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Conference Information

Full Title: Discursive Crossings

Location: Mainz, Germany
Start Date: 19-Oct-2012 - 20-Oct-2012
Contact: Silke Jansen
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Discursive Crossings

Power relations are never stable but are subject to ongoing negotiation, constantly being confirmed or put into question. In discursive processes of affirmation and subversion, cultural references and symbolic meanings intersect, social identities merge or interfere with each other and new knowledge is constructed. In this continual process, multiple and blurry borders are drawn between various linguistic, ethnic, cultural and social affiliations, often organized in problematic oppositional structures such as inside and outside, top and bottom, foreign and familiar. Examining such ongoing negotiations, we take up the term ‘discursive crossings’ in order to designate the citing of linguistic, social, and cultural markers by members of one group that are commonly attributed to another group, arguing that these groups are also constituted through such ‘discursive crossings,’ i.e., citing the other’s markers is not necessarily subversive per se but might in fact be affirmative with regard to the power relations between the various groups.

Taking up the term ‘crossing’ from socio-linguistics, where it means speakers using languages or linguistic varieties they do not ‘own’ (Ben Rampton), we propose to understand ‘discursive crossings’ in three ways: as an intersection of various discourses, as a transgression of boundaries within discourses, and as the idea of exceeding the discursive itself. While similar issues have been addressed, for instance, in post-colonial and gender studies (Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler), we emphasize the constitutive character of ‘discursive crossings’ which, in our view, not only destabilize but also produce the borders and entities that are presumably ‘crossed.’
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Ling & Literature; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics; Translation
LL Issue: 23.2137

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