CfP – 11th International Conference on Organizational Discourse

Call for Papers

11th International Conference on Organizational Discourse

“Terra Firma, Terra Nova, Terra Incognita”

Cardiff Business School 9th–11th July, 2014

The call centres on the metaphor of ‘terra’ – the various grounds social scientists stand on to articulate their social constructions. And we invite contributors to use this metaphor to explore the established, the new and the unknown in organizational discourse analysis. Terra Firma draws attention to well-trodden terrain: the dominant, the safe, the familiar and the reassuring. Organizational discourse analysis has firmly established itself in the past two decades as a topic of interest, an analytical perspective informing a variety of theoretical approaches, and a methodology for organizational research. Through Terra Firma, while we welcome papers that engage with these core debates and theories, in this 11th conference we also wish to attract papers that reflect more critically on the contribution that organizational discourse analysis can offer. We call for greater scrutiny of the dominant and the institutionalised in our theoretical approaches and in the worlds which we research and inhabit. We welcome papers that question what might be viewed now as the solid ground of orthodox and established discursive approaches in organization studies. Equally, we encourage papers that call into question the firm ground of hegemonic or deep-seated discourses, to explore the processes whereby certain meanings and forms of representation become institutionalised. Terra Nova casts our attention to issues of novelty and emergence. We call for papers, firstly, that consider new empirical sites, new issues, new theoretical approaches, and new methodologies for the discursive analysis of organizations. Additionally, through the theme of Terra Nova, we encourage papers that scrutinize and question the discourse of ‘newness’ and its relationship with aspects of social, organizational or discursive change. Such papers could focus on either contemporary or historical examples of apparent discursive novelty. In doing so, we emphasise the power effects of discourses to question how particular worlds are made possible through the invoking of certain discourses. Terra Incognita traditionally marks the part of a map left empty, denoting the undocumented or the unchartered, and in popular myth depicted by the expression “here be dragons”. We use the term to draw attention to the hidden, marginalised, excluded bodies, silent voices and submerged meanings, or the ways in which organizations operate to maintain the obscurity of certain meanings and identities. We also point to more unorthodox, risky, possibly iconoclastic approaches and understandings of social phenomena. Through Terra Incognita we invite consideration of issues and ways of understanding that move beyond the conventional in discourse analysis, drawing perhaps on critical praxis, new forms of intervention, and more effective ways of linking academia to different communities. Finally, we draw attention here to the recursive and interconnected nature of meaning and to how one person’s incognita may be another person’s terra firma. Prospective contributors interested in presenting a paper should send an abstract of approx. 1,000 words by 10th January 2014.

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