The Paradox of Genres in Discourse 2020

- This workshop is organized online -

8 - 12 June 2020

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

If you are registered for this workshop, you have received login details by email.

Discourse genres are important in our everyday life. Being able to function in society requires having a sufficiently large repertoire of genres at your disposal: one should know how to perform in a job interview, how to fill out a tax form, how to read news or governmental information. In an era in which new technologies are introduced at great speed, new genres develop on the fly. This makes genre studies an interesting and dynamic field. Interestingly, however, our scientific knowledge about genre is limited. A first cause is the fact that research on genre faces a number of empirical problems, one crucial issue being that assumed conventional genre models are not always unambiguously reflected in ‘real life’ genre texts and events. Texts assumedly belonging to a given genre may vary with respect to the language that is used, the context in which it is used, and the goals that one wants to achieve. Our lack of understanding seems to be additionally caused by the fact that genre is a complex and multifaceted concept, comprising linguistic, pragmatic, and content-related knowledge with psychological, social and communicative aspects. The concept of genre thus crosses traditional theoretical and disciplinary borders. So far, genres have typically been studied from various mono-disciplinary perspectives, preventing science to formulate a comprehensive model of genre. This workshop brings together researchers from different disciplines in social sciences and humanities to further our understanding of the notion of genre, to explore the nature of and limits to variation in genres, to explore the possibilities of state-of-the-art methodologies that can help us understand genre variation and its limits, to discuss how genre knowledge is crucial in educational contexts and in journalism, and to lay the bricks for at least one potentially successful grant application.


    Monday 8 June

    Theme: Describing stability and variation in genres

    Goals: we get to know each other; we identify the scope of the problem on the basis of input from two key participants; we make an inventory of the parameters of stability and variation


    10:0010:15 Opening by the Lorentz Center
    10:1511:00 Introduction of participants, definition of workshop goals, our tasks for today
    11:0011:45 Orientation talk 1: genre challenges for descriptive methods
    11:4512:15 Coffee break
    12:1513:00 Orientation talk 2: genre challenges in multimodal discourse
    13:0014:30 Lunch
    14:3015:45 Break-out sessions
    16:1517:15 Report-back, summary, develop goal scheme, interim conclusions
    17:1518:30 Wine and cheese party

    Tuesday 9 June

    Theme: Applications of genre in professional contexts

    Goals: we have clear insights into the way genre insights can be used in journalism and education; we have clear insights into the way professional practices advance our understanding of the paradox of stability and variation


    09:0009:15 Where did we leave off yesterday? Our tasks for today
    09:1510:00 Orientation talk 3: genres in journalism
    10:0010:45 Orientation talk 4: genres in education
    10:4511:15 Coffee break
    11:1512:30 Break-out session 3
    12:3014:30 Lunch
    14:3015:45 Break-out session 4
    15:4516:15 Coffee break
    16:1517:15 Report-back, summary, develop goal scheme, interim conclusions

    Wednesday 10 June

    Theme: Development of genre over time

    Goals: we understand factors that incite genre emergence and genre changes over time; we have included the future generation of Dutch genre scholars in our network

    09:0009:15 Where did we leave off yesterday? Our tasks for today
    09:1510:00 Orientation talk 5: Development of genres over time
    10:0010:45 Break-out session 5
    10:4511:15 Coffee break
    11:1512:30 Report-back, summary, develop goal scheme, interim conclusions
    12:1512:30 Summary and interm conclusions
    12:3014:30 Lunch
    15:0016:30 Master classes with PhD students (round 1): PhD student meeting with researcher: short presentations by PhD students; discussion of data; comments on PhD projects.
    16:3017:00 Break-out session 5
    18:0021:00 Workshop dinner

    Thursday 11 June

    Theme: Explanations for stability and variation

    Goals: we have collected a set of promising, testable and theory inspired hypotheses on how stability and variation can be explained.

    09:0009:15 Where did we leave off yesterday? our tasks for today
    09:1510:00 Orientation talk 6: a prototype model of genre
    10:0010:45 Orientation talk 7: challenges for prototype models of genre
    10:4511:15 Coffee break
    11:1512:30 Break-out session 6
    12:3014:30 Lunch
    14:3015:45 Break-out session 7
    15:4516:15 Coffee break
    16:1517:15 Report-back, summary, develop goal scheme, interim conclusions

    Friday 12 June

    Theme: Towards a theoretical model of genre: research agenda, testable hypotheses, promising methods

    Goals: we have the building blocks for a promising EU research application; we have clear agreements about how to continue.

    09:0009:15 Where did we leave off yesterday? discuss the contents of the goal scheme developed during days 1-4, our tasks for today
    09:1510:15 Break-out session 8: components of a research agenda
    10:1510:45 Report-back, summary, develop goal scheme, interim conclusions
    10:4511:15 Coffee break
    11:1512:15 Break-out session 9: hypotheses for that research agenda
    12:1512:30 Report-back, summary, develop goal scheme, interim conclusions
    12:3014:00 Lunch
    14:0014:45 Break-out session 10: desiderata for a research application
    14:4515:30 Report back, where do we go from here? Finalize goal scheme (selection of funding schemes, distribution of tasks, planning of future activities)
    Please log in to view the participants information...

    Ninke Stukker, University of Groningen  

    John Bateman, University of Bremen  

    Danielle McNamara, Arizona State University  

    Wilbert Spooren, Radboud University Nijmegen  

Michelle Grandia Jonkers

+31 71-5275579

Follow us on: