Digital: Language in New Media research strand at the Bristol Centre for Linguistics (BCL)

Digital activism

Dr Mark Nartey investigates activist/protest discourse on social media and the discursive contentions that manifest on virtual platforms. His work illustrates how social media and digital platforms can be framed as political instruments or protest tools that assist social movements and pressure groups with the recruitment, mobilization, organization and dissemination of information to protesters. His published work has examined #OccupyFlagstaffHouse, #RedFriday, #FixTheCountry and #BlackLivesMatter among other hashtags.

Metaphor use in the Brexit campaign

Professor Jonathan Charteris-Black's monograph, Metaphors of Brexit: No Cherries on the Cake, used X (formerly Twitter) as an important data source to explore which phrases and metaphors were key to the Brexit campaign. In comparing these to traditional news media, political cartoons and political speeches, he argued that the different linguistic frames used by the Leave and Remain campaigns were crucial in the outcome of the referendum.

Public discourse around COVID-19

Professor Jonathan Charteris-Black and with Dr Timothy Gibson (Senior Lecturer in Professional Writing) are currently exploring public discourse around coronavirus. Charteris-Black is particularly interested to see if the language used to communicate influences people’s view of risk (e.g. does the use of war metaphors make people more risk-averse?). 

Multimodal analysis of magazine covers

Dr Luke Rudge carries out multimodal research on traditional and online media – exploring the role which colour, typeface, images and other extralinguistic aspects play in the communication of messages. He has recently published work on the front covers of real-life magazines which examines the contradictions found in this genre.

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