Multiculturalism and Minorities

Public lecture: media representation of ethnic minorities in the EU


Semi-public discourses and ethnic minorities in the EU: 
A comparative analysis of discursive representation 

March 25, 2015 5:00-6:30 PM

Humanities Centre, Room 2-11, University of Alberta

The talk addresses the discursive representation of the Roma minority in the media and how the later is represented in semi-public discourses in the EU.

Adopting the perspective of critical discourse analysis, the presentation compares and contrasts data from online discussion forums affiliated to mainstream news sites in Great Britain and the Czech Republic. News articles and discussions, which reflect on the issue of Roma immigration to the UK, are analysed with respect to the discursive representation of out-groups and the rhetorical topoi utilized by the participants in the discussions.

On the basis of the data, it appears that the Roma minority is subject to two different anti-other discourses: in the UK, the influx of immigrants is perceived as a failure of EU policies, while in the original countries, the emigration of this group into the UK seems to predominantly confirm pre-existing anti-Roma sentiments. 

Guest speaker
Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
(Department of English and American Studies)

Jan Chovanec is an assistant professor of linguistics at the Department of English andAmerican Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, where he teaches media discourse analysis, pragmatics and sociolinguistics.

His research interests include pragmatic aspects of communication (both synchronic and diachronic), representation of social actors in the media, multimodality, dialogism, humour and word play.

He has recently been working on the language of sports reporting in online journalism (live text commentary) and discriminatory discourse in the press. 

He is the author of Pragmatics of Tense and Time in News (2014, John Benjamins) and co-author of Court Translation and Interpretation (2011, Kluwer, in Czech) and English-Czech Dictionary of Refugee Law (1999, Masaryk University Press).

He has co-edited the books Participation in Public and Social Media Interactions (2015, John Benjamins) and Language and Humour in the Media (2012, CSP) as well as several other publications. He has written over 40 papers, presented at more than 50 conferences and held lectures in Germany, Finland, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, USA and Poland.

Since 2005, he has been the editor-in-chief of the international linguistics journal Brno Studies in English.