CFP: Research Workshop on Discourse Analysis, New Materialisms and the ‘Practice Turn’ in the Social Sciences

Call for papers:
Mind the gap, please! – A research workshop on discourse analysis,
New Materialisms and the ‘practice turn’ in the social sciences
12 June 2015, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick
Keynote speaker: Claudia Aradau, King’s College London

Since the ‘linguistic turn’ in the social sciences, language and discourse analysis have held a privileged position for the critical investigation of social reality and human interaction. Lately however, this dominant position has been challenged by theoretical and methodological approaches that demand that greater attention is to be paid to non-linguistic elements.

On the one hand, the New Materialisms literature charges that a discursive bias in poststructuralism and other critical approaches is privileging written texts at the expense of an investigation of material reality: the meaning, impact and even the agency of ‘things’, objects, the natural environment, and ‘stuff’. On the other hand, political scientists, sociologists, ethnographers, anthropologists and others have initiated a ‘practice turn’, reintroducing the question of action and agency into the equation of critical research. Here, practice is connected to but distinctive from meaning-making practices and discursive formations. Both these approaches directly challenge the primacy of discourse over matter, where material reality and physical action cannot exist independently from the politics of representation and contextualisation. This workshop now wants to invite researchers from any career stage and across the social sciences to discuss the theoretical and methodological implications of practice and materiality for their work on discourse and discourse analysis. Some of the questions the workshop aims to address are:

· How can the divide between discourse and materiality be bridged theoretically and methodologically?
· Can we analytically separate discursive from non-discursive practices?
· How can a post-positivist conceptualisation of materiality be formulated?
· Have discursive approaches and critical research designs paid too little attention to the material dimension of social reality?

We welcome both theoretical discussions and papers seeking to provide methodological solutions to bridge the discourse/materiality/practices gap.

If you wish to participate in the workshop, please send an abstract of your intended presentation
(200 word limit) with your contact information and university affiliation to: or

Deadline for submission: 24 May 2015.​

Dr. Georg Löfflmann
Early Career Fellow
Institute of Advanced Studies
University of Warwick

Article accepted for publication with Geopolitics (5-year impact factor: 1.066):
“Leading from Behind – American Exceptionalism and President Obama’s post-American Vision of Hegemony.”

Most recent publication:
“Hollywood, the Pentagon, and the cinematic production of national security”
Critical Studies on Security Vol. 1, no. 3 (2013): pp. 280-295.​