The Paradox of Genres in Discourse 2021

- Online -

5 - 9 July 2021

Venue: Lorentz Center@Online

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

This is the rescheduled workshop of 2020


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.


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