Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
SP13: What Boundaries Are (Not) Needed For: Conceptualising Boundaries Beyond the Metaphor - with Ruth Wodak and Elijah Anderson
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
9:00am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Florian Elliker, University of St.Gallen
Location: BS.G.36
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

organised by RN11, RN20 and RN32

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Inclusion, Exclusion, and the Racialization of Space

Ruth Wodak

Lancaster University, Austria

Processes of inclusion and exclusion, of racialization of space and culturalization of debates, frequently involve conflicting discourses, narratives, and related identities about bordering, about access and rejection, and – more recently – about constructing new walls. These discourses are consistent with fundamental claims of critical discourse studies (CDS) – that is, that discourses and social realities are mutually constitutive and that discursive practices may have major ideological effects, helping to produce and reproduce unequal power relations and legitimize inclusion and exclusion; particularly in regard to ethnic and religious minorities, refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers. In this lecture, I discuss the securitization, economization, and moralization of borders via specific discursive forms of argumentation and legitimation of exclusion, and then turn to one example: I briefly summarize Donald Trump’s argumentation for building a wall in order to keep Latin American (primarily Mexican) migrants out of the US. In the conclusion, I reflect on the resemiotization of discourses about exclusion via borders and walls, and their continuous reinforcement via a politics of fear.


Ruth Wodak is Emerita Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University, UK, and affiliated to the University of Vienna. Besides various other prizes, she was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize for Elite Researchers in 1996 and an Honorary Doctorate from University of Örebro in Sweden in 2010. She is member of the British Academy of Social Sciences and of the Academia Europaea. Her research interests focus on discourse studies; language and/in politics; prejudice and discrimination; and on ethnographic methods of linguistic field work. Recent book publications include The Handbook of Language and Politics (Routledge 2018, with B. Forchtner); The Politics of Fear. What Right-wing Populist Discourses Mean (Sage, 2015; translation into the German Politik mit der Angst. Zur Wirkung rechtspopulistischer Diskurse. Konturen, 2016), and The Discourse of Politics in Action. Politics as Usual (2011 Palgrave).

Living While Black: What Black Folk Know

Elijah Anderson

Yale University, United States of America

In the United States, almost every black person has experienced the sting of disrespect on the basis of being black, and with forces of nationalism on the rise in Europe and beyond, more and more black people are experiencing this beyond the U.S. as well. A large but undetermined number of black people feel acutely disrespected in their everyday lives, enduring discrimination they see as both subtle and explicit. In the ongoing balancing act between cosmo (cosmopolitan) and ethno (ethnocentric) forces all around the world, the cosmopolitan frame is coming under attack. In the face of this reality, black people worldwide manage themselves in a largely white-dominated society, and particularly in the white space, learning and following as best they can the peculiar rules of a racially subordinate existence.


Elijah Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University. He is one of the leading urban ethnographers and cultural theorists in the United States. His publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology; and the classic sociological work, A Place on the Corner (1978; 2nd ed., 2003). Anderson’s most recent ethnographic work is The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life (2011). Professor Anderson is the recipient of a number of prestigious professional awards, including the Merit Award from the Eastern Sociological Society, the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award and the W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association.