WORKING WITH LARGE CORPORA AND USING SOFTWARE IN DISCOURSE ANALYSIS AND CONCEPTUAL HISTORY
PhD course held at Södertörn University College, Stockholm, Sweden, Spring 2014, 7,5 ECT
February 3-5, 2014 + May 22-23, 2014
The course is free of charge
OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE
- To help PhD students develop methodological skills in discourse analysis (DA) and Conceptual History (CH).
- To help PhD students develop skills in searching texts and constructing corpora for DA, CH and related approaches.
- To help PhD students develop basic skills in using certain software packages for qualitative data analysis (QDA or CAQDAS programs) as a means for making analysis more systematic.
- To help PhD students develop a critical awareness concerning the benefits and limits of using software in DA, CH and related approaches.
- To help PhD students choose analytical tools for their research.
- To help PhD students go from research questions to meaningful studies of texts in their substantive contexts.
This course concerns how analysis within the frames of DA, CH and related approaches can be made more robust through the use of planned strategies for searching texts, for constructing corpora and by using software such as NVivo or WordSmith. It also focusses on the limits of software in these kinds of analysis. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and conceptual history (CH) will be the main approaches focused on but participants could work with others. CDA, as developed by linguists like Norman Fairclough and Ruth Wodak, is a methodologically broad approach that offers various ways of analyzing texts – by studying wording, syntax, argumentative structure, propositions, presuppositions, concepts, metaphors etc. – within a discourse analytical framework. Discourse is understood as linguistic practice that is shaped by but also shapes other social practices. Software tools like WordSmith are often used by analysts inspired by CDA. Conceptual history developed in the late sixties from a fruitful encounter between hermeneutic philosophy, linguistics and intellectual history. Among the founding figures are the German historian Reinhart Koselleck and the British intellectual historian Quentin Skinner. In conceptual history the development of concepts over time is studied as an important part of the development of ideas, culture and politics. ‘Digital Conceptual History’ represents a new phase in the development of conceptual history.
This course is first and foremost meant for PhD students who have come some way in formulating their research problem and research questions; who have already decided that they want to work with DA, conceptual history or other related approaches in their dissertations and who have at least basic knowledge about these approaches. Participants should be (somewhat) familiar with CDA or other forms of DA, such as discourse theory (as developed by Chantal Mouffe, Ernesto Laclau and their followers), discourse psychology (as developed by Margaret Wetherell and Jonathan Potter), DA more directly inspired by Michel Foucault, conceptual history or some other approach that involves the systematic study of texts. Some experience with software will be an advantage, although is not a pre-requisite. The number of participants will be limited to 16.
FORMAT OF THE COURSE
The course comprises two parts. Both include lectures by the teaching staff and practical workshops. During the workshops the focus is on participants’ own research. Analytic techniques are discussed and illustrated in detail and participants will have the opportunity to try out techniques with the support of teaching staff. Participants will be required to present work-in-progress.
Course requirements include:
1. Attendance at lectures and workshops.
2. The preparation of a paper on the possible usage of CAQDAS to work with the participant’s own dissertation research questions to be submitted before the February part of the course.
3. The preparation of a revised paper to be submitted before the May part of the course.
4. Active discussion of other participants’ papers in the workshops.
5. Working with one or two methodological assignments between the February and the May part and presenting the assignments at the May part.
Please register by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden
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