Fernlesen mit Foucault? Überlegungen zur Praxis des distant reading und zur Operationalisierung von Foucaults Diskursanalyse
Our paper offers a critical examination of the concept and practice of Distant Reading, as coined by Franco Moretti in 2000. We consider several definitions of the term and look for possible operationalizations. It becomes clear that Distant Reading has largely been a theoretical vehicle or mere buzzword in the past one and a half decades that adapts only slowly to the practices and technological standards of the Digital Humanities. In the light of these findings, we conclude with an examination of the operational potential of Foucauldian discourse analysis.
This article addresses a subject that can in the broadest sense be stated as interplay of language and ideology in process of instantiating historical knowledge in texts of political significance. It is presumed that historical representations are not static; they are flexible and more than prone to distortion when values come into play. A clash of different political perspectives is a clash of different historical descriptions. And in this clash a power-wielding social agent has the power to reinterpret the history that will fit their political narrative with other interpretations outlawed and rendered unhistorical. The aim is to discuss how history is recontextualized in national political discourse in the framework of biased representation of historical f acts and to see how national historical discourse is reinstantiated vis-а-vis a newly acquired national identity. The evidence for this contention is provided through linguistic analysis of a chunk of texts produced by those claiming to be professional historians. An example of such discourse would be texts by Ukrainian historians writing on Great Patriotic War/World War II. Second, texts of public figures, state leaders among them, instantiating post-Soviet geopolitical situation in the Caucasus, in particular, tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh were looked into. Linguistic analysis is neither meant to substitute historical analysis, nor claims that all historical permutations are of discursive nature solely. Instead, we see the role of discourse analysis in placing a broader question: To what extent that which has really happened is displaced by its recontextualization in discourse, i.e. by its description?
This book addresses a subject that can in the broadest sense be stated as interplay of language and ideology in process of instantiating historical knowledge in texts of political significance. The aim of the present volume is to discuss how history is recontextualized in national political discourse in the framework of two basic strategies of in-group and out-group categorization and biased representation of historical facts. It is contended that such recontextualization leads to what can be described as blending of national political discourse with a nationalistic one.
The evidence for the above contention is provided through linguistic analysis of three chunks of texts.
First, American presidential rhetoric spanning the last 50 years of history was analyzed. This part of the analysis suggests that a productive way to analyze the ‘enemy construction’ strategy seen as one of the key strategies of the discourse of the New World Order is to analyze it in a broader historic perspective, viz. as taking over the same principles, which defined the discourse of the Cold War. The ‘enemy construction’ strategy in both discourses is analyzed as resting on logic of binarism of the classical Us and Them opposition. Thus, it is contended that textual actualization of the ‘enemy’ is the projection of the basic category of the ‘other’ which is perpetuated in the political discourse and gets lexicalized differently depending on the text’s instantiating a particular order of discourse and the ideology informing it.
Second, a chunk of texts produced by those claiming to be professional historians has been addressed to see how national historical discourse is reinstantiated vis-à-vis a newly acquired national identity. An example of such discourse would be texts by Ukrainian historians writing on Great Patriotic War/World War II.
Third, texts of public figures, state leaders among them, instantiating post-Soviet geopolitical situation in the Caucasus, in particular, tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh were looked into. The tension aggravated with unresolved conflicts, involvement of both Russia and the USA, results in this material being a valuable source for pinpointing linguistic patterns of historical and political discourse in general and patterns indicative of national historical discourse transforming into nationalistic discourse, in particular.
Discourse analysis is neither meant to substitute historical analysis, nor claims that all historical permutations are of discursive nature solely. Instead, we see the role of discourse analysis in placing a broader question: To what extent that which has really happened is displaced by its recontextualization in discourse, i.e. by its description? Since any conflict is always closely tied with conflicting values the question can be restated as: To what extent in such historical accounts accurate rendition is displaced with evaluation and appraisal? What comes first: the unresolved issues themselves or discursive practice perpetuating those issues? In other words, is it the conflict itself or the conflict of conflicting textual descriptions?
One way or the other, historical representations are not static; they are flexible and more than prone to distortion when values come into play. Reinventing the history to mesh with a new national identity is number one example. A clash of different political perspectives is a clash of different historical descriptions. And in this clash a power-wielding social agent has the power to reinterpret the history that will fit their political narrative with other interpretations outlawed and rendered unhistorical.
In the meantime, the true power of history as a field of study and an academic discipline should be seen in presenting multiple interpretations of phenomena in question with these interpretations being mutually complementary rather than mutually exclusive. In which lies the real power and the mission of all the humanities.
This book brings together academics and practitioners from a range of disciplines from more than twenty countries to reflect on the growing importance of transparency, power and control in our international community and how these concerns and ideas have been examined, used and interpreted in a range of national and international contexts. Contributors explore these issues from a range of overlapping concerns and perspectives, such as semiotic, sociolinguistic, psychological, philosophical, and visual in diverse socio-political, administrative, institutional, as well as legal contexts.
The collection examines the ways in which 'actors' in our society - legislators, politicians, activists, and artists - have provoked public discourses to confront these issues.
The article presents discourse analysis of media texts concerning the intercultural (diplomatic) conflict on both macro- and micro- levels. The research shows that in conflict situations official spokesmen prefer to use inductive reasoning in argumentation while journalists orient towards deductive and emotional reasoning. Discourse micro-analysis reveals that the sources of intercultural conflict are historical perspectives of two parties, legal system differences, and involvement of law enforcement agents in conflict resolution.
The research applied for research abilities of critical discourse analysis for new religious movements’ analysis. A long tradition of religion research in social sciences had a lot of theoretical issues. In this paper we show how theory is used for empirical survey.
The article analyzes the frames of representation of collective identity of macro political (national) community the “constitutes” the Russian state in electoral rhetoric of Vladimir Putin. Following the patterns of representation of Us and Others in the seven articles, published during the campaign in the major newspapers, the author reveals the dynamics of the campaign. A special attention is devoted to the public reaction to the article about “national question”.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
The Incongruity Theory of Humor in its different forms states that the cause of laughter is the perception of something that violates our mental patterns and expectations. It seems particularly true of comic absurdity which is based on a deadpan violation of established norms of logic and convention. The current paper explores linguistic mechanisms that underlie the comic effects in the works of Mikhail Zoshchenko, one of the great satirists of Soviet Russia. Zoshchenko is well-known for his simplified writing style which imitates the language and mentality of “the simple people” while at the same time mocking the nascent Soviet officialdom and its demands for the popular accessibility of art. The paper considers Zoshchenko’s narrative through the prism of conventional implicatures (Grice 1961, Karttunen and Peters 1979, Horn 2004, Potts 2005, 2007), or meanings that are not directly stated in the utterances, but implied by the speaker; e.g. Even John solved the problem implies that it was it was not expected of John to solve it. In successful communication, implicit meanings form the shared background of conversational partners; violation of these shared norms may be used to create comical effect. One of the most conventionalized societal norms and one Zoshchenko most frequently violates is the value of human life and, hence, solemn attitude to death. The narrator in Zoshchenko’s stories repeatedly implies otherwise, thus creating a comical portrait of the mentality of Homo Soveticus. Consider a quote from “The story about a greedy dairy woman”: “So, her husband died. At first she probably took it lightly. - A-a, she thought – no big deal… But then she realized – yes, this is a big deal!... Eligible bachelors are not running around in bunches. And then, of course, she started grieving” (shift in emphasis; the cause for grief is not the husband’s death but its inconvenience for the surviving wife). The story “A restless old man” (about an old man who lives in a communal flat and falls into lethargic stupor taken by his family and neighbors for death and then after waking up really dies) is based on violating the same conventional implicature. Throughout the story the narrator implicitly creates the image of death as an inconvenient occurrence and of a deceased person as an unwanted piece of waste. The harshly comic effect is achieved by implicatures about the shallow emotional impact of death (“And then of course there is aggravation: because the room is small and here is a superfluous element”, “If my husband, this surviving idiot, ordered the hearse right away, then the wait for it would have only been three days”; “The summoned doctor reassured everybody that now the old man is bona fide dead”); by violation of semantic compatibility rules whereby the seemingly dead old man is alternately referred to as an animate being (“The dead man is lying and demanding the last tribute to be paid to him”, “The babysitter is afraid to be in the room where a dead person is living”) or inanimate object (“There is so little space that there is even nowhere to pile up the old man”; “I am going to pile him up in the hall, let him wait for the hearse there”).
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.