LINGUIST List 31.2575

Fri Aug 14 2020

Calls: Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 14-Aug-2020
From: Annelie Ädel <>
Subject: Risk, security, responsibility: Focus on evacuation and quarantine discourse
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: Risk, security, responsibility: Focus on evacuation and quarantine discourse

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Jan-Ola Östman
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 10-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

The aim of this panel is to bring together scholars from different fields of research who have investigated risk communication, where aspects of responsibility form an important ingredient. Analyses of discourse and communication involving risks and security in a broad sense are welcome, but we particularly welcome presentations that focus on evacuation and quarantine, and the role of discourse, including multimodal resources.
Responsibility is central in risk communication. For instance, in relation to evacuation signs: official agencies or collectives are responsible for putting up relevant signs, individuals are most often themselves responsible for obeying these signs, but challenged people need the help of responsible carers. And where is the line to be drawn between moral and legal responsibility in emergency situations? (On responsibility, cf. Östman & Solin 2016.)
We want panel participants to jointly strive for a deeper knowledge base for understanding how discourse (including pictures, symbols, colors; cf. Forceville & Kjeldsen 2018) affects people’s dispositions to take in and make use of information about security in their everyday lives. Risk and security affect us on both a personal and societal level. But what do we know about the “ontology” of risks and security? Do risks and security exist before they are deemed as such (cf. Rasmussen 2013), is (non-)risk distribution as important as wealth distribution in late modern societies (cf. e.g. Boholm 2018), to what extent is security in a “risk society” a mere theoretical construct (cf. Candlin et al. 2016)? And what are really the semantics we have access to in relation to concepts like RISK (cf. Fillmore & Atkins 1992)?
Evacuation comes to the fore in fire hazards, in relation to risks of explosions, in terror attacks, in outbreaks of virus diseases, etc. The relationship between the notions evacuation and quarantine is not simply that of antonymy; for one thing, evacuation signs require agency on the part of the evacuator, and even though people in quarantine also need to be (passive) agents, (signs indicating) the status of a quarantine are typically aimed at people outside of quarantines. Still, instructions for both evacuation and quarantine involve ways of saving community lives.
The panel will focus on evacuation and quarantine information in a broad perspective, including what policies and attitudes lie behind specific information that guide the public, and how efficient this information is. This entails bringing together researchers working on questions related to (a) risk and security; (b) ideology and responsibility; and (c) multimodality.
We welcome presentations from a variety of pragmatically oriented approaches and methodologies, e.g. discourse analysis, narrative analysis, social semiotic analysis, easy-to-read analysis, linguistic landscape and onomastic analyses, psycholinguistic analysis, sociolinguistic analysis (e.g. the effects of age and education on understanding), communication and medicine, sign-language discourse, Braille discourse, etc.

Call for Papers:

This is an open call for contributions from scholars working on risk, security, responsibility, evacuation, quarantine and related issues. The general deadline for submitting the final version of your abstract to IPrA is October 25, 2020. (See instructions at If you want your presentation to be considered for the panel on “Risk, security, responsibility: Focus on evacuation and quarantine discourse”, please send your abstract to no later than October 10, 2020. The panel is organized by Jan-Ola Östman, Catharina Nyström Höög, and Annelie Ädel (Dalarna university, Sweden).

Page Updated: 14-Aug-2020