Monday, November 24, 2014

Plenary Session at JOCAED 2015 (San José, Costa Rica) in April

Update March 6, 2015: due to unforeseen circumstances, Reiner Keller's Plenary Session at JOCAED 2015 has been cancelled.

Plenary Session by Reiner Keller on 
Discourse, power/knowledge and language: How discourse matters
at the

"Societies, politics and discourses”

Universidad de Costa Rica, April 8-10, 2015
From the JOCAED Blog:
From different disciplines and theoretical perspectives, it has been affirmed that the relevance of socialization and, particularly, of the communicative interactions in the formation of subjects and society, and the construction of senses about reality. In this context, the concept of discourse becomes fundamental with its different meanings, given that this is the notion than can encompass those communicative interactions, the construction of common (or social) knowledge, and people’s actions. Independently of the meaning of “discourse” that is used, it is agreed that communicative interactions must be studied considering their semiosis (language, tongue, text, discourse), their sense (meaning), and their context (in the broad sense). Despite the fact that this is a webbed complex of interrelated elements, discourse studies have had a boom in the last twenty years around the world and, particularly, in Latin America. 
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Actualización (06 de marzo 2015): Debido a circunstancias imprevistas, la conferencia plenaria de Reiner Keller ha sido cancelado.

Conferencia plenaria de Reiner Keller: 
Discourse, power/knowledge and language: How discourse matters
(Discurso, poder/saber, y lengua - discurso: ¿por qué es importante?)
 a las

“Sociedades, política y discursos”

Universidad de Costa Rica, 8-10 de abril de 2015
Desde distintas disciplinas y perspectivas teóricas se ha afirmado la relevancia de la socialización y, particularmente, de las interacciones comunicativas en la formación de los sujetos (ciudadanos) y de la sociedad y en la construcción de sentidos sobre la realidad. En este contexto, se vuelve fundamental el concepto discurso con sus diferentes acepciones, por cuanto es la noción que puede abarcar esas interacciones comunicativas, la construcción del conocimiento compartido (o social) y las actuaciones de las personas. Independientemente de la acepción que se utiliza de “discurso”, hay acuerdo en que se deben estudiar las interacciones comunicativas considerando su semiosis (lenguaje, lengua, texto, discurso), su sentido (significado) y su contexto (en el amplio sentido). A pesar de este complejo entramado de elementos interrelacionados, los estudios del discurso han tenido un auge en los últimos veinte años en el mundo y, particularmente, en Latinoamérica.

Friday, October 3, 2014

SKAD Workshop at ICQI 11

Workshop on SKAD at the

Eleventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, May 20-23, 2015,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.A.)

Reiner Keller
Workshop Title: Doing Discourse Research

Discourse Studies today cover a large field across the social sciences, ranging from work inspired by Foucault, Critical Discourse Analysis through Hegemonics Analysis, Corpus Lingustics and more interpretive approaches. The present workshop on “Doing Discourse Research” will introduce participants to the main positions in the heterogeneous field of discourse research (including Foucauldian perspectives, CDA, Hegemonics and the Sociology of Knowledge approach to discourse SKAD). As there is no one best way to discourse research, each of the positions mentioned allows for dealing with particular questions in critical inquiry into discourses. The first part of the workshop therefore discusses the relationship between theoretical groundings, analytical potential and methods of doing discourse research in these diverse approaches. Second, the workshop will present in more detailed ways the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse developed by Reiner Keller. SKAD draws on Berger & Luckmann’s sociology of knowledge, but includes major Foucauldian concepts and research interests. Integrating both re-orientates discourse research towards questions of social relationships of knowledge and politics of knowledge, referring in its concrete ‘ways of doing’ to qualitative research design and interpretative analytics.
Part 1: The arena of discourse studies
• Discourse Research – which approach, what for?
• How to find good questions?
• The analytical process: Deconstruction, reconstruction or co-construction?
• Multiple ways of doing and multiple outcomes
Part 2: How to do it: The example of SKAD
• Looking for discourses and ‘dispositifs’: Texts and beyond
• Strategies for analyzing data
• Getting Lost/Getting Found: From analysis to story telling.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Call for Submissions - Augsburg Conference on Discourse Research, March 2015

The Discursive Construction of Reality II

Interdisciplinary perspectives on a sociology of knowledge approach to discourse research

Location: University of Augsburg, Germany
Date: March 26, 2015 (begins 2:00 p.m) – March 27, 2015 (ends 5:00 p.m.)
Conference organizers: Reiner Keller, Sasa Bosancic


Over the last decade, the research programme outlined by the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD) has spread to many disciplines in social science. A common interest in discourse research has resulted in a widely distributed community that prevalently, but not exclusively, uses qualitative research designs to examine forms of 'discursive construction of reality'. Corresponding studies may be found in sociology, but also in neighbouring disciplines such as political science, historical science, educational science, theology, linguistics, and criminology, among many others. This approach to discourse research combines social constructionist and interpretive-pragmatic schools of thought with the theoretical concepts and lines of investigation of discourse in the tradition of Michel Foucault, with the intention of analysing knowledge relations and policies in society. Bearing these core tenets in mind, the original approach has nonetheless been successfully amended, expanded, and occasionally modified to meet the demands of different fields of study and forms of data.
Following the first Augsburg conference on interpretive / sociology of knowledge (SK) discourse research with over 150 participants and 40 contributions from different disciplines in March of 2013, the upcoming conference would like to continue in the spirit of an interdisciplinary discussion about the foundations and applications of SKAD and SK-inspired discourse research, as well as related perspectives.

Areas of focus for contributions may include:

  • theoretical-methodological explication of the research programme and methodology of SKAD, including the question of how SKAD fits into the current landscape of discourse research or into the specific discussions within the scope of individual disciplines
  • concrete methods and ‘modus operandi’ in empirical research contexts, focusing less on the respective object of research but instead on analytical procedures involved in these studies. Especially when going beyond the ‘classic’ text-based or qualitative approaches (including audiovisual, ethnographic, or interview material // quantitative applications), how do we proceed, in practice, when researching discourse?
  • the ‘power effects’ of discourses, specifically the relationship between discourses and practices or between discourses and subjects/biographies/identities
  • presentation of active or completed empirical discourse and dispositive studies that include a substantial reference to SKAD. A number of different disciplinary perspectives are possible and welcomed. These contributions should show what role SKAD plays in these studies, and how their results are relevant for the ongoing discussion on SKAD.

Please send your submissions to Sasa Bosancic ( in the form of an abstract (max. 2,500 characters).

Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Upcoming workshops: Berlin Congress of Qualitative Methods, Swiss Festival of Qualitative Methods

 Friday, July 18th - Saturday, July 19th, 2014:

10th Annual Berlin Congress of Qualitative Methods 


Workshop on SKAD with Reiner Keller (Friday, 2:15pm)

Friday, September 12th - Saturday, September 13th, 2014:

III. Swiss Festival of Qualitative Methods in Basel 

(programme and info - proposals are still being accepted until June 15th)

Workshop on SKAD with Reiner Keller (Friday, 3:00pm)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SKAD and Situational Analysis Workshop at the Tenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Workshop on SKAD and Situational Analysis (together with Adele Clarke) at the

Tenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, May 21-24, 2014,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U.S.)

Workshop Title: Mapping Discourses

Thursday, 8:30 - 11:30am

Situational Analysis (Sage, 2005), developed by Adele Clarke, offers powerful suggestions for moving grounded theory around the postmodern turn, drawing upon Foucault and others. One main strategy is integrating discourse analysis into GT-research. Situational Analysis proposes the use of positional maps in order to account for discourses as elements of situations, aspects often unattended to in American qualitative research. The sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD), developed by German sociologist Reiner Keller, is now available in English (Doing Discourse Research, Sage, 2012). Situated in the interpretative paradigm it draws on Berger & Luckmann’s sociology of knowledge and also includes Foucauldian concepts. SKAD’s theoretical basics, methodological reflections and methods of discourse research share common arguments with Situational Analysis while proposing tools like the analysis of interpretative schemes, classifications, structures of phenomena and others.

The session will introduce the basics of both Situational Analysis and SKAD, concentrating on concrete tools and ways of doing research and mapping discourses.

Further events with Reiner Keller from the official program:

Spotlight: The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD) I

Friday, 4:00 - 5:20 (FLB G36)

Chair: Reiner Keller

General Outline of the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse, Reiner Keller, University of Augsburg

Reading referenda – a comparative discourse analysis of the three failed referenda on the EU Constitutional or Lisbon Treaty in France, the Netherlands and Ireland,
Wolf Schünemann, Institute for Political Science, Heidelberg University
Classification as ‘Practice’ in Public Health Discourses on Infectious Diseases and Migrants: A Sociology of Knowledge Approach,
Hella Von Unger, Munich University (LMU), Institute for Sociology, Germany, Penelope Scott, Munich University (LMU), Institute for Sociology, Germany, and Dennis Odukkoya, Munich University (LMU), Institute for Sociology, Germany
Newspaper’s Production of Latin American Identity: A Discursive Analysis in Three Waves of Immigration in Quebec (1973-2011), 
Guadalupe Escalante-Rengifo, Laval University

Spotlight: The Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD) II

Saturday, 8:00 - 9:20 (FLB G36)

Chair: Reiner Keller

Between Policies and the Unintended Consequences – the Role of the Governing and the Governed Communist Officials in China
Shaoying Zhang, University of Southampton
The discursive construction of emissions trading in documents,
Arno Simons,Technical University Berlin, Germany
The Hegemony of Higher Education Cooperation in ASEAN: Building Towards Integration or Manufacturing Consent,
Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Bonn University

Augsburg Spring School on SKAD and 'neighbouring' perspectives on discourse research

Augsburg Spring School 2014

March 25th - 27th 2014 at the University of Augsburg

Three-day workshop on SKAD and 'neighbouring' perspectives on discourse research - choosing the right methods for the right research contexts.

Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller (Universität Augsburg): SKAD

Prof. Dr. Werner Schneider (Universität Augsburg): dispositive analysis

Dr. Willy Viehöver (Universität Augsburg): narrative discourse analysis