CLAVIER 2018 CALL FOR PAPERS Milan, November 29th – December 1st, 2018

Knowledge Dissemination, Ethics and Ideology in Specialised Communication: Linguistic and Discursive Perspectives

Members of the Milan Unit of PRIN Project “Knowledge dissemination across media in English: continuity and change in discourse strategies, ideologies and epistemologies” (2017-2019) and CLAVIER Directory Board members are pleased to announce that the CLAVIER 18 Conference will be held in Milan from November 29th to December 1st, 2018. The conference theme is “Knowledge dissemination, ethics and ideology in specialised communication: linguistic and discursive perspectives”.

The Conference intends to explore the linguistic and discursive aspects of ethical and ideological issues in knowledge dissemination. This is an especially consequential topic, since knowledge dissemination by definition involves transfer and transformation. Thus, it inevitably entails changes, which may be simply due to the recontextualisation of knowledge for the purpose of circulating it and making it accessible to specific target audiences. In many cases, however, in the process of dissemination, knowledge is manipulated intentionally in order to make it more interesting or palatable (e.g. in journalism), or to adapt it to the speaker’s/writer’s stance, preconceptions or expectations, or to more or less implicitly convey ideological messages by conferring a degree of slant or bias on knowledge, sometimes bordering on outright manipulation and mystification. This applies not only to the transmission of knowledge within the scientific community but also, even more cogently, to popularisation. Of course, an ethics of knowledge dissemination on the part of scientists, popularisers and the media would to some extent prevent these problems.

Under this perspective, special interest lies in the discursive representation – both in specialised and in popularising communication – of ideologically and ethically relevant issues, and in particular of those concerning ‘sensitive’ topics, for instance in the life sciences (e.g. medicine, bioethics, biotechnology, genetics), in the environmental sciences, in corporate social responsibility discourse, etc., and in their moral, ideological, legal, economic, political, and religious implications.

Ethical issues also emerge in research on specialised discourse. They include questions regarding the possible impact of observation on the investigated processes, the intrusiveness of the observer on the authenticity of the data, the possible bias inherent in the choice of objects of investigation and in the collection of data and their interpretation, due to researchers’ expectations or their ideological convictions.
All these issues are to be explored and investigated in their linguistic and discursive aspects and implications, as well as in the perspective of translation and interpreting. Synchronic, diachronic, contrastive, interlinguistic and intercultural approaches are equally welcome.

Conference themes include:
  1. Transformations undergone by sensitive specialised knowledge in the dissemination process, in traditional media and in the new media.
  2. Bioethical themes in texts produced within the domains of medicine, genetics and biotechnology (e.g. assisted reproductive technology, surrogate motherhood, genetic manipulation, cloning, euthanasia, sex re-assignment, etc.) and in sustainability and environment conservation discourses.
  3. Ethical and ideological implications in business communication and in the representation of corporate strategies and activities.
  4. Ideological implications in legal discourse (judicial, legislative, academic), with special regard to sensitive issues (e.g. sexism, ageism, racism, end of life, artificial reproductive technologies) and cutting edge technological advances (e.g. in the life sciences).
  5. Ideology and ethics in translation and interpreting in specialised domains (healthcare, legal political, diplomatic, business, migration settings).
  6. Criticality of information transmission for decision making in an individual or a collective dimension (e.g. political decisions, intervention measures in emergencies, informed consent for therapies or surgery).
  7. Ethics and ideology in research on specialised and professional discourse.

The Conference is organised within the framework of the National Research Project: “Knowledge Dissemination across media in English: Continuity and change in discourse strategies, ideologies, and epistemologies” financed by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) (2015TJ8ZAS).


Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers who have so far accepted to participate include:
James Archibald, University of Montréal
Srikant Sarangi, University of Aalborg
Martin Reisigl, University of Vienna

Submission Guidelines

Submissions must be directed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Proposals will include panels and paper presentations (oral or poster: see below).

For all submissions, please clearly indicate:

  • Abstract title, author names, and full institutional affiliations of the responsible (presenting)
    author and collaborating authors.
  • Contact e-mail address and phone number for the responsible author.
  • One or two conference themes.

Proposals (of no more than 250 words) can be made for either oral or poster presentations, so authors should indicate their preference. Authors of poster presentations will be expected to discuss their poster during their assigned session. Oral presentations will typically be scheduled in 90-minute sessions, with 30 minutes (20 min. presentation + 10 min. discussion) allocated to each individual presentation.


Panels which will include approximately four thematically related papers should address a common theme, content or methodological area, and will be scheduled for 90 minutes.

In addition to individual proposals (no more than 250 words each), please also submit an overview description of no more than 300 words highlighting the panel’s content and objectives. The panel abstract and the abstracts of the individual papers must be submitted together.
Please also provide information about the panel members and chair, stating full institutional affiliations and e-mail addresses.
Please note that you may choose to submit more than one proposal, but normally only one proposal will be accepted for oral presentation. Any additional accepted proposals may be presented as posters.

Proposals will be reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • relevance of the topic to the conference theme;
  • background contextualisation of the study;
  • relationship between title and content, structural organisation;
  • theoretical/methodological appropriateness;
  • clarity and originality of claims/findings.

Individual panels are reviewed in their entirety, based on the above criteria as well as the overall coherence of the proposal and of participants’ contributions.
All proposals will undergo a double blind peer-review process.

The deadline for submission is June 25th, 2018.

Following formal acceptance, the responsible (presenting) authors must register for the conference prior to the finalisation of the conference programme.