Proposal Deadline: September 30, 2023
Background: The rise of radical violence-endorsing populist discourses continue to define the global geopolitical and cultural landscape, with grave consequences for our ability to resolve contemporary local, regional, and global concerns associated with an era of rapid social change. Extreme discourses are driven in part by opposing interests, unequal benefits, and systemic turmoil associated with internal and external pressures of globalization, shifting identities, and instantaneous transmission of information. Rapid global change has created, in many ways, a more fragile, shrinking, fractious, and yet increasingly interdependent world. Global television networks, high speed news and data transmission, and a plethora of evolving social media platforms transmit discourses, perspectives, and ideologies in an instant, dissolving national identities and traditional boundaries. Contesting discourses compete for traction, with discourses of xenophobia, hate, and regressive cultural identity-building accompanied by racially, religiously, and ethnically-motivated violent actions. Words have power in forming ideological extremes, which in turn beget action. Violent ideologies beget violence. All of this foreshadowed, created, and enabled through extreme populist discourses competing for power and arrayed against perceived and genuine threats. This collection addresses the tensions, contradictions, and ideological constructions that shape violence-priming and endorsing discourses to enable war and other violent conflicts. Recognizing that the aim of extremist discourses is to dehumanize marginalized groups and to consolidate power, there is an urgent need to identify the process of weaponizing language throughout a wide range of conflicts and contexts in recent years.
Book Description: Weaponizing Language: Discourse and the Construction of Violence is a collection of compelling and contemporary interdisciplinary scholarship investigating how language is weaponized to construct violence-priming and endorsing discourses that enable terrorism, war, and other forms of conflict. Among these discourses are those rooted in anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, white nationalism, aboriginal derision, religious and ideological extremism, sexism, and war between nation-states. Recognizing that the aim of these discourses is to dehumanize groups and to consolidate power, there is an urgent need to identify the process of weaponizing language throughout a wide range of conflicts and contexts in recent years, as well as strategies for combating and resisting these violent discourses. This collection examines this phenomenon from a global perspective, through case studies of conflicts that cross geographical, ideological, and geopolitical contexts.
We seek contributions investigating the role of discourse in fields such as communication and rhetoric, sociology, critical and cultural studies, political science, journalism and media studies, peace and conflict studies, and linguistics. We welcome multiple and mixed methodologies from a variety of relevant academic and professional fields.
Examples of key questions to be explored include:
– What are some of the ideological and intellectual roots of contemporary violent discourses?
– How are discourses used to marginalize and dehumanize based on gender, ethnicity, race, culture, and religion?
– In what ways are the discursive tactics of dehumanization used to promote contemporary nation-state wars?
– What are the discursive tactics used to condone and promote violent occupation?
– How is language used to lay the groundwork for, foment, and sustain conflict?
– How is language used to undermine and resist extremist discourses?
– What are some of the ways linguistics are modified and/or promoted to define identity and create division?
Proposal Submission Process: Please send a 250-word abstract describing the focus and content of the proposed contribution, with “Weaponizing Language” in the subject header, addressed to Dr. Christian Vukasovich and Dr. Ramune Braziunaite to firstname.lastname@example.org
by September 30, 2023.
Proposals will undergo a review process, and a selection will be shortlisted for development into full-length manuscripts.
Prospective authors are encouraged to contact Dr. Vukasovich and Dr. Braziunaite with “Weaponizing Language” in the subject header, with any enquiries.