LINGUIST List 31.3138

Thu Oct 15 2020

Calls: Disc Analysis, Hist Ling, Lexicography, Socioling, Text/Corpus Ling/Italy

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 15-Oct-2020
From: Alessandra Vicentini <>
Subject: Seminar on ''Medical Innovation, Experimentation and Knowledge Paradigm Shifts: Past and Present Discursive Perspectives and Popularizing Strategies''
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Full Title: Seminar on Medical Innovation, Experimentation and Knowledge Paradigm Shifts: Past and Present Discursive Perspectives and Popularizing Strategies

Date: 16-Sep-2021 - 18-Sep-2021
Location: University of Catania, Italy
Contact Person: Alessandra Vicentini
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Lexicography; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 31-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

This seminar will be held as part of the XXX AIA Conference “Experiment and innovation: branching forwards and backwards”, University of Catania (Italy), Department of Humanities, 16-18 September 2021.

The seminar aims to provide new insights into the evolution of linguistic and discursive practices employed to popularize medical knowledge and the understanding of medicine in the period between the 1650s and the 2000s.

Scientific and technological advances in medicine, which engender new healing procedures and medical cures, are characterized and triggered by innovation and experimentation, and have always been accompanied by important societal, (sociotechnical) and cultural changes. New knowledge paradigms are spawned by such transformations and become reflected not only in the discursive and language practices of the medical community but also of society at large. Ideological messages and ethical standpoints may also be transferred as a consequence of novel practices, as knowledge can be manipulated intentionally and thus transfer possible bias. This applies especially in the process of popularization, whereby specialist knowledge undergoes changes in order to become accessible to non-specialists through diverse communicative channels. The changing roles of experts, non-experts, semi-experts, educated or non-educated participants add to the issue’s complexity and multidimensionality.

All this is to be examined in its linguistic and discursive aspects and implications. Seminar themes include:
- changes undergone by specialized medical knowledge in the popularization process, in different texts, genres and/or media
- ethical and ideological implications in medical discourse popularization, especially with regard to sensitive issues and advanced technological developments
- criticality of information transmission for collective or individual decision-making processes, e.g. medical/health emergencies and subsequent institutional actions (political, legal, medical/healthcare decisions, intervention measures, informed consent to clinical treatment, etc.)
- the social construction and representation of medicine through language
- labelling disease(s) between ‘the normal’ and ‘the pathological’
- medical issues and the social understanding of diseases through language
- the secularization of medical language and discourse
- the language of pain and suffering over time
- the framing of disease(s) and the sick role
- the discourse of innovative medical procedures and practices
- the language/discourse of pandemics and epidemics over time

Call for Papers:

Scholars are encouraged to submit papers approaching medical discourse popularization from different methodological viewpoints. Analytical approaches based on synchronic, diachronic and/or contrastive, intralinguistic, interlinguistic and intercultural perspectives are equally welcome.

Each presentation will last 20 minutes and will be followed by 10 minutes for discussion.

Abstracts (200/250 words plus max 5 references) should be sent as Word files to and by 31 October 2020.

Notifications of acceptance will be issued by 31 January 2021.

Page Updated: 15-Oct-2020