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School of Politics and International Relations

TheoryLab Workshop: Discourse Theory and the ‘Essex School’ Research

28 April 2016

Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Venue: University of London Institute in Paris (Conference Room), 9-11 rue de Constantine 75340 Paris, France

The University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP) and the School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are pleased to announce a new joint one-day research workshop for research students and early career researchers. The workshop examines the discourse theory of the ‘Essex School’ as a method for political analysis. The Discourse Theory and ‘Essex School’ Research Workshop will be led by Dr Lasse Thomassen (Queen Mary University of London).

The workshop consists of three two-hour sessions:

The first session goes back to Hegemony and Socialist Strategy in order to examine the key concepts of discourse, hegemony and antagonism.

The second session introduces the notion of empty signifier and Laclau and Mouffe’s approach to populism.

The final session starts from the concept of representation and locates discourse theory and radical democracy in debates about democracy. Each session will contain reflection on the key concepts as well as their application to political phenomena.

At the end of the workshop, the participants will have knowledge of the philosophical assumptions behind discourse theory, the implications of discourse theory for questions surrounding the use of methods in the humanities and social sciences, the politics of discourse theory and hegemony, and the use of discourse theory for concrete political analysis.

Some knowledge of discourse theory and post-structuralism will be assumed, and participants should be familiar with debates within contemporary political and social theory. An interest in theoretical questions and discussions will also be assumed. Participants are asked to do the set readings in advance of the workshop. A list of additional readings will be made available upon registration. A registration fee of 20E unwaged/30E waged is being charged for this event.

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