Exploring the language of the popular in Anglo-American Newspapers 1833-1988
University of Zurich 18 January 2012
As part of the series of research seminars which will contribute to the Research Network we are inviting interested scholars to submit proposals of 300 words for a seminar to be held at the University of Zurich on 18 January 2012 entitled Popular news discourse: Anglo-American newspapers, 1833-1988. It aims to bring together scholars from linguistics, history, media and journalism studies, social sciences, and English to consider the important of historical pragmatics as a tool for exploring the content and context of Anglo-American newspapers between 1833 and 1988. There is no charge for the event and there will be a number of keynote speakers to be announced at a later date.
The dates 1833-1988 frame the research network project as they are key dates in the development of popular discourse within Anglo-American newspapers. 1833 sees the first development of the Penny Press and 1988 witnesses the peak in circulation of Murdoch’s British-based Sun. This long view will reinforce how important historical context is to the understanding of contemporary newspapers. Although this project will certainly seek to address some of the wider implications of the discourse of newspaper language it will proceed from a thorough textual exploration in the first instance. Proposals are invited which explore the ways in which popular newspapers during this period in either the USA or Britain have attempted to structure the language of their product to match particular aspects of the social experience of their readers. It is envisaged as a genuinely interdisciplinary forum for theoretical, empirical or methodological work at the intersection of pragmatics and historical linguistics which might include the historical and socio-cultural contexts of communication and/or sociolinguistic, discourse analytical or semantic approaches to historical texts. The proposals should be empirically-grounded and say something concrete about how language was structured and restructured in popular newspapers for commercial purposes during this period.
We plan to publish the best of the papers presented on the day in a special edition of the international, peer-reviewed journal Historical Pragmatics.
Please send your proposals or any questions you may have by the 1 September 2011 to the Research Assistant for the project Clare Burke:
Professor Martin Conboy, University of Sheffield and Professor Andreas H. Jucker. University of Zurich
For further details of the project please visit the website for the Centre for the Study of Journalism and History at the University of Sheffield:
Details of the seminar can also be found on the University of Zurich web pages at:
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