Discourses, Social Practices and Education with Regard to Threats and Dangers in Public Life

Interdisciplinary Workshop at the Dr. Otto Bagge-Kolleg of Christian-Albrechts-University in Sehlendorf, February 19th / 20th 2016

Dr. Otto Bagge-Kolleg (Sehlendorf / Ostholstein)

A Response to Social Threats: Discourse Analysis and Educational Research

In these historic times for the global community, educators, researchers and academics of all backgrounds and disciplines must take time to critically and thoughtfully engage issues of enduring importance. On February, 19th - 20th, we asked an eclectic and cosmopolitan group of select scholars to join us for an interdisciplinary workshop at the Dr. Otto Bagge-Kolleg of Christian-Albrechts-University in Sehlendorf to discuss and engage issues relating to the theme: "Social Threats and Public Education".

This international workshop, and the discussions that resulted, evolved into a rich collaborative discourse, and a working think tank. We had participation from scholars, researchers and pedagogues from various disciplines and a host of institutions: Kiel University, Washington College, Siegen University, Hamburg University, Bremen University, Oldenburg University, Köln University, Hofstra and Teachers College Columbia. The participants brought a multitude of perspectives to this workshop, and the respective contributions served not only as a text-in-themselves, but also helped to launch a sustainable long-term collaborative research project. In addition to the workshop, this international and interdisciplinary project also involves a research colloquium at Kiel University.

Panels and Speakers

Friday, February 19th 2016
Saturday, February 20th 2016

Adress & Welcome

10.00 a.m.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hoinkes

Introducing the Workshop's Theme: Social Threats and Public Education

Panel 1

11.30 a.m.

Prof. Dr. Elmar Eggert

Two Linguistic Approaches to Social Threats: Etholinguistics and Discourse Traditions

Jan Gerwinski

Assessments in Online Discourses: An Analytical Approach to Social Threats?

Panel 2

2.00 p.m

Madlen Pockrandt

The Hispanic Challenge - Are Hispanics really Threatening the 'Traditional American' Way of Life?

Sara-Ann Simon

After Charlie Hebdo -Optimism and Hope or Resentment and Revenge? An International and Interlingual Discourse Analysis on the Basis of French and Spanish Printed Mass Media

Jordi Cassany Bates

Threats and Safeties of Language Immersion According to Catalan Media

Panel 3

4.00 p.m.

Dr. Imke Hoppe

Climate Change Communication - A Short Introduction to the Research Perspectives in Communication Studies

Prof. Dr. Rainer Zaiser

Dangerous Passions: Emotions as Social Threats in Early Modern French Literature

Lisa Paetz

HIV/AIDS in Spanish Campaigns

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Panel 4

10.00 a.m.

Anna-Kira Roggon

Youth Unemployment in Spain - an Empirical Study

Barbara Roviró

How to Maintain Spain’s Unity? Stoking Fears Instead of Providing Arguments in the Face of Separatism in Catalonia

Panel 5

11.30 a.m.

Tim Ignaffo (Teachers College/ Columbia University)

... And Public Education

Michael Schapira (Hofstra University/ New York)

The Longing for Total Revolution Revisited: Total Critique in an Age of Crisis

Holly Brewster (Washington College)

Closing Panel

2.00 p.m.

Antje Wienke

Michel Houellebecq's Novel Submission against the Backdrop of Social Threats and Public Education

Blanka Niewrzella

La crisis de Colonia o(u) la crise de Cologne - A Discourse Analysis in French and Spanish Media

Paul Mecheril and Monica van der Haagen-Wulff

Discursive Constructions of Threat Scenarios in Migration Societies

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Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hoinkes

Kiel University

Threats and dangers as a relevant world experience: How public discourses and ways of social learning fit with our anxiety culture and what can be done for its overcoming.

A position paper and intellectual stimulus, proposed for the project's launch phase. 

Antje Wienke (MEd, PhD Stud.)

Kiel University

Michel Houellebecq’s Novel Submission against the Backdrop of Social Threats and Public Education

The French author Michel Houellebecq presents in his novel Submission (2015) a socially critical vision of the future in which France adopts a moderate Islam as defining culture and identity. The novel has caused heated debates. This presentation can be considered as the point of departure for a critical scrutiny of the social threats and its effects of public education as presented in the novel.

Bàrbara Roviró (M.A.)

Bremen University

How to Maintain Spain’s Unity? Stoking Fears Instead of Providing Arguments in the Face of Separatism in Catalonia

In this brief contribution I will first give a short introduction to the separatist movement in Catalonia and then take a look at the Spanish answer spread in the mass media. The involved stakeholders from both sides participate intensively in a social discourse making – not only when arguing about the recent development of the Catalan question, but also with regard to the frightening consequences the Catalan independence is supposed to entail.

Prof. Dr. Elmar Eggert

Kiel University

Two Linguistic Approaches to Social Threats: Etholinguistics and Discourse Traditions

The presentation will introduce two linguistic approaches that aim to analyse the linguistic-communicative depiction of media report on so called social threats.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Zaiser

Kiel University

Dangerous Passions: Emotions as Social Threat in Early Modern French Literature

The purpuse of this essay is to show that the meaning of love in literature refers in most cases to social, religious, philosophical, epistemological or moral issues and that outbursts of emotional love are even able to jeopardize the maintenance of the social and ideological orders at issue. So Niklas Luhmann points out in his book on Love as Passionthat in mid-seventeenth-century treatises and fictional works love is no longer codified as a socially ritualized play whose parts had been inherited from the medieval tradition of courtly love, but as a passion, this means as a strong and irrational emotion tempted to break with social rules and moral norms. The foremost examples are The Princess of Clèves, written by Madame de Lafayette and published anonymously in 1678, and The Portuguese Letters, one of the first French epistolary novels anonymously published, too, in 1669. Both of the characters’ love could be described in terms of a passion which becomes dangerous to social and moral orders. As far as it concerns the topic of social threat, it is worth noting that strong emotions seem to have the potential to resist laws, moral codes or other behavioural conventions. This potential is grounded in the individual and what makes it dangerous is the fact that the individual is not able to master it. So the outbursts of passionate love always latently claim the abolishment of such norms, for better or for worse. 

Dr. Michael Schapira

Hofstra University

The Longing for Total Revolution Revisited: Total Critique in an Age of Crisis

The economic collapse of 2008 intensified a discourse that had been building since the early 21st century, namely that the modern university was in a state of crisis. Crisis discourse in higher education has become as ubiquitous as it is imprecise, focusing on issues as desperate as curricular reform, student debt, the obsolescence of tenure, and the corporatization of university management. In this presentation, the author takes a historical perspective to show that this current talk of the “university in crisis” is not unique. He discusses two prior iterations of crisis – the global student protests of 1968 and debates within German universities in the early 20th century – to highlight the background conditions which lead to the crisis designation, and then links this with a 19th century tradition of social critique which Bernard Yack has called “the longing for total revolution.” He concludes by suggesting that our talk of the “university in crisis” could benefit from revisiting this history to clarify how critics and defenders alike imagine the purpose and function of the 21st century university, especially in how they envision its relation to both the state and the economy.

Timothy Ignaffo (PhD)

Teachers College/Columbia University

Jordi Cassany Bates (M.A.)

Kiel University

Dr. Holly Brewster

Washington University

  Certainty and Risk in Democratic Mathematics Education

Anna-Kira Roggon (MEd)

Kiel University

Youth Unemployment in Spain - An Empirical Study

Dr. Imke Hoppe

Hamburg University

Climate Change Communication – A Short Introduction to the Research Perspectives in Communication Studies

Climate science is an abstract field. Often the results are too complex to be applied to one particular situation. For example, climate scientists do not know whether or not it will be raining in a certain place at a certain time in the future. The reason is that climate, in contrast to the weather forecast, focuses on statistical values. These are monitored for at least 30 years as cannot be felt with one’s own sense. 

In addition, the findings about climate are often temporary and uncertain. At the same time, climate change not only has great relevance for society, but is also ever-present in the media. 

In the last few years, news coverage of the topic has expanded all over the world. At the point where media and the public converge, the abstract findings of climate science are being simplified and pointed - knowledge about climate change is “socially constructed”.

Dr. Jan Gerwinski

Siegen University

Assessments in Online Discourses: An Analytical Approach to Social Threats?

I want to find out what we can learn about actual social threats by analysing assessments in special online discourses with the help of discourse and conversation analysis.

Madlen Pockrandt (MEd)

Kiel University

The Hispanic Challenge - Are Hispanics really threatening the “Traditional American” Way of Life?

The presentation will discuss the issue of Hispanics in the United States, who are often regarded or rather presented as posing a threat to U.S. society. As a basis, Samuel P. Huntington’s article “The Hispanic Challenge” from 2004 will be used, supplemented with data from the Pew Research Center from 2013.

Lisa Paetz (M.A.)

Kiel University

HIV/AIDS in Spanish Campaigns

Sara-Ann Simon (MEd)

Kiel University

After Charlie Hebdo - Optimism and Hope or Resentment and Revenge? An International and Interlingual Discourse Analysis on the Basis of French and Spanish Printed Mass Media


In 2015, France declares the state of emergency. 
At the very start of 2015, on 7 January, the editorial offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo became victim of an Islamic motivated terror attack. The two brothers belonging to Al-Qaida, shot 11 persons, hurt several persons present and killed a policeman during the escape. Until the day of the attacks on the Bataclan, theses aggressions were the deadliest in France since 1961. On the evening of 13th November of the same year, a series of jihadist-motivated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris. The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 in the Bataclan concert hall.

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January, against the Bataclan in November and other attacks that claimed more lives, raised difficult questions about issues ranging from free speech and satire to immigration, religion, diversity and extremism in a civil society. 

The idea of my research work is to analyze all the sentiments people express in traditional medias of Romance countries (mainly France and Spain) in order to make a data-based assessment of the level of consensus about the value of multiculturalism and freedom. This analysis refers to a fixed period of approximately one month before and one year after the first attacks and will be done by a discourse analysis. 

A discourse analysis studies larger linguistic units such as written texts in different languages, connected to social questions and problems. In my case, I will focus on the following research questions:

  • Does France and Spain react in a different way to the attacks? 

  • Did the consciousness of people change? How?

  • Does people tend toward deepening the conflict in the society or toward reinforce the consensus in the society? 


To work out these questions, I will refer to each three renowned daily French and Spanish newspapers, which are relevant to the formation of public opinion and open to European topics. Consequently, I assume that my research will be representative in democratic countries like France and Spain. 

Blanka Niewrzella (MEd)

Weitere Infos zu diesem Element hinzufügen

The ‘Crisis’ of Cologne - A Critical Discourse Analysis of French and Spanish Media

The night of the 31th December in Cologne had led to a discursive event in the international media characterized by discourse interlays causing effects.

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National and International Experts

Brewster, Holly                              (Washington College)

Cassany Bates, Jordi                     (Kiel University)

Eggert, Elmar                                 (Kiel University)

Gerwinski, Jan                               (Siegen University)

Hoinkes, Ulrich                              (Kiel University)

Hoppe, Imke                                   (Hamburg University)

Ignaffo, Timothy                             (Teachers College/Columbia University)

Murillo, Isabel                                 (Kiel University)

Peter, Benjamin                              (Kiel University)

Reyna Muniain, Facundo               (Kiel University)

Roviró, Bàrbara                              (Bremen University)

Schapira, Mike                               (Hofstra University/New York)

Wienke, Antje                                  (Kiel University)

Zaiser, Rainer                                 (Kiel University)

Kiel Students 

Beckmann, Jana

Hausdörfer, Stephanie

Henriquez, Fernando

Mück, Saskia

Niewrzella, Blanka

Paetz, Lisa

Pockrandt, Madlen

Roggon, Anna-Kira

Seeler, Kira

Simon, Sara-Ann

Wetzel, Magdalena


© 2018 by Hoinkes Research.

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