LINGUIST List 31.3156

Fri Oct 16 2020

Calls: Disc Analysis, Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 16-Oct-2020
From: Georg Marko <>
Subject: Language & Risk. Communicating Risks, Danger and Safety in a Late Modern World
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Full Title: Language & Risk. Communicating Risks, Danger and Safety in a Late Modern World

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

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

Risk, danger and safety are prominent topics in today’s society, some theorists even claim that they are the predominant principles according to which social life is organized, cf. Ulrich Beck’s theory of the risk society. As a consequence, risk communication, i.e. any text informing a wider audience about potential hazards in life and/or instructing them how to deal with them, constitutes a central form of language use today. While the main intention of research into risk communication is to enhance its efficiency, we will take a broader perspective in this panel, looking at how discourses represent aspects of life associated with risk, thereby foregrounding or backgrounding them, maximizing or minimizing them, and making them seem identifiable and manageable or unidentifiable and unmanageable. These aspects include calculated probabilities and subjective un/certainties, the people creating risk, taking it or being affected by it, the actions and events interpreted as dangers or opportunities, the emotions evoked, and the world in which risk and safety play a central role. Currently, there is of course also the question of the relationship between conceptions of risk and conceptions of crises and to what extent and how they are different.

The panel, which is part of the 17th International Pragmatics Conference in Winterthur, Switzerland, organized by the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), is intended to cover discourses in different social domains, including (but not limited to) politics, finance and the economy, medicine, technology, sports, forensic science and the law, ecology and the private sphere, and on different topics, including (but not limited to) terrorism, accidents, product safety, adventure sports, personal relationships, or identity.

The panel organizers are Hermine Penz (hermine.penz(at) and Georg Marko (georg.marko(at), both from Karl-Franzens-University Graz (Austria).

Call for Papers:

We invite contributions approaching this topic from various methodological and disciplinary angles, ranging from micropragmatics (e.g. form-based studies of epistemics) to macropragmatics (e.g. critical discourse analyses of risk constructions in specific types of texts). Interdisciplinary projects, combining pragmatic research with other linguistic and non-linguistic disciplines, are particularly welcome. There are no restrictions on the language or the semiotic mode of the material to be analysed.

Please submit an abstract of 250-500 words to the official conference site by 25 October 2020 (login is via Mind that for this process – and also for participation – you will have to be (or become) an IPrA member. Once you have accessed the dashboard on the above site, go to “Submit abstract”, click on the “Track” button, choose “Panel contributions” and follow the instructions. For further submission guidelines, see If you have any further questions, contact the panel organizers.

Page Updated: 16-Oct-2020