Discourse and Human Rights Violations
First published as a Special Issue of the Journal of Language and Politics 5:1 (2006), this collection of papers focuses, from a number of different disciplinary perspectives, on aspects of language and communication in official processes of dealing with traumatic pasts. It is a text that belongs to the genre of talking about pain, about state violence, about uncovering suppressed truths. Linguists and a number of other social scientists investigate discourses, mostly ones generated during hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), scrutinizing them for how trauma is articulated and sometimes overcome, for how confrontational discourses are publicly managed, for how, after gross human rights violations, reconciliation can be mediated. Language is viewed as an instrument of confronting a traumatic past, of negotiating conflict, and of initiating processes of healing for individuals as well as in communities.
[Benjamins Current Topics, 5] 2007. x, 142 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
About the Authors | pp. vii–ix
The language of remembering and forgettingChristine Anthonissen | pp. 1–12
The debate on truth and reconciliation: A survey of literature on the South African Truth and Reconciliation CommissionAnnelies Verdoolaege | pp. 13–32
Narrative inequality in the TRC hearings: On the hearability of hidden transcriptsJan Blommaert, Mary Bock and Kay McCormick | pp. 33–63
Critical discourse analysis as an analytic tool in considering selected, prominent features of TRC testimoniesChristine Anthonissen | pp. 65–88
South African Novelists and the Grand Narrative of ApartheidAnnie Gagiano | pp. 89–100
Linguistic Bearings and Testimonial PracticesFiona Ross | pp. 101–113
History in the making/The making of history: The ‘German Wehrmacht’ in collective and individual memories in AustriaRuth Wodak | pp. 115–142
“Building on the work of authors like Faircloug, Van Dijk, and Wodak, the present authors have righlty analysed power structures and ideologies. [...] An interesting case study for critical discourse analysis.”
Jacob Srampickal, S. J., Gregorian University, Rome, in Communication Research Trends, Vol. 27 No. 1 (2008)
“I found this book very interesting, highly readable and thought provoking. [...] Reconciliation is an international phenomenon of concern and Discourse and Human Rights Violations offers a valuable and accessible account of sound theoretically supported research that has elicited rich and fascinating historical narratives. The volume is an interesting presentation of the complicated domain of human rights discourse that indicates the rich potential for multidisciplinary research between linguistics and a range of related disciplines. [...] This volume encourages its readers to become more active in that community to reveal these gross injustices and assist in the healing process.”
Angela Ardington, University of Sydney, in Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, Volume 33, Number 1, 2010
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