ARENAS Spotlight: Work Package 2 – Characterisation and Detection of Extremist Narratives

The ARENAS project is dedicated to understanding and addressing extremist narratives, a task that requires thorough characterisation and detection. At the heart of Work Package 2: Characterisation and Detection of Extremist Narratives are two renowned linguistic scholars: Dr. Ana Yara Postigo Fuentes and Prof. Dr. Rolf Kailuweit.

Dr .Postigo Fuentes, originally from Málaga, Spain, contributes her expertise to Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany. Specialising in Romance Languages, Linguistics, Qualitative Research, and Educational Science, her doctoral thesis focused on language learning within video games, particularly in e-sports. Through meticulous analysis, she revealed how gaming narratives shape linguistic and cultural interactions, offering innovative approaches to language education.

Prof. Dr.Rolf Kailuweit’s academic journey has taken him to various universities before landing at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. His interests span sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and grammar, influenced by French poststructuralist theory. Inspired by his fascination with media coverage of social phenomena, Prof. Kailuweit joins the ARENAS consortium to explore the dynamics of extremist narratives.

Dr. Postigo Fuentes and Prof. Dr. Kailuweit play crucial roles in achieving the goals of WP2, which aims to define and detect extremist narratives through a comprehensive approach. Leveraging their expertise, they explore extremist ideologies across diverse linguistic and cultural contexts. Additionally, the team working on W2 are developing an Annotation Schema Development, laying the foundation for manual annotation of extremist narratives. This meticulous process is vital for understanding the nuances of extremist discourse and providing insights into radicalisation mechanisms.

The WP2 team also focuses on Algorithm Testing and Model Preparation, employing advanced machine-learning techniques to develop robust algorithms for the automatic detection of extremist narratives. Their collaborative efforts bridge qualitative analysis with computational methods, paving the way for scalable solutions in combating extremism. In Understanding Extremism, they offer a holistic perspective by delving into its multifaceted nature through fieldwork and analysis, exploring its manifestations across various domains such as science, nationalism, and gender.

By enhancing the detection capabilities and understanding the underlying mechanisms of extremist narratives, Dr. Postigo Fuentes, Prof. Dr. Kailuweit, and their team contribute significantly to the broader objectives of the ARENAS project. Through their interdisciplinary approach and innovative methodologies, they strive to combat the spread of extremist ideologies and promote social cohesion and inclusivity.

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