Archive for June, 2010

28 June 2010

Idee des Kommunismus

So what is the idea of communism, according to the weekend’s conference at the Volksbühne in Berlin? Best answer still offered in the first 15 mins or so of this lecture from 2009.

Badiou’s answer is in French: The communist hypothesis.

27 June 2010

Discourse analysis at Peter Lang

Peter Lang publishers have a new series on discourse analysis. No books yet. Edited by Rita Kirk.

25 June 2010

Wealthy and responsible. A shifting discursive terrain?

It seems there is change at hand. For a long time in Germany, the UK, etc. it has been considered quite laudable to use tax loopholes, and respectable to demand less tax for the wealthy.

Now, in Germany, the wealthiest themselves are demanding that they be allowed to contribute more to the current financial crisis. “We want to pay more”; fix those “ridiculous” tax loopholes; over half the top managers in a survey think top earners should pay more tax.

Change indeed. Now politics can use what Ranciére calls a “strategy of verification” to hold these words to deeds.

20 June 2010

Das Undarstellbare der Politik

For German speakers: Das Undarstellbare der Politik: Zur Hegemonietheorie Ernesto Laclaus. (1998) is available as a downloadable pdf from the publishers Turia + Kant.

Edited by Oliver Marchart with texts from Judith Butler, Simon Critchley, Torben Bech Dyrberg, Ernesto Laclau, Thanos Lipowatz, Rado Riha, Anna-Marie Smith, Urs Stäheli, Yannis Stavrakakis, Jelica Šumić-Riha and Slavoj Žižek.

Im Mittelpunkt dieses Bandes steht ein Briefwechsel zwischen Judith Butler und Ernesto Laclau, der die gegenwärtige Renaissance der politischen Philosophie belegt und demnächst auch in Diacritics publiziert werden wird.

Politik kommt heute, nach dem Wegfall der Leitdifferenz Ost – West, zu Bewusstsein als das Wagnis einer Unternehmung ohne sicheren Ausgang. Nichts garantiert ihren Erfolg, ja es ist zweifelhaft, worin der Erfolg denn bestünde – etwa in der Erreichung des Ziels einer perfekt ausbalancierten, hegemonialen Gesellschaft befriedet-befriedigter Bürger? Zynisch resümierte man, dass dies eine Gesellschaft der Langeweile wäre, geschichtslos, leblos, aber gerecht, die Vorwegnahme des Todes.

Ein politischer Diskurs, der dem Politischen wieder Form geben will, muss den Prozess der Differenzierung wieder thematisieren, jenen kaum fasslichen Vorgang der Gesellschaft, in dem sich Politik situiert. Zu diesem Unternehmen, das Laclau und Butler ins Zentrum des Interesses stellen, bietet der Band auch eine Reihe weiterer Beiträge, von Slavoj Zizek bis zu Simon Critchley, sowie Texte von Ernesto Laclau und Judith Butler selbst.

17 June 2010

Winter Method School – content and discourse analysis

Winter Schule: Öffentlichkeitsforschung – Methoden für Inhalts- und Diskursanalyse
FU Berlin, Germany

The Method School’s aim is to highlight the state of the art in the field and discuss
which research questions can be tackled by which computer-aided content and discourse
analysis. Large-n content analyses have become popular, as content data is now
accessible in digital format. Some of the new approaches go beyond counting single terms
in documents, and seek to understand the structure and the context of the content
analysed. Several approaches have entered the stage at which it becomes possible to
combine quantitative and computer-aided qualitative coding. The Method School will,
therefore, offer an introduction into some of the most widely used software packages in
the field, but also introduce the basics of content and discourse analysis.

Besides introductions by experienced lecturers, the programme includes intensive group
work, practical sessions using traditional and new computer software and possibilities
for students to bring in their own research ideas and approaches. Some common social
activities in the beautiful city of Berlin will round off the programme.

The Winter Method School is particularly designed for early doctoral students (first two
years) with a research interest in the public sphere and no or limited prior knowledge
in the field of content and discourse analysis. In exceptional cases, graduate students
will be accepted if they can demonstrate a profound interest in these research methods
and have plans to use them in their PhD studies. All applicants should be fluent in

Places available: 20

Institution: Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Fachbereich Politik- und
Sozialwissenschaften, Freie Universität Berlin
Beteiligte Personen: Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse, Freie Universität Berlin
Dr. Marianne van de Steeg, Freie Universität Berlin
Dr. Roel Popping, Groningen University
Dr. Veronika Koller, Lancaster University
Brit Helle Aarskog, Bergen University
Kontaktperson: Wiebke Wemheuer
Email: methodschool-jmce AT
Fax: +49 (0)30 – 838-55049
Adresse: Ihnestraße 22
14195 Berlin

7 June 2010


At the East Asian Institute @ Leipzig University:

Japan’s modernity has been formed in three different system-specific constellations and corresponding self- and hetero-descriptions, i.e. formations of identity discourses. For the Meiji-System they can be summarized as Japonisme or Nipponism (with the focus on an aestheticized high-culture), for the post-war system as Nihon/jin-ron (everyday and consumer goods), and the last 1 ½ decades can be labeled Cool Japan or J-culture.

Continuously, images of the “Self” have been constructed by internalizing the foreign/western perspective. At the same time, this heteronomy has always been a field consisting of three elements, that means, national identity has always been constructed via the ethnic triade “West-Japan-(East-) Asia”. There are, however, also striking differences between the J-culture discourse and the previous two discourse formations: first, the dominance of popular cultural elements, such as Manga, Anime, Games, pop music, fashion, food; and, secondly, the multitude and variety of actors engaged in this discourse, reaching from so-called “ordinary” people (not only youngsters !) up to political and other elites.

J–culture is fundamentally formed by the two semantic fields of cool and beautiful. […more…]

3 June 2010

Discursive agency and primary education

New project on primary schools combining discourse theory and critical educational studies at the University of Luxembourg: ProDIC-Discourse Structures and Dis-/Integration in Education: Promotion of Critical Discourse Competencies.

School as a social institution cannot be separated from its context; it is part of and influencing social reality (cf. New London School; Gee; Yurén). However, few schooling practices take into account this dimension of ‘agency’ of schools as institutions as well as of the implied individual actors, in the re-/co-/construction of social reality. The present project tries to cope with this lack by deconstructing institutionalised discursive constraints of agency in a Luxembourgish primary school, and by elaborating a critical concept of agency at the intersection of French discourse theory and critical educational research, that is adapted to the Luxembourgish socio-cultural context. It aims at finding ways to empower actors, in particular learners, to actively participate and take over responsibilities in the re-/co-/construction of the reality of school, classroom and learning activities, as well as of the individual life as social being and of society as a whole.