Gail Stygall, Spring 2002

T-Th 1:30-3:20 pm Office Hours: W 2:30-3:30 pm

Loew 112 Th 3:30-4:30 pm

stygall@u.washington.edu Padelford A-11


Johnstone, Barbara. Discourse Analysis. Blackwell, 2002.

Barton, Ellen, and Gail Stygall, eds. Discourse Studies in Composition. Hampton Press, 2002.

Chouliaraki, Lilie, and Norman Fairclough. Discourse in Late Modernity. Edinburgh UP, 1999.

Mills, Sara. Discourse. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.


This course is an introduction to and survey of the basics of language analysis beyond the sentence level, covering approaches both to discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. It is also a survey of the various ways in which discourse analysis is theoretically grounded, with a special focus on critical discourse analysis (CDA) in its two major presentations, neo-Marxist and Foucauldian. While there are a wide range of approaches to discourse analysis, I want to make sure that all of you can conduct an analysis first based in linguistic features, then linguistic analyses. Because many of you have not had specific training in linguistics, I will spend part of the time in the first two weeks introducing linguistic concepts and methods of analysis and argument. Then we'll move into a four week segment, working through Barbara Johnstone's introduction to DA, blessedly more clear than previous authorings by important discourse analysts.

From this introduction and survey of the field, we'll turn to an examination of the articles and practices elaborated in the Barton-Stygall collection. Each of you will take a chapter and present it to the class, so that we'll have a chance to talk about the variety of approaches and venues for DA. The last segment of the class will focus on theorizing discourse analysis, taking a closer look at both neo-Marxist, postmodern approaches and those derived from the work of Michel Foucault. In this section, you'll be working in theory groups and each group will present to the class on one of four theorists, as their work pertains to discourse analysis: Bourdieu, Giddens, Habermas, and Foucault.

My goals for you are fairly simple. I want you to be able to take a "text" and conduct a discourse analysis that makes use of linguistic structures and I want you to be able to locate your analysis in a theoretical position. But however simple those goals may be, we'll need to do some work practicing DA along the way. So we'll be spending class time working with various texts (transcripts, news articles, press releases, web sites, student papers . . . and trying out ways to analyze these texts.


In addition to the usual expectations about class participation in seminars, there are four requirements, three of them relatively short.

My goal for you in these assignments is to prepare you to conduct research in discourse analysis, research that should result in conference presentations and publications. The first assignment is to make you familiar with the range of possible publishing outlets, the second to make you aware of how critical discourse analysis intersects with critical theory, and the third is have you concentrate on a project of your choosing and interests.

Tentative Schedule

Date Topic
Apr 2 Introduction
Apr 4 Basic Linguistics
Apr 9 Basic Linguistics
Apr 11 Johnstone 1-2
Apr 16 Johnstone 3-4
Apr 18 Johnstone 5-6
Apr 23 Johnstone 7-8
Apr 25 Barton & Stygall
Apr 30 Barton & Stygall
May 2 Barton & Stygall
May 7 Barton & Stygall
May 9 Theory Groups

Journal Report Due

May 14 Theory Groups van Dijk reading

Gamson reading

May 16 Chouliaraki & Fairclough
May 21 Chouliaraki & Fairclough
May 23 Chouliaraki & Fairclough
May 28 Chouliaraki & Fairclough
May 30 Mills
June 4 Mills
June 6 Mills
June 11 Seminar Papers Due