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GCSC KNL | Prof. Johannes Angermüller (The Open University, UK): "Truth as a Discursive Positioning Game? Hypervisible Subjects in Political and Academic Discourse"

Part of GCSC (Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture) Keynote Lecture Series


Jan 31, 2023 from 06:00 to 08:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)



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Struggles over truth and post-truth are at the heart and centre of contemporary political discourse. How do we as discourse analysts position ourselves vis-à-vis the truth and post-truth of discourse? I will take my point of departure from the Strong Programme in Discourse Studies, which makes the case for epistemological symmetry between truths and post-truths: if post-truths (of others) can be accounted for in discursive terms, then we should also be able to explain our (scientific) truths in the same way. Against this philosophical background, I will suggest an analysis of political and scientific discourses that both are organised around few but hypervisible subject positions. If both truth and post-truth discourses are a product of the monopolization of visibility in discourse, how can we account for the many discourse participants who remain invisible and unheard? And more importantly, if truths are discursively constructed just as post-truths, how can we keep criticising post-truths in the name of truth? In this talk, I will invite you to take a resolutely discursive perspective on the ongoing controversies around populism without giving in to the populist idea that truth and post-truth are all “nothing but discursive constructions”. 


// Prof. Johannes Angermüller (The Open University, UK) From 2009 to 2012, he taught as a Professor (W1) of the Sociology of Higher Education at Mainz University (Germany). In 2012, he was appointed Research Professor of Discourse at the Centre for Applied Linguistics at Warwick (Coventry, UK). He has been Professor of Discourse, Languages and Applied Linguistiscs at Open University (Milton Keynes, UK) since 2019. With a background in linguistics and sociology, he is known for work in Discourse Studies and poststructuralism. While his research interests centre on the social effects of language in use, notably the discursive construction of social order, he has studied academic, educational as well as political discourses.


To join the Keynote Lecture online, please refer to the GGK/GCSC KNL Announcement (sent per e-mail to the newsletter subscribers) or contact Dr. Jens Kugele. (The meeting is accessible shortly before 18:00.)