LINGUIST List 27.2791

Thu Jun 30 2016

Confs: Anthropological Ling, Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics/UK

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 30-Jun-2016
From: Tom Van Hout <>
Subject: Political Humor as Social Action
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Political Humor as Social Action

Date: 16-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2017
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Contact: Tom Van Hout
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics

Meeting Description:

Political humor as social action: verbal-visual attitudes towards politicians in late modernity

Tom Van Hout (University of Antwerp)
Peter Burger (Leiden University)
Otto Santa Ana (University of California Los Angeles)

At the intersection of discourse and media studies lies media linguistics (from German Medienlinguistik), an umbrella term for the study of mediated language in society. Two approaches can be discerned within media linguistics. Work on language of the media examines how (news) media use language to represent social life. Work on language in the media investigates how language standards, ideologies, and change are represented in the media. The popularity of media linguistics is spurred on by two developments: the shifting ecology of media organizations and their fragmented audiences, and the proliferation of mediated communication in society, or mediatization (Van Hout & Burger 2016).

This panel invites researchers to address the relationship between political humor and media(ted) language. In keeping with the conference theme of ‘Pragmatics in the real world’, this panel examines the distinctive nature of the pragmatics of humor as this involves

- news events such as sound bites (Lee 2012), bloopers (Silverstein 2011), or talk scandals (Ekström & Johansson 2008)
- media genres such as cartoons (Swain 2012), fake news (Waisanen 2011), late-night comedic monologues (Santa Ana 2009) or internet memes (Milner 2013)
- types of humor such as irony (Sanina 2014), and political satire (Reilly 2012)

This panel welcomes empirically grounded contributions that show what social action is accomplished when political discourse and media discourse are juxtaposed. We expect relevant contributions to explore political humor from a variety of analytical approaches such as discourse analysis, rhetorics, multimodality, and linguistic ethnography. We welcome other participants to join this panel with their contributions and look forward to pooling our interests and insights with the aim to publish the papers presented during the panel.

Ekström, M., & Johansson, B. (2008). Talk scandals. Media, Culture & Society, 30(1), 61-79.
Lee, F.L.F. (2012). The Life Cycle of Iconic Sound Bites: politicians’ transgressive utterances in media discourses. Media, Culture, & Society 34(3), 343-358.
Milner, R. M. (2013). Pop Polyvocality: Internet Memes, Public Participation, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. International Journal of Communication, 7, 2357-2390.
Reilly, I. (2012). Satirical Fake News and/as American Political Discourse. The Journal of American Culture, 35(3), 258-275.
Sanina, A. G. (2014). Visual political irony in Russian new media. Discourse, Context & Media, 6, 11-21.
Santa Ana, O. (2009) Did you call in Mexican? The racial politics of Jay Leno immigrant jokes. Language in Society, 38(1), 23–45.
Silverstein, M. (2011a). Presidential Ethno-blooperology: Performance Misfires in the Business of ''Message''-ing. Anthropological Quarterly, 84(1), 165-186.
Van Hout, T., & Burger, P. (2016). Mediatization and the language of journalism. In O. García, N. Flores & M. Spotti (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Language and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Waisanen, D. J. (2011). Crafting Hyperreal Spaces for Comic Insights: The Onion News Network's Ironic Iconicity. Communication Quarterly, 59(5), 508-528.

Page Updated: 30-Jun-2016