CFP – 5th ESTIDIA Conference: “Hybrid Dialogues: Transcending Binary Thinking and Moving Away from Societal Polarizations”

Conference Theme

The 5th ESTIDIA conference, to be held on 19-21 September 2019, is organised together with the I-LanD Interuniversity Research Centre and hosted by the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, the oldest school of Sinology and Oriental Studies in Europe, with a strong tradition in language, cultural and social studies. The conference welcomes a wide variety of thematic and disciplinary approaches to hybrid dialogues in various communities of practice across time and space. The theme of the conference was prompted by the risks and challenges posed by the increasing use of virulent polemics both on- and off-line that are constantly shifting the boundaries between traditionally dichotomous forms of communication (e.g., public/private, face-to-face/virtual, formal/informal, polite/impolite) and types of mindsets (e.g., trust/distrust, liberal/illiberal, rational/emotional, biased/unbiased). The dangers of dichotomy (Vickers 1990) run parallel with a blurring of the distinction between real and unreal, true and false, genuine and fake, etc., in terms of both what people say and do, and what they say they do. Binary or dichotomous thinking is responsible for producing and/or maintaining historically unsustainable hierarchies and inequitable power relations. As a counterbalance of dichotomy-based beliefs and ways of thinking, new and hybrid forms of dialogue are needed to cross the frontiers of established dichotomies, questioning the legitimacy of increasingly conflictual, aggressive and divisive encounters (Sunstein 2007; Mason 2015) conducted both offline (in public meetings, TV debates, political and parliamentary debates, etc.) and online (on social media, such as Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat).

This international ESTIDIA conference, like the preceding ones, offers an open forum for cross-disciplinary and multi-level dialogue among researchers and practitioners interested in exploring dialogic and discursive interaction observable across communities of practices and various social-cultural contexts. The questions participants are called upon to consider, analyse and debate include, but are not limited to, the following:

• What types of polarized dialogue are to be found in various communities of practice (e.g. business, politics, education, health sector)? What are the distinguishing features of such dialogues in particular institutional settings? How do they emerge and develop?
• Has the increasing use of social media had a noticeable impact on the proliferation of the use of aggressive language and person-targeted attacks? Does this apply to some forms of social media more than to others?
• What cross-cultural parallels can be noticed with regard to dichotomy-based polarization patterns in off-line and online dialogues? Is it possible to identify differences in terms of age, gender, education, to name but a few?
• What dichotomy-based forms of reasoning and arguing are more likely to be found in spoken, written or hybrid types of discourses, respectively?

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CfP_ESTIDIA 2019_final

Abstract Submission

You are warmly welcome to propose contributions from diverse fields of enquiry, including linguistics, media studies, journalism, cultural studies, psychology, rhetoric, political science, sociology, pedagogy, philosophy and anthropology.

We invite submissions of abstracts both for individual paper presentations (20 minutes for presentation, to be followed by 10 minutes for questions) to be scheduled in parallel sessions, and for paper presentations within thematic workshops. The thematic workshop format will be determined by the workshop organisers, taking into consideration the correlation of topics/sub-topics and the number of participants.
All abstracts should include the name, institutional affiliation and email address of the author(s), the paper title, and four-five keywords. The abstract should be approximately 500 words in length.
All abstracts will be peer-reviewed by the conference scientific committee according to the following criteria: originality and/or importance of topic; clarity of research question and purpose; data sources; theoretical approach; analytical focus; relevance of findings if already available. We especially encourage abstract submissions from early-career researchers, including postgraduate research students and postdoctoral researchers.

Email abstract submissions to:

Conference languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, German

Workshop Proposal Submissions

In addition to the already listed workshops, we welcome proposals for further workshops devoted to a topic of relevance to the theme of the conference. Proposals should contain relevant information to enable evaluation on the basis of importance, quality, and expected rate of participation. Each workshop should have one or more designated convenors.

Proposals should be 1-2 pages long and include at least the following information:
– The workshop topic and goals, their significance, and their appropriateness to ESTIDIA 2019;
– The intended audience, including the research areas from which participants may come, the likely number of participants (with some of their names, if known)
– Convenors’ details: a description of the main organisers’ research and publication background in the proposed topic; and complete addresses including webpages of the organisers
N.B: The methodological workshops are particularly intended for postgraduate students and early career scholars, whose participation is encouraged. Attendance at the conference methodological workshops is free, but prior booking is essential. There is, however, a limit on the number of places in the methodological workshops – a maximum of 40 people. Registration in advance is required. Please register for the workshops on the conference website.
Email workshop proposal submissions to:

  • Important Dates
    – Deadline for workshop proposals                                    20 December 2018
    – Early bird registration opens                                                 1 January 2019
    – Deadline for abstract submission                                    25 February 2019
    – Notification of acceptance                                                  25 March 2019
    – Standard Registration opens                                              15 June 2019

Registration fee

The early bird registration fee (by 15 June 2019) is 100 EURO. The late registration fee (after 15 June 2019) is 120 EURO.
A reduced fee of 80 EURO applies to students without a regular salary, retired participants, and persons without a regular income. They also apply to all participants from economically challenged countries.
The conference fee includes the book of abstracts, the conference bag, refreshments/coffee breaks and 2 light lunches.

Keynote speakers

Marina Bondi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Cornelia Ilie, Strömstad Academy, Sweden
Lucy Jones, University of Nottingham, U.K.
Majid KhosraviNik, University of Newcastle, U.K.

Thematic Workshops

The Cyberdiscourse: A Hybrid of Polarized Stances
Convenors: Andra Vasilescu, Adriana Ştefănescu, and Rodica Zafiu, University of Bucharest, Romania
Languaging in Lingua Franca Interaction: Beyond the Classroom-Workplace Dichotomy
Convenor: Hiromasa Tanaka, Meisei University, Japan
Populism and New/Old Media: The ‘Populist Turn’ in Western and Emerging Postcommunist Democracies
Convenor: Daniela Rovenţa-Frumuşani, University of Bucharest, Romania
Différences, enjeux constants dans la polarisation des idéaux et des comportements: Expérience (2012/2017) d’un groupe pluridisciplinaire en sciences humaines et santé entre 2012 et 2017
Convenors: Anne Vega and Mariana Lecarpentier, Direction Générale de l’Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, France

Methodological Workshops

  • Critical Discourse Studies and Digital Practices: Theory, Methods and Techniques
    Convenor: Eleonora Esposito, University of Navarra, Spain
  • Corpus-Based Discourse Analysis: Methodology, Analysis, Interpretation Convenor: Antonio Fruttaldo, University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, Italy
  • Perspectives on Multimodality: Foundations, Research and Analysis
  • Convenor: Sole Alba Zollo, University of Naples Federico II, Italy


Please check the Conference website periodically or send inquiries to: