Ruth Wodak at CIDRAL

Posted on February 10, 2013 by

This week sees a special event hosted by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and Languages (CIDRAL). Professor Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University) will be speaking on Analyzing political discourse: A ‘new face’ of politics?

The talk is on Tuesday 12th Feb from 5-7pm in the John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre. Details can be found here on the CIDRAL website. Here’s the abstract, taken from that site:

Politics has become increasingly innovative, and a strategic understanding of traditional and new media and its effects is now an essential aspect of being a politician and performing politics (Street 2001; Strombäck 2008). An increasingly complex world is reduced to political personalities, their perceived power and ‘charisma’ (Grande 2000). There is an obvious need to understand how these changes linked to the mediatisation, personalisation, and marketisation of politics affect the ways of ‘doing politics’ in everyday life, and their perception by citizens, in different national contexts, across Europe and beyond (Wodak 2010 a, b; 2011). This lecture explores ‘the new face of politics’ and analyses the exclusionary rhetoric of radical rightwing populist parties in Europe while focussing – as case study – on the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and recent election campaigns (2009, election for the European Parliament; 2010, election in the city of Vienna; see Wodak & Köhler, 2010; Engel & Wodak 2012, Wodak 2012, forthcoming).

By electing a younger, media-savvy and quasi non-establishment leader – HC Strache – , the FPÖ started to aim at new sections of the Austrian electorate (e.g. the youth) and conveys its messages by intensifying the use of ‘pop’ and non-elite media and genres, such as blogs, YouTube, Face book, Twitter, and so forth. More traditional genres, on the other hand, such as comic books are recontextualised in new multimodal ways and can be accessed and downloaded from the homepage of the FPÖ. The main question to be posed – why are such parties and their programmes successful – requires, I claim, multi-methodical, multimodal, and critical interdisciplinary research, to be able to theorize and analyze new developments (or old phenomena with a ‘new face’) in the political arena.

The event will be followed by a wine reception, and all are welcome!

Featured image: Ruth Wodak, taken from her Lancaster page.