Wrapping up 2016

Marta and SixianAi??recapitulate the year of surprisesAi??that wasAi??2016 as we usher in the new year.

2016 was a year of surprises.

In June, the results of the referendum unleashed shock and disbelief amongst theAi??many foreign researchers and students who areAi??working and studying in UK universities. Being based in England,Ai??we continue to grapple with the aftershocks of Brexit and its implications. As academics, but also as researchers in the field of Higher Education we cannot help but wonder how this development will affect the university sector ai??i?? as well the lives and career trajectories of a number of scholars and students.

In this context one must also mention the heated debates around TEF – the Teaching Excellence Framework which sparked many critiques and even an occupation protest at the university where we are based ai??i?? Warwick. The protest ended peacefully, and the students celebrated Christmas at their homes, rather than at the occupation site, but this event shows that the issue of the ‘Metrics Tide’ in HE is not a theoretical puzzle, but a question with visible ethical and pragmatic implications for the whole academic community. In his letter regarding the end of the student protest, the VC of Warwick comments on this and flags up another issue: The Higher Education and Research Bill, which will no doubt become a hot topic in 2017.

In November, Donald Trump winning the presidential electionsAi??in theAi??United States struck many as anAi??electoral upset. 2017 remains a year where the world would come to grips with the American electorate’s choice.Ai?? The academic world is not as disconnected from this event, as the president elect has a track record of activity in education ai??i?? namely setting up the controversial Trump University LLC (also known as Trump Wealth Institute and Trump Enterpreneur Initiative LLC) ai??i?? a curious case study for those studying the history of ‘Academic Capitalism’.

At the homefront, we are working hard to grow our Hypotheses blog and we hope to share many more interesting insights into academia and how researchers work in the coming new year.

We hope to remind our readers or researchers who are interested in discourse studies aboutAi??two upcoming conferences in 2017:

(i)Ai??DN#19 Discourse Net Conference -Ai??Discourse, Knowledge and Practice in SocietyAi??07 and 08 July 2017, Bucharest, RomaniaAi??

Keynote Speaker: Isabela Fairclough (University of Central Lancashire)
Distinguished Guest: Norman Fairclough (University of Lancaster)

Deadline for submitting paper proposals: 15 January 2017

(ii) DNC #2 Second InternationalAi??DiscourseNet Congress-Ai??Interdisciplinary Discourse Studies: Theory and PracticeAi??13-15 September 2017,Ai??University of Warwick (Coventry, United Kingdom)

Keynote Speakers: Ann Phoenix (University College London, Institute of Education, UK) and Michal Krzyzanowski (Ai??rebro University, Sweden)

Deadline for submitting paper proposals: 01 March 2017

The DISCONEX team would like to wish all our readers a Happy New Year! May 2017 be a year full of both academic and personal fulfillment!

 

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