DISCOURSE AND IDENTITY (D&I) is a Competitive Reference Research Group (GRC2015/002 GI-1924, Xunta de Galicia) located in the Department of English and German Studies at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC). Coordinated by Laura Lojo-Rodríguez, D&I is integrated into the following research networks:
English Language, Literature and Identity III (ED431D 2017/17)
Endowed with an interdisciplinary scope, D&I brings together researchers working in the fields of English Language, Literature and History-Culture. The group includes senior and junior scholars from the USC, support staff and external collaborators from other universities in Spain as well as from Simon Fraser University, University of Notre Dame, Brown University, University of Sussex, University College London or VU University Amsterdam. The research conducted by the members of the group is funded by the University of Santiago de Compostela, the Galician Regional Government (Xunta de Galicia), the Spanish Government as well as by various European entities.
Laura Lojo-Rodríguez. Coordinator.
D&I was founded in 2009 with a two-fold objective: to further interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationship between discourse and identity, and to foster high quality research through a successful partnership between Linguistics, Literature and Cultural Studies. The research conducted within the group looks into the relationship between discourse in its multiple manifestations (i.e. linguistic, literary, aesthetic, cultural, semiotic) and the configuration of gender, ethnic, class and cultural identities, taking into account the potential ideologies underlying the discourse-identity correlation. As foregrounded by such approaches as “Critical Discourse Analysis”, “Social Semiotics” or “Cognitive Grammar”, there exists an intimate relationship between:
“discourse” (< Lat dis-currere), understood as the semiotic (not simply linguistic) processes and systems that intervene in the production and interpretation of speech acts (Van Dijk 1985),
“identity” (< Lat idem-et-idem), referring both to individual and cultural identity in a given context, as well as to the synergies and antagonisms that might arise between them,
“ideology”, a concept that we interpret as a systematic body of ideas organised according to a particular viewpoint,
Due to its complexity and broad scope, the critical analysis of the interaction between discourse-identity-ideology needs to be addressed from an interdisciplinary approach, which requires – and at the same time justifies – the collaboration of the different teams working within this research group, to which we should also add the incorporation of the epistemology provided by other disciplines such as psychology, sociology or semiotics. Indeed, the group fosters connections with scholars from other areas who share an interest in the study of discourse and/or identity. Additionally, group members also work in conjunction with a number of scientific and professional societies, scholarly journals, publishing houses and institutions.
D&I has organized various activities resulting from the interdisciplinary collaboration between different research teams, the various editions of the International Workshop on Discourse Analysis (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016) and the International Conference on ‘The Discourse of Identity’ (2012, 2016) being prominent examples in this respect. Both events have successively gathered together more than 300 recognized experts in the fields of English Linguistics, Literature and History-Culture, which turns D&I into a leading research group in discourse and identity studies. In addition to the organization of conferences, workshops and seminars, the group regularly hosts speakers from universities all over the world, thus contributing to the internationalization of our work and to forging new partnerships and collaborations. Research results have also been transferred through multiple publications in world-leading publishing houses and journals. This academic work has led the D&I Research Group to receive generous funding from a variety of entities. Since its foundation in 2009, group members have participated in more than 10 research projects funded by regional, national and international entities. Currently, the group is working on 4 research projects funded under the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation, as well as on a European research project, besides receiving funding from the Galician Regional Government (Xunta de Galicia) as a Competitive Reference Research Group. The group has also proved itself to have a strong teaching and training capacity. In the period since 2009, well over 50 theses have been completed and currently there are more than 20 Ph. D. dissertations in progress.