Roskilde Universitet
Kommunikationsvej 1,
Bygning 42.3
4000 Roskilde

Tlf: 46 74 26 92
Chris Holmsted Larsen

Tlf: 46 74 38 08
Kim Christian Schrøder


FMKJ er en national forskerskole, der:
• Arrangerer ph.d.-kurser på
- internationalt niveau,
• Er vært for internationale
- gæsteforskere,
• Uddeler stipendier til skolens
- studerende,
• Har indstillingsret til
- Forskningsrådet for Kultur og
- Kommunikation.

FMKJ Kursus: Applying discourse theory and CDA in the study of media, images and film

The doctoral course will provide insights into recent developments in critical discourse analysis (CDA) and discourse theory. It will also give the participants the opportunity to discuss their own analyses of media, images and film with senior scholars in the field. Participants who submit papers will gain a max. of 3 ETCS points.

Dates and location: 30 November-2 December 2009, Roskilde University.


Roskilde University, Building/room 40-3.25

How to find Roskilde University 


30 November

 10.30: Introducing CDA and the Discourse-Historical Approach – Media in times of Political Crisis. Lecture by Ruth Wodak, Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies, Lancaster University, UK. Room 40.3.25


In this lecture, I will first briefly discuss recent definitions of and research on the EPS. Research in political science has frequently applied quantitative content analysis as well as frame analysis to press reporting and has then concluded that a European public sphere could be detected. Furthermore, I will discuss qualitative, interdisciplinary research in Critical Discourse Analysis (the Discourse-Historical Approach) which has illustrated – in contrast to many quantitative studies – that national Weltanschauungen, traditions and political interests as well as the political affiliation of news papers override common European agenda and interests. Moreover, many studies seem to neglect the East/West divide which stems from the post-war period and the Cold War as well as other, more recent divides (‘New Europe-Old Europe’). Thus, the main questions to be asked are: in which complex ways do (European) politics, (European) history, and media interact? Do studies on media reporting convey useful and adequate information on the emergence of a European public sphere? And lastly, when studying European media since the 1950s up to 2006, has there been a convergence, and if so when and in which way?


13.00: Linguistics and Critique: Which Linguistics? Lecture by Paul Chilton, Professor, Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Lancaster, UK. Room 40.3.25


The cognitive approach to language is based on the premise that the human language ability is linked to other cognitive systems, including the visual and spatial mechanisms of the brain (cf. Evans and Chilton 2009, Language, Cognition and Space, Equinox).  Obviously, these systems are the same as the ones we use in viewing pictures. This talk is about the cognitive basis of vision and spatial representation in public communication. The disciplines of psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science provide a lot of scientific information about how we see. I shall briefly outline some of this science and then show how the ideas can be applied to analysing pictures. I shall give special attention to the long-known methods of perspective in art, since ‘perspective’ is a term used in both pictorial and linguistic analysis.  I shall also include the theory of metaphor and conceptual blending developed in Cognitive Linguistics. In terms of the background neuroscience, I shall mention the ‘where’ and ‘what’ visual streams, the perception of directed motion, face recognition, expression recognition, and direction of gaze. The ‘where’ mechanism visually locates objects in relation to the viewing organism, and involves perspectival representations. The ‘what’ mechanism is related to identification of objects – a complex process that can involve conventional background knowledge. In terms familiar to discourse analysts, this approach enables us to analyse pictorial representations that ‘position the subject’, create insider/outsider boundaries, social stereotypes, etc. In terms familiar to critical discourse analysts, we can then discuss how the visual composition of pictures, often combined with linguistic text, can lead to manipulative cognitive effects, including ones that can be interpreted as ‘ideological’.To illustrate this talk I will use images from famous artists, contemporary advertisements, political propaganda and news reporting, focussing mainly on the representation of street scenes.


 1 December

 10.30: Media, Framing and Policy: The Politics of Sustainable Aviation in the United Kingdom. Lecture by David Howarth, Associate Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex, UK, and Steven Griggs, associate professor, University of Birmingham. Room 40.3.25

In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the capacity of the media to set policy agendas and to frame public understandings of policy problems. Indeed, media campaigns, facilitated by new technologies, are one of the primary repertoires of protest movements seeking to contest the decisions and policies of government. However, there remains, in some quarters, considerable scepticism as to the actual capacity of the media to influence policy agendas, with media campaigns often derided as the last resort of outsider groups.
This chapter explores the politics of media campaigns, analyzing how different media representations frame policy problems and how particular constructions of policy problems are defined and redefined over time in the media. In so doing, it explores the dynamics of environmental protest and problem-setting engendered by the expansion of airports in the United Kingdom, investigating specifically the media framing of the consultation process surrounding the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This consultation process witnessed campaigns by local residents and environmentalists to disrupt the hegemonic understandings of ‘sustainable aviation’, within which government has articulated its proposals to expand the airport. Drawing upon recent developments in poststructuralist discourse theory, this chapter thus offers a critical explanation of the logic and rhetoric of media representations of how local resident groups and environmentalists strived to advance demands against the expansion of Heathrow Airport and to give ‘new’ meaning and policy content to the discourse of ‘sustainable aviation.’


13.00: The Danish Terrorists – or ‘the construction of the journalist-detective’ lecture by Birgitta Frello, associate professor in intercultural studies, Roskilde University, Denmark. Room 40.3.25


In my presentation I will concentrate primarily on a Danish TV-documentary called ‘The Danish Terrorists’ (De danske terrorister). I will focus on the relationship between narrative and discourse, in that I will discuss how basic choices in the construction of narrative contribute to the production and reproduction of specific discursive constructions of identity and otherness. More specifically, I will discuss the interplay between the presenter’s voice and the images in the ways in which the program deals with identity and belonging, and I will discuss how the visual representation of the journalist-detective’s movements contributes to these constructions. In this discussion, I will draw on the argument presented in my article on the discursive analysis of movement and aim to demonstrate how this way of understanding movement can contribute to the discursive analysis of identity and difference.


19.30: Gender and security – some recent twists and turns, lecture by Erica Burman, Professor of Psychology and Women’s study, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Room 40.3.25


In this paper I explore how longstanding discourses of gender have assumed some new forms in relation to current themes of national and international security. In addition to highlighting the enduring and interconnected character of the themes of domestic order and trans/national security, my central concern is with contemporary shifts in the gendered imagery of war. In particular, I consider what is at stake in the cultural turn towards feminisation, both to identify other issues this gendered focus tends to occlude and to distinguish it from feminist interventions. Insofar as analysis of such texts and images can be connected with politics, I hope such discussion can alert us to the ways configurations of both ‘gender’ and ‘gender neutrality’ can work to obscure and mask, as much as they incite their own, political analysis.

See also:


2 December

 10.30: From meta-theory to analysis. A case for discourse theoretical analysis (DTA), lecture by Nico Carpentier, associate professor, Centre for Studies on Media and Culture, Free University of Brussels, Belgium. Room 40.3.25


In this lecture, the “story” of a large research project is used to show and discuss how to integrate meta-theory into theory, and how to integrate theory into the analysis. The first part will give an overview of some of the basic concepts of discourse theory, followed by a methodological translation of DT into DTA. Then, the workings of DTA are illustrated by a research project on audience discussion programmes, where the construction of audience identities, media professional identities, and participation itself is analysed.




Burman, Erica: Feminism(s) or feminisation? Between autonomous triumphalism and victimhood Presentation for ‘The Frailty of Social Relations, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid


Burman, Erica: Taking women’s voices: The psychological politics of feminisation. Psychology of Women Section Review, 2004, 6, 1: 3-21


Carpentier, Nico (2007): Bringing discourse theory into media studies. Journal of Language and politics.


Chilton 2005: ‘Missing Links in Mainstream CDA: Modules, Blends and the Critical Instinct ‘ in A New Research Agenda in Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity, ed. R. Wodak and P. Chilton, John Benjamins


Howarth, David, Glynos, Jason and Aletta Norval: Discourse Analysis: Varieties and methods.


Frello, Birgitta. ‘Towards a discursive analytics of movement:  On the making and unmaking of movement as an object of knowledge’. I: Mobilities, 2(1) 2008.


Wodak & Van Leeuwen 1999, ‘Legitimizing immigration control: a discourse- historical analysis’, Discourse Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 83-119.



Carpentier and Spinoy: Discourse Theory and Cultural Analysis: Media, Arts and Literature


Howarth and Griggs: Metaphor, Catachresis and Equivalence: The Rhetoric of Freedom to Fly in the Struggle over Aviation Policy in the United Kingdom (may be required by email)


Chilton: Political terminology: Handbook of Applied Linguistics (may be required by email)


Chilton: Manipulation, memes, metaphor: The case of Mein Kampf in Manipulation and ideologies in the 20th century (may be required by email)


Chilton: Contribution on CDA for the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences (may be required by email)


Theo van Leeuwen (m.fl.): Legitimizing immigration control 

Download compendium:

Erica Burman: Feminism(s) or feminisation?

Erica Burman: Taking womens voices

Brigitta Frello: Towards a Discursive Analytics of Movement

Jason Glynos (m.fl.): Discourse Analysis: Varieties and Methods

Nico Carpentier (m.fl.): Bringing discourse theory into Media Studies



Download presentations (PDF & sound):


Further information:

Chris Holmsted (
Signe Kjær Jørgensen (

Organising committee: Louise Phillips, Signe Kjær Jørgensen & Yiannis Mylonas.

The course is funded by Forskerskolen for medier, kommunikation og journalistik (FMKJ).


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