Authors‘ workshop on the special issue ‚Covid-19 crisis discourse‘ of the Crisis Discourse Blog

© Amelie Ketu 2020

An initiative of the DVPW Discourse Group and Crisis Discourse Blog, hosted by the Viadrina Institute of European Studies

2-3 December, 2021, @ Zoom
Convenors: Amelie Kutter (Europa-Universität Viadrina), Christiane Barnickel (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Hannah Broecker (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) and Elena Dück (Universität Passau)

When the Covid-19 virus started spreading globally, heralding a pandemic, we faced a crisis in its initial medical meaning: a moment deciding about the lives and deaths of a growing group of people, while adequate intervention was unknown and highly uncertain. Debates focussed on epidemiology, measures of containment and the facts and figures, on which they could be based. In the meantime, efforts at understanding the medical crisis have transformed into struggles over the management of social, economic, ecological and political-representational crisis surfacing with the pandemic. We witness recurring features of crisis discourse, be that the construction of extraordinary authority and power, scapegoating, or the celebration of heroes, movers and shakers. At the same time, debates about Covid-19 appear to be specific in that they renegotiate, more radically than did the crises debates before, what is admissible and acceptable between facts and fiction, freedom and repression, solidarity and social exclusion.

This call invites blog posts that investigate such phenomena of recent crisis debate from a discourse-analytical angle. The call addresses discourse scholars and students of discourse studies, who currently research discourses of the Covid-19 pandemic and related aspects of multiple crisis and who specialise in a specific discourse approach. We invite researchers to share initial or consolidated insights of their ongoing work with the specialist community and the wider audience, preparing blog posts for the Crisis Discourse Blog, using one of the following formats: snapshot analysis, slippery concept, heuristic tool, or review (for details on these formats see the call for contributions,

The Crisis Discourse Blog, founded by Amelie Kutter and supported by an editorial board of discourse scholars from various backgrounds, seeks to engage with aspects of current crisis discourse, its problematic language use, selective and politically performative power and symbolic violence. It presents to the discourse research community and the interested audience interim results of research and provides vantage points for discussing about how we think and talk about crisis and how we can intervene in local debates employing our discourse-analytical expertise. Contributions can be made in both English and German.

At the authors’ workshop ‚Covid-19 crisis discourse‘, we will discuss both substantive and editorial issues of the submitted contributions in order to boost their quality and prepare them for publication on the blog. We will also exchange views on discourse analytical expertise and discourse research on crisis.

Even if your discourse research does not focus on the Covid-19 pandemic and if you are not intrigued by the current Covid-19 crisis discourse call, you might find Crisis Discourse Blog is a useful platform for spreading the word about your work. Future calls will relate to the normalisation of right-wing discourses, to discursive struggles over feminist and gender activism, or the justification of the self-regulating market after recent financial crises. Contributions submitted off these calls for special editions cannot currently be processed. You are always welcome to get in contact, though, if you think your blogpost adds to an existing call or issue.

Panels: speakers and blogposts (look for updates in the IFES internal webspace)

2 Dec, 10:45am – 12:45pm, Panel 1: Construction of social relations in Covid-19 debates

Facilitation: Elena Dück (CAU Kiel)

  • Hannah Broecker (LMU Munich): Solidarity (Slippery Concept)
  • Iveta Žákovská (Masaryk University, Brno): Targets in Covid-related humorous texts (Snapshot Analysis)
  • Dorothea Horst (EUV, Frankfurt O.) & Christiane Barnickel (HU Berlin): Discourses on Covid-19 and exclusion. Analytical approaches and a plea for a media-aesthetic perspective (Review)
  • Amelie Kutter (EUV, Frankfurt O.): “We will not succumb to Merkel’s kissasses”: the construction of parallel universes (Snapshot Analysis)

2 Dec, 1:45 pm – 3:45 pm, Panel 2: Discourse / practice perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic

Faciliation: Hannah Broecker (LMU Munich)

  • Kathrin Kaufhold (Stockholm University): The institutional logic of crisis communication and its recontextualization on the ground: a case from Sweden (Snapshot Analysis)
  • Gerardo Kostabile Nicoletta (Charles University Prague): A reversal mirror of the responsible subject. Chronicles from the Italian mainstream media outlet representations of the No Vax (Snapshot Analysis)
  • Elena Dück (CAU Kiel): The manyfold (De-) securitizations of Covid-19 (Review)

3 Dec, 10:00-11:30 am, Panel 3: Crisis perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic

Facilitation: Christiane Barnickel (HU Berlin)

  • Raili Marling (University of Tartu): COVID-19 crisis response as a biopolitical failure (Slippery Concept)
  • Aikaterina Nikolopoulou & Elena Psyllakou (EKKE Greece): Diffusion of political responsibility in Greek debates on Covid-19 (Snapshot Analysis)
  • Galvão Debelle dos Santos (OACU):Securitization, crisis and exceptionality (Slippery Concept)