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LINGUIST List 21.2853

Thu Jul 08 2010

FYI: Call for Papers for a Book: 'Language and Crisis'

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        1.    Antoon De Rycker, Call for Papers for a Book: 'Language and Crisis'

Message 1: Call for Papers for a Book: 'Language and Crisis'
Date: 06-Jul-2010
From: Antoon De Rycker <teundrum.edu.my>
Subject: Call for Papers for a Book: 'Language and Crisis'
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Call for papers for edited volume: Language and Crisis

Editorial Team:
Zuraidah Mohd Don and Antoon De Rycker
University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Call for Papers:
Objectives, Relevance and Content:

We are proposing to publish, with an international publisher, a book on the
relationship between language and crisis. The book will explore the many
and varied roles that language plays in defining, constructing, covering
and managing crises, both at a personal and a societal level. The main
objective of this edited volume is to describe, explain and explore
language and language use in crisis situations, and to do this from a large
range of theoretical and methodological angles. What will unify the various
contributions is that all studies will look at some kind of crisis —
economic, social, political, cultural, personal, psychological, etc. —
through a predominantly linguistic lens.

How to define what constitutes a crisis in these and other areas (after
all, it is a social construct, and not every ‘perceived’ crisis is a ‘real’
crisis) and how to categorize crises has been — since the 1970s — the
subject of an enormous amount of research in disciplines such as medicine,
psychology, economics, management, media studies, political sciences,
history, etc. At this stage in the project it is sufficient to set out from
a loosely defined notion of ‘crisis’ (adapted from Wikipedia and the
sources quoted there) as a specific, unexpected event (or series of events)
that creates a high level of uncertainty and a real or perceived threat to
the important goals of an organization. So, it has at least the following
defining characteristics: specific (as opposed to vague, general),
unexpected (as opposed to predictable or routine) and serious in the sense
of threatening (as opposed to insignificant and safe). This kind of
unstable condition brought on by some turning point (a process of
transformation) will usually require immediate and often coordinated
action, or more generally, a need for change. Depending on which aspect one
chooses to zoom in, synonyms can be disaster, emergency, catastrophe, etc.
It is important to add here that the volume will also take ‘organization’
in its most general sense. For example, talking at cross purposes can be
referred to as a ‘crisis’, too, as it threatens the smooth flow and
organization of discourse, and will usually require repair.

Within these broad content parameters, however, contributors are encouraged
to pursue their own research interests in terms of data (text types),
language or languages (including multimodal communication), time period
(both synchronic and historical studies are possible) and methods. Though
9/11, the tsunami of 2004, the subprime mortgage crisis and H1N1 come to
mind, there are many more crises — whether small or big, personal or
societal — that are worth investigating. In fact, the topic area is wide
enough to warrant micro-linguistic analyses (descriptions of lexical,
syntactic and discoursal features, the selection and organization of
content, the expression of identity, dimensions like clarity and
directness, etc.) but also to investigate macro-linguistic issues (cultural
aspects of the language used, code switching, the creation of controlled
languages, etc.).

The data can be described and/or explained, using any relevant linguistic
theory (e.g. SFL, CDA, Contrastive Rhetoric, genre analysis) while the
analyses themselves can be quantitative or qualitative, one language only
or comparative, etc. Options abound.

Contributions: Length and Format:

The edited volume will have about 300 pages. It will consist of an
introductory chapter plus 12 papers. Further division into two or three
parts will be decided later on the basis of the papers themselves.
Contributions have to be written in English. They will be from 6,000 to an
absolute maximum of 8,000 words (roughly 15 to 20 pages) altogether,
including references, notes and appendices.

Contributions should follow the typical structure of an academic research
paper, i.e. 150-word Abstract plus Key Words, Introduction, Literature
Review, Research Questions (or Research Objectives or Hypotheses), Method,
Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgements (if any), End Notes,
References, Appendices. Please do not use footnotes, but you may use
endnotes, at the end of your chapter, listed together immediately before
the References section. Variations on this template are, of course, possible.

Given the limited number of words per contribution, it is clear that papers
will ideally set out from a rather specific and narrow research objective.
Less is more in terms of relevance, contextualization of your research,
cogency of argumentation and interpretation of findings.

Over to You, Now:

If you are interested in contributing to this volume, then submit a
150-word abstract in English, identifying the research gap, the relevance
of your research question and the methodology. Also clearly state the
language(s) you will be examining and the overall theme (politics,
economics, religion, health, education, the arts, etc.). The latter will
allow us to structure the book at an early stage and look for a balanced
collection of articles. E-mail your abstract as an MS Word attachment to
Antoon De Rycker at teundrum.edu.my by the abstract submission date — see
the schedule below.

Provisional Time Schedule:

1 Submission of your abstract 31 08 2010
2 Acceptance/Rejection 30 09 2010
3 Submission of your paper [first version] 31 01 2011
4 Review: Feedback and comments 30 03 2011
5 Submission of your paper [revised version] 30 04 2011
6 Submission to publisher 31 05 2011

Thank you for your interest in this important UM research and publishing
initiative and for your appreciated collaboration. We look forward to
hearing from you. For more information, please contact teundrum.edu.my.

Note:

A likely publication outlet for the book is the prestigious John Benjamin
Series ‘Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture.’ It will be
this series, edited by Ruth Wodak, that we will first pitch our book to.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

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