Missing voices and methodologies: blindspots of critical discourse analysis


This panel is the fourth in the series’ Methodologies in Critical Terrorism Studies: bridging disciplinary gaps and centring missing voices’.

Because of its methodological target, Critical Terrorism Studies draws heavily on critical-theory-influenced approaches while paying close attention to the ideological articulation of discourse. As a result CTS scholars often adopt methodologies like Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) which helps us elucidate what is meant when language is supposedly used to describe and explain.

However, the impact of this methodology would be limited, perhaps even contradictory, unless accompanied by an equally critical discussion of its blindspots, paramount amongst which are multilingualism and Global South perspectives. By embracing multilingualism, this panel seeks to extricate the critical study of terrorism from traditionally hegemonic WASP knowledge-making processes articulated in English. This process contributes to the visualisation of alternative perspectives in the international community, and helps redistributing traditional flows of linguistic and cultural influence and authority over the critical study of terrorism. In particular, the incorporation of voices of the Global South seeks to compensate for the Eurocentric hegemony of CTS knowledge production.

We hope that the critical interrogation of these blindspots as informed by the questions below will lead to an enlightening discussion on the missing voices and methodologies of Critical Discourse Analysis.

Guiding questions for panelists

  1. What is, or should be, the role of language in CTS?
  2. Richard Jackson (2005) has defined “minimal foundationalism” as the view that there is a never-ceasing, mutually constitutive relationship between the discursive categories “terrorism”, “terrorists” and “victims,” on the one hand, and their material correlates (i.e., real-world terrorism, terrorists and victims), on the other. How does this view problematize the Foucauldian notion of “discourse” as a concept that is supposedly inclusive of materiality but often times is used without consideration of it?
  3. How do similar linguistic frames (Lakoff 2014) translate across languages and cultures (Global North/South)? What are some examples of untranslatable/untranslated frames? In what ways can additional knowledge be gained by the inclusion of non-English linguistic corpora? What blindspots does this process reveal in English-only and/or Eurocentric corpora?
  4. Given the structured form of knowledge production/systems and the hegemony of English, how does CTS researchers’ positionality manifest in how research is carried out?


  • Ariane Bogain (Northumbria University)
  • Jorge Alvis (CUNY)
  • Jennifer Angélica Morales Correa


  • Carlos Yebra López (University of Cambridge)


  • Alice Martini (QMUL)

Registration will close 2 hours before the event is due to begin.

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