International Workshop on Methodological Approaches to Narratives in Extremist Discourses in Düsseldorf

By Dr. Ana Yara Postigo Fuentes, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf

On November 15th and 16th Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf will host an international workshop as part of its role in ARENAS. The workshop will explore “Methodological approaches to narratives in extremist discourses”, and will take place at the Haus der Universität.

The main goal of the workshop is to network with other researchers working on extremist discourses. On the one hand, we hope this will provide impulses for our own work, especially with regard to methodological approaches, and on the other hand, we want to share the first results of our project with the academic community.

The workshop will focus on innovative methods of corpus linguistic analysis of extremist discourses, with a particular emphasis on the associated narratives, i.e., “narratives” that usually do not manifest themselves directly on the surface of language but have to be worked out through the detailed analysis of relevant communicates (e.g., social media posts, contributions to conversations in public discussion groups and the like).

Such “narratives” can be, for example, conspiracy myths, but they can also be more subtle narratives that often remain vague in detail, which do not always have to be extremist themselves, but are taken up in extremist discourses (e.g., the populist concept of an “elite” that wants to make the population compliant through “educational measures”).

Precisely because they often remain implicit, extremist narratives pose a serious social challenge. It is therefore all the more important to formulate clear criteria for recognising extremist narratives and to work out their different linguistic manifestations.

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