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[Commlist] DN24 - Discourse and Communication as propaganda: digital and multimodal forms of activism, persuasion and disinformation across ideologies

Wed Sep 04 11:02:37 GMT 2019

We are happy to announce the Call for Papers for the *24th DiscourseNet
conference* on the topic of /Discourse and communication as Propaganda:
digital and multimodal forms of activism, persuasion and disinformation
across ideologies/.

This conference will take place at the /Université Saint-Louis/ in
Brussels (Belgium) between May 18th and May 20th in 2020. The *deadline for
abstracts* is *December 16th, 2019*.

All other relevant information (CfP, keynote speakers, travel information,
contact information) can be found on the DN24 webpage: [1] .

The 24th DiscourseNet conference is *hosted by PReCoM* (Pôle de
Recherches sur la Communication et les Médias / Université
Saint-Louis – Bruxelles. The conference is organised *in partnership
with ReSIC* (/Centre de Recherche en Information et
Communication/ / /Université Libre de Bruxelles/).


DN24 - Discourse and Communication as propaganda: digital and multimodal
forms of activism, persuasion and disinformation across ideologies

*Important dates*
Date: 18/05/2020 - 20/05/2020
Registration deadline: 1/04/2020
Call for papers ending on: 16/12/2019

BE, Brussels, 1000, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles, Boulevard du
Jardin botanique 42-43

The 24th DiscourseNet conference is hosted by PReCoM (Pôle de Recherches sur
la Communication et les Médias / Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles. The
conference is organised in partnership with ReSIC (Centre de Recherche en
Information et Communication / Université Libre de Bruxelles). For more
information on the organisation of this conference go to .
Network: DiscourseNet / PReCoM in collaboration with ReSIC
Institution: Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles
Contact person: Jan Zienkowski
Contact person email address: (discoursenet24 /at/ [2]

*Associated media*
Cfp Call for papers [3]
entity:node/7075 [4]
Poster image [5]

WWW.DISCOURSEANALYSIS.NET/EN/DN24 -----------------------------------

.... *CfP - Discourse and Communication as propaganda: /digital and
      multimodal forms of activism, persuasion and disinformation across
      ideologies/ *

This conference provides a forum for researchers who seek to analyze,
challenge, and (re)think the concept and the practice of propaganda in the
light of contemporary forms of discourse and communication across the
ideological spectrum.

We invite authors to examine the relationship between concepts such as
propaganda, ideology, hegemony and discourse in today’s digital
environments. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome.

The notion of propaganda was seminal to the field of communication studies in
the beginning of the 20th century. It derives its negative connotations from
the way mass media have been intentionally used by state and corporate actors
for partisan interests. Even though the term ‘propaganda’ may have grown
out of fashion – both inside and outside of academia – its practices have

Notions such as ‘public relations’, ‘advertising’, ‘political
marketing’, ‘public diplomacy’, ‘political marketing’ and
‘advocacy’ have now transplanted propaganda even though they often refer
to similar discursive strategies of persuasion or (dis)information. As the
term ‘propaganda’ grew less popular new terms emerged up in order to
label similar communication strategies that shape contemporary discourse and
communication until this day.

Many critical approaches in discourse studies have treated propagandistic
modes of communication through the lenses of ‘ideology’, ‘hegemony’,
‘discourse’ and ‘power’. However, whereas all propaganda is
ideological, not all ideology manifests itself as propaganda. Likewise,
whereas all propaganda operates through discourse and communication, not all
discourse or communication performs the function of propaganda.

Different forms of critical discourse studies have paid attention to
ideological phenomena, but the term propaganda is remarkably absent from this
field of inquiry. This may be explained with reference to underlying
theoretical premises of specific discourse theoretical and discourse
analytical approaches, a hypothesis that may also be explored at this

In a global context marked by ‘a return of the political’, by an
intensification of political debates across the political spectrum, and by a
(re-)articulation of old and new political fault lines crossing local,
regional, national and/or transnational contexts,  the seemingly outdated
notion of propaganda may provide a useful entry point for examining the
(partially) strategic modes of communication practiced by activists on all
sides of the ideological spectrum.

If propaganda is no longer associated exclusively with traditional
institutional actors such as the state or corporations, the political and
communicative strategies of social and political actors such as
eco-activists, AltRight trolls, neoliberal think tanks or the peace movement
may be (re)thought in terms of propaganda. This brings us back to the old
question whether (specific forms of) propaganda hinder or
facilitate democracy. It also leads us to explore uses of digital and
algorithmic propaganda in contemporary populist projects.

Regardless of the question whether and how the term propaganda is used,
‘strategies’ of white, black and grey propaganda are practiced on an
everyday basis while new ways of doing propaganda continue to be
developed.  In fact, propaganda practices are constantly being adapted to
specific social, political and technological developments. As new
technologies become available, the range of actors able to practice
propaganda expands.

We welcome contributions that focus on the multimodal propaganda strategies
and material (text, images, video, digital content, digital
education, algorithms, Virtual Reality) of states, political parties, and
corporate actors. We equally welcome contributions focusing on the
communicative activities of social movements, think tanks, algorithms,
advertising agencies, social media and public relations counselors. All
abstracts fitting one or more of the following themes will be considered but
we also leave space for interesting contributions that may not be that easy
to classify:

  * Theme 1: Conceptual and methodological issues for studying activism and
  * Theme 2: Historical and contemporary transformations in activism and/or
* Theme 3: Democratic and anti-democratic modes of discourse, communication
    and ideology
  * Theme 4: Digital and multimodal forms of activism, persuasion and
  * Theme 5: Transdisciplinary dialogues on discourse and communication as
    propaganda and/or activism
  * …

We especially welcome papers that rethink the notions of propaganda and
activism in relation to key concepts in discourse studies. Such notions
include power, subjectivity, reflexivity, critique, identity, context,
language use and multimodal communication. Papers may also focus on the
ethical problems that come with propagandistic activities. For instance, what
does propaganda mean for notions such as knowledge, political correctness,
freedom of speech or critical awareness?

As the field of discourse studies is inherently transdisciplinary, we
welcome authors from disciplines as varied as communication science,
psychology, sociology, philosophy, literature, media studies and
linguistics. Likewise, we seek to provide a forum for all methodological and
theoretical orientations provided that the authors connect with the themes
outlined in this call for papers.

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