Department of Informatics and Media

Discourse Studies and Method

Table of contents:

About the course

Course title: Discourse Studies and Method: Using Discourse-Theoretical Analysis and Discursive-Material Analysis
Course coordinator and leader: Professor Nico Carpentier
Course credits: 5 credits.
Course timing: The course will be organised for a first time on 5 February - 9 February 2018. It will run for a second time on 5 March - 9 March 2018.
Course location: Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Course background and purpose

The course aims to discuss two methods in the field of discourse studies: Discourse-theoretical analysis (DTA) and Discursive-material analysis (DMA). Both are grounded in so-called high theory, with discourse theory as its main starting point, but with elements of actor network theory and new materialism. This course will start with an introduction to these theoretical models, but will then move on to their analytical deployment in communication and media studies research.

Special attention will be spent on the creation of a theory-grounded analytical model to guide the research. Apart from attending lectures, participants will be expected to participate in both theoretical and research-driven workshops.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:

  • have a deeper understanding of the field of discourse studies, and in particular of its discourse-theoretical component
  • have a deeper understanding of the theoretical relationship between the discursive and the material -know how to translate discourse-theoretical models into analytical practice, through the use of the notion of the sensitizing concept (applied to discourse theory, and to discourse-theoretical rereading of other theories) -be able to set up an analytical model for a discourse-theoretical analysis and a discursive-material analysis

Teaching and evaluation

The one-week course will be organised in 10 teaching slots, combining lectures and workshops. These workshops are partially theoretical (presenting an article or chapter), and partially research-driven (presenting an analytical model).

The grade Pass or Fail is given after 1) attendance of minimally 8 meetings, 2) a working group theoretical presentation, 3) an individual case study presentation.

Available participant slots and costs

A total number of 20 participant slots are available. 40% of these are earmarked for Uppsala University PhD researchers. Participation is free of charge, but participants are required to pay themselves for their travel and accommodation costs, and all other expenses.


The registration for Discourse Studies and Method PhD course opened on 9 October 2017 and has been closed on 3 November 2017, as the maximum number of participants has been reached.

Contact information

Course readings

Main reading:

Carpentier, Nico (2017) The Discursive-Material Knot: Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation. New York: Peter Lang.

Secondary readings:

Butler, Judith (1993) Bodies that matter. On the discursive limits of 'sex'. New York, London: Routledge.

Dolphijn, Rick, van der Tuin, Iris (2012) New materialism: Interviews and cartographies. Ann Arbor: Open humanities press.

Glynos, Jason, Howarth, David (2007) Logics of critical explanation in social and political theory. London and New York: Routledge.

Howarth, David (2000) Discourse. Buckingham, Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Howarth, David (2012) "Hegemony, political subjectivity, and radical democracy", in Simon Critchley and Oliver Marchart (eds.) Laclau: A critical reader. London: Routledge, pp. 256-276.

Howarth, David, Stavrakakis, Yannis (2000) “Introducing discourse theory and political analysis”, in David Howarth, Aletta J. Norval and Yannis Stavrakakis (eds.) Discourse theory and political analysis. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 1-23.

Laclau, Ernesto, Chantal Mouffe (1985) Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London: Verso.

Latour, Bruno (2005) Reassembling the social. An introduction to Actor-network-theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mouffe, Chantal (2005) On the Political. London: Routledge.

Philips, Louise, Jørgensen, Marianne W. (2002) Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method. London: Sage.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1988) "Can the subaltern speak?", in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds.) Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, pp. 271-313.

Torfing, Jacob (1999) New Theories of Discourse. Laclau, Mouffe and Žižek. Oxford: Blackwell.

Additional information