrorism (Saeed, 2011a, b, 2004, 2003).

In order to do this the article highlights historical developments in Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali’s careers that helped make them symbols of anti-racism and the personification of an assertive black consciousness (Van De Burgh,1992; Lincoln, 1994).

These historical developments are further linked to the issue of identity politics. Thus terms like 'black' and ' Muslim' (Modood, 1994) are explored in relation to NOI and their appeal in particular to British-Asian Muslim communities.

 

References

 

Dyson, M. (1995) Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X. New York: Oxford University Press

Egg, C (1998) An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad New York: ST Martins Press 3rd edition

Gardell, M. (1996).In the name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the

Nation of Islam. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Lincoln, C E (1994) Black Muslims in America Grand Rapids Michigan: Wm .B Eardmans Publishing 3rd edition

Van Deburgh, W. (1992) New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement and American Culture1965-1975. Chicago: Chicagao University Press

Modood, T (1994) Changing Ethnic Identities.  London: PSI

Saeed, A. (2003) “ ‘What’s in a name’ Muhammad Ali and the Politics of Cultural Identity Culture, Sport and Society Vol 5 Number 3 pp51-72

Saeed, A. (2004) “9/11 and British Muslims” in Carter J and Morland D 2004 Anti-Capitalist Britain Manchester, New Clarion Press

Saeed, A (2007) 'Media, Racism and Islamophobia: The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the Media', Sociology Compass (1) (2007) (available at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2007.00039.x)



Saeed, A (2011a) "Worthy of all praises": Muhammad Ali, and the politics of Muslim identity', Soundings, 47


Saeed, A (2011b) '9/11 and the Increase in Racism and Islamophobia: A Personal Reflection', Radical History Review, pp. 210-215

Saeed, A (2013) Hip-Hop Islam and Woman in Postcolonial Islam edited by Sarah Hackett Routledge Press, 2013

 

SEMESTER 2 - 2016/17    Newcastle University

8th February 2017

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

Tina Sikka (Newcastle University)

Power, language and the discursive construction of Geoengineering and Superfoods

8th March

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

Alastair Cole (Newcastle University)

Language ideologies in multilingual Zambia: research through ethnography and documentary film practice.

 

26th April 2017

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

Massimo Ragnedda (Northumbria University)

The Third Digital Divide: A Weberian approach to rethinking digital inequalities

24th May 2017

4pm

ARMB 2.90  

PhD symposium – Details TBC.  

 



ABSTRACTS

Tina Sikka

Power, language and the discursive construction of Geoengineering and Superfoods

In this talk I discuss two different papers in which critical discourse analysis is drawn to examine seemingly unrelated technologies: geoengineering and superfoods. The connection between the two is CDA, which is drawn on to examine how language, as a social practice, is implicated in relations of power with significant material consequences.

I begin by examining the discursive field of geoengineering by unpacking how particular members, associates and academics allied with private institutes frame, treat and discursively construct a justification of geoengineering technologies. I begin with a brief introduction to geoengineering, followed by a discussion of relevant international agreements and an overview of critical discourse analysis. I outline several discursive strategies employed by scientific and political advocates of geoengineering to reify a particular understanding of its need. While there are multiple ways geoengineering is framed by a wide variety of actors, I discuss the framings of the market and exceptionalism made by The American Enterprise Institute, The Climate Response Fund and The Climate Institute in detail which I then supplement by some additional material where appropriate.

I then turn to superfoods. I argue that the contemporary superfood movement, which is currently embraced by a strata of the financially well off in North America and Western Europe, is not socially, politically, or economically progressive. I also argue this movement fails in its stated objective to change the quality of our food, transform the consolidated food production system, and improve the state of public health. Rather, I contend that superfood companies like Navitas Naturals, Naturya, and Raw Revolution, through a variety of discursive strategies, work to visually and linguistically construct their products as progressive in order to mask an underlying reliance on neoliberal business practices, nutritionism, and gendered stereotypes.  They also rely on the harnessing of discursive strategies in order to build a kind of tribe or cult-like social identity around the sustained consumption of superfoods. In supporting this position, I begin with a description of what superfoods are, how they differ from functional foods, and provide a brief background into the companies taken up in this piece. I then discuss critical discourse analysis (CDA), which I then use to unpack the ways in which neoliberalism, nutritionism, and gender bias function in superfood discourse with specific attention paid to how these food products are advertised.



Alastair Cole

Language ideologies in multilingual Zambia: research through ethnography and documentary film practice.

The presentation will discuss the nature of the language ideologies present in the multilingual contexts of primary education and rural life in Zambia, a country with 72 language, but only one official language - English, spoken at home by less than 2% of the country. Through a combination of ethnography and documentary film practice the research project reveals specific hierarchies of language valuation within the community under study, and resulted in the feature documentary film Colours of the Alphabet (Screening at Tyneside Cinema February 7th 2017). The project brings into focus the experiences of one grade one class, their teacher, and the surrounding Soli speaking community of Lwimba over the course of one year. The presentation will present the linguistic anthropological context of the research, and highlight how the language events within the classroom and community revealed processes of language valuation which lead to distinct multilingual hierarchical structures, which were also seen to be initiated, and reproduced in the grade one class. Through the major output medium of documentary film, the project also aims to open up a broader public conversation about access the lack of access to mother-tongue education globally, which affects 40% of the worlds population. Finally, the presentation will discuss how this film based approach also permitted further parallel research into practice based elements including indigenous language translation and multilingual subtitling (see www.coloursofthealphabet.com for more).

 

Massimo Ragnedda

The Third Digital Divide: A Weberian approach to rethinking digital inequalities

Drawing on the thoughts of Max Weber, in particular his theory of stratification, the talk engages with the question of whether the digital divide simply extends traditional forms of inequality, or whether it also includes new forms of social exclusion, or perhaps manifests counter-trends that alleviate traditional inequalities whilst constituting new modalities of inequality. With attention to the manner in which social stratification in the digital age is reproduced and transformed online, the author develops an account of stratification as it exists in the digital sphere, advancing the position that, just as in the social sphere, inequalities in the online world go beyond the economic elements of inequality. As such, study of the digital divide should focus not simply on class dynamics or economic matters, but cultural aspects - such as status or prestige - and political aspects - such as group affiliations. Demonstrating the enduring relevance of Weber’s distinctions with regard to social inequality, The Third Digital Divide: A Weberian approach to rethinking digital inequalities explores the ways in which online activities and digital skills vary according to crucial sociological dimensions, explaining these in concrete terms in relation to the dynamics of social class, social status and power.

 

Semester 1, 2016-17

Semester 1 - Newcastle University

12th October 2016

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Shani Burke (Loughborough University)

"Burn all the scum bags in one large oven”: The Construction of ‘reusing’ concentration camps on Facebook

16th November 2016

4pm ARMB.3.38

Chris Hart (Lancaster University)

Bridging boundaries between linguistic and visual critical discourse analysis

 

7th December

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Florian Zollmann (Newcastle University)

Power, Discourse and Intervention: Selective Shaming of Human Rights Violations in the International Press

Semester 2 2015-16

Semester 2 - Newcastle University

24th February 2016

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Mark Deuze (University of Amsterdam)

Media Life

2nd March 2016

4pm ARMB.3.38

Benjamin De Cleen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

The articulation of nationalism, populism and conservatism in populist radical right rhetoric: a discourse-theoretical perspective

13th April 2016

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Alllaina Kilby (Cardiff University)

Satire for Sanity: An examination of media representation & audience engagement with The Daily Show’s Rally to Restore Sanity

4th May 2016

4pm, ARMB. 3.38

Guest speaker: Carolyn Pedwell (Kent university), panelists: Darren Kelsey, James Ash, Majid KhosraviNik (Newcastle University)

How do you feel about affect? A roundtable discussion on affect theory and discourse studies

18th May 2016

11:00-17:00

KGVI.LT1

PhD Symposium

Research presentations


Sem 1, 2015-16

Semester 1 - Newcastle University

21st October 2015

4pm, ARMB.3.41

Joss Hands (Newcastle University)

Digital Media and the Trajectory of Networked Activism

18th November2015

4pm ARMB.3.41

Christopher Whitehead (Newcastle University) & Gönül Bozoğlu (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)

Heritage Discourse and Histories of Place in the 2013 Taksim-Gezi Protests

9th December 2015

4pm, ARMB.3.41

Andrew Irving – Documentary Maker

Realising Arthur: Trail-blazing the Meridian Line - a forgotten legacy

Sem 2, 2014-15

Semester 2 - Newcastle University

11th February2015

4pm, ARMB.2.16

Nelya Koteyko (Queen Mary University of London)

Personalising diabetes: Organisational messages on diabetes Facebook pages

11thMarch2015

2-5pm ARMB.3.38

PhD Workshop

Issues with data: data gathering, analysis and interpretation

8thApril2015

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Paolo Gerbaudo (King's College London)

Analysing political conversations on social media with discourse analysis: Theoretical and methodological implications

6th May2015

4pm, ARMB. 3.38

Richard Thomas (Cardiff University)

From executive renumeration to Living Wage: Pre and post-crisis discourses of Income Distribution on UK Television news

13th May 2015

12-5 pm PERB. G.05

PhD Symposium

Research presentations

 

Semester 1,2014-2015

Semester 1 - Newcastle University

8th October 2014

4pm, ARMB.3.38

David Kaposi (University of East London)

Violence and Understanding in Gaza: Methodological implications of studying the British broadsheets’ coverage of “Operation Cast Lead”

12th November 2014

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Catherine Walsh (Newcastle University)

Socio-economic History Read through Rhetorics

10th December 2014

4pm, ARMB.3.38

Joe Cable (Cardiff University)

Protest in action: An examination of the creation and exploitation of media and political opportunities of three different protest groups

 

Semester 1 - 2013-14 Newcastle University

4th October,3pm

Room G.05, Percy Building, Newcastle University

Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University)

National Identity, Citizenship and Migration: A Critical Discourse-Analytical Perspective

13th November, 4pm

CETL, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University

Laura Costelloe (University of Limerick)

A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis of Representations of Young People (Les Jeunes) in Newspaper Discourses on French Urban Violence in 2005

4th December, 4pm

Room 1.06, Armstrong Building, Newcasatle University

Costas Gabrielatos (Edge Hill University)

A Corpus Approach to the Representation of Islam and Muslims in the UK Press

Semester 2 - Newcastle University

 

Wednesday 26th February 2014 , 3pm

Room 3.38, Armstrong Building
Newcastle University

Simon McKerrell (Newcastle University)

Music and the body in multimodal semiotics

 

Tuesday 1st, April 2014, 4pm

Room Percy Buidling G.13
Newcastle University

Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster)

Social media and digital labour

 

Wednesday, 11th June, 2014, 3pm

Room 2.75 (MACS) Armstrong Building
Newcastle University

CDA PhD Workshop

 
       

2011-12

Semester 1- 2011-2012 Newcastle University

19th October, 4pm

Bedson Teaching Centre, Room B30,

Newcastle University (Map)

Dalia Gavriely-Nuri (Bar-Ilan University)

War normalizing discourse: The Israeli case

7th December, 4pm

Limpan Building, Room 334

Northumbria University (Map)

John Richardson (Newcastle University)

Lies and the lying liars that tell them: The role of racial populism in British fascist discourse

 

Semester 2

22nd February, 4pm

Armstrong Building, Room 2.09

Newcastle University (Map)

Muhammad Jameel Yusha'u (Northumbria University)

Extremism or terrorism:Communicating Islamophibia on Youtube in the Norwegian attack

25th April, 4pm

Lipman Building, Room 035

Northumbria University (Map)

David Machin (Cardiff University)

Corporate crime and the discursive deletion of responsibility: A multimodal case study

 

Abstracts

Critical Discourse Analysis and New Media (Digial) Discourses: Issues and Debates

Majid KhosraviNik (Northumbria University)

Critical Discourse Analysis has arguably been interested in traditional and mass media discourses as sites where discursive power is re/constructed and re/defined. Plethora of research in CDA investigates issues around language and identity, discrimination, and Self/Other representation in discourses of press, TV news, talk shows, speeches, textbooks etc. Despite rapid changes in communication technologies and practices, CDA studies on electronic language-in-use have not (yet) attracted ample and deserving attention (Mautner 2005) for a variety of reasons including -but not limited to- logistic difficulties in systematic data collection and selection, lack of leading research, and more importantly under-theorisation of communication and linguistic processes in the context of New media. In the meantime New dynamics of discourse-society interaction brought about by New electronic technologies e.g. the internet has challenged some of the grounding theoretical notions in communication studies and in effect CDA e.g. the ‘mass’-ness of the media, representation, discursive power, gatekeeping, audiences etc.

The paper aims to contribute to the scholarship in discourse analysis and interdisciplinary research on online discourses by following the broad principles advocated for critical approaches to language studies (Fairclough and Wodak 1997, Wodak and Meyers 2009, Blommaert 2005). It is argued that electronic discourses can and should be theorised within notions such as representation, power relations and public sphere which are frequently discussed in CDA scholarship. It is argued that through unique affordances offered by new communication technologies a wealth of (sometimes unique) linguistic data has automatically been compiled which would otherwise be impossible or difficult to access. While official discourses e.g. official newspapers, TV news, magazines, speeches, manifestos etc. have been an obvious (and necessary) targets in CDA, studies on bottom-up social attitudes have always required a well-designed/invested research apparatus e.g. systematic field work, focus groups, interviews etc. Notwithstanding the issues regarding online vs. offline spaces generalizability, norms of interactions, and privacy, these electronic communication platforms can offer some rich data sources for various research interests traditionally pursued by Critical Discourse Studies.

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The Oxygen of Publicity and the Suffocation of Censorship: British Newspaper Representations of the Broadcasting Ban (1988-1994)

Max Pettigrew (Bath Spa University)

The role of journalists in the propaganda war during the Northern Ireland conflict is scrutinised to discover the extent to which media workers in the British print media supported and resisted British government direct censorship against the British broadcast media. Using CDA, the discursive composition of broadcasting ban newspaper articles are analysed to reveal the discourses supporting and opposing the censorship that were circulating in the House of Commons as well as British newspapers and non-elite spheres of society when the British government introduced and lifted the broadcasting ban.A combination of textual analysis techniques are used to explain how these discourses functioned to build support and opposition to the ban, how journalists represented social actors expressing these discourses and how they were refracted by journalists through reported speech.

After analysing British newspaper representations of the broadcasting ban, discursive and social practices impacting British journalists during the periods the British government introduced and lifted the ban are considered.An important conclusion is that British journalists largely perpetuated discourses supporting the broadcasting ban. However, this is explained by the allegiances of newspaper owners and editors with the Conservative Party, the generic conventions of newspapers and articles, the reliance of journalists on elite sources, the weakness of media workers after Wapping and the decades of pressure on media workers to report the Northern Ireland conflict in line with the British government perspective, rather than because journalists embraced British government censorship of the British mass media.

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Ideological Presuppositions in Greek Women’s Lifestyle Magazines: Transitional Heteronormativity and Sexual Health

Alexandra Polyzou (Lancaster University)

This paper has as a starting point the question why, since all human beings have the capacity to be critical, manipulation succeeds and hegemonies are established with the consent of even social groups harmed by them (Chilton, 2005). I maintain that it is the interplay of crucial historical, economic and socio-political with cognitive (including affective) factors which provides a fuller picture of the workings of ideology in discourse (also ibid.), and that Cognitive Linguistics provide valuable tools to this end.

Here I apply Fauconnier’s theory of Mental Spaces (1985) to advice texts on sexual health from Greek women’s magazines, looking at presupposition, speech and thought presentation and causal, temporal and conditional relations. Although the theory has been developed and applied on sentences occurring naturally in discourse (e.g. Dancygier and Sweetser, 2005), it has not been applied so far to analysis of whole texts, and with the purpose of accounting for their ideological functions.

The analysis examines how ideological beliefs are set as background to more salient information. Ideological underpinnings of the texts are presented as given and incontestable (presuppositions), or allow contestation, but only with considerable cognitive effort. Lifestyle magazines in particular seem to address a ‘life-stage’ I have termed ‘transitional heternormativity’, a phase of relative freedom which nevertheless is supposed to lead to the heteronormative ideal of the social context in which it occurs. The discourse of sexual health in the data pre-supposes accepting the authority of the magazine itself as source of guidance and information, the ‘post-feminist’ prescription of sexual practices (cf. Gill, 2009), and the exclusion of non-hegemonic sexualities.

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Panic on the Streets of London: Morality and Class in Contradictory Discourses of the Right Wing Press during the 2011 England Riots

Darren Kelsey (Newcastle University)

On 4th August 2011 a 29 year old black male was shot dead by police in Tottenham. On 6th August a peaceful protest took place in Tottenham against the shooting. When police in Tottenham attempted to disperse the protest violent clashes occurred as large groups also responded by setting fire to police and public properties. From the 7th August onwards, these acts of violence and civil disobedience spread across London and other cities in England with riots and looting taking place in sixty-six locations. Whilst these were not clear instances of protest violence following the events in Tottenham, they were clearly reactions mobilised by the riots that started a day earlier. Lasting until 10th August, 5 people died in the riots, which are estimated to have involved up to 15,000 people and cost the country up to half a billion pounds (Bridges, 2012:2).
Initial responses to t