CRITICS: research Christina Schaeffner

Christina Schäffner C.Schaeffner at
Thu Jun 8 14:32:38 UTC 1995

Hi to everybody on the network. Here is some information about myself.

Research Christina Sch=E4ffner
=46or CRITICS network

PREVIOUS RESEARCH: During my work (till 1992) at the Saxon Academy of Arts
and Sciences (Saechsische Akademie der Wissenschaften) at Leipzig, Germany
(former GDR) I did textlinguistics research into political texts and
political vocabulary. A text-based model of explaining meanings of
political keywords (e.g. peace, deterrence, security, stability) was
developed, and consequences for lexical semantics were discussed. I
personally looked at English texts, but in the research group of which I
was the head we also did a comparative analysis of German and French texts.
The empirical research concentrated on the cold war discourse and on
manipulation (excluding GDR discourse, because, due to Marxist-Leninist
ideology, there was no manipulation in a socialist state). The methodology
developed and main results of this research were published in: Christina
Sch=E4ffner / Albrecht Neubert (eds.) (1986): Politischer Wortschatz in
textueller Sicht. - Linguistische Studien, A, 146, Berlin (East) 1986; and
C. Sch=E4ffner (ed.) (1990): Gibt es eine prototypische
Wortschatzbeschreibung? Eine Problemdiskussion - Linguistische Studien, A,
202, Berlin (East) 1990.

In the late 1980s the focus of the research changed to translation studies,
but due to the "Wende" in East Germany and subsequent German unification,
this research could not be continued. Some of my colleagues lost their
jobs, and since I didn't like very much the position I found myself in
(working as a "one-woman team"), I accepted a job as lecturer at Aston
University, Birmingham, UK, in summer 1992.

CURRENT RESEARCH: In my research since 1991 I try to combine my interest in
critical discourse analysis (focus on political texts) with my interest in
translation studies. I have looked at political discourse in the former GDR
(which is much easier from the present-day perspective) and compared it to
discourse strategies in the former West Germany and the united Germany.
Another field of interest are metaphors, particularly metaphors of the cold
war discourse (e.g. the balance metaphor) and in the discourse on the
united Europe (e.g. European house, architecture, building, and movement
metaphors). In this connection I co-organised a special symposium on
Language and Peace at the AILA Congress 1993 and co-edited the subsequent
book: Christina Sch=E4ffner / Anita Wenden (eds) (1995): Language and Peace,
Dartmouth, Aldershot. Currently I am co-editing (with Andreas Musolff and
Michael Townson) a book which is partly based on a conference on Europe we
had at Aston University in the autumn of 1994 and which will be called
"Conceiving of Europe - Diversity in Unity". In analysing the discourse on
united Europe I can build on previous work within the framework of a Vienna
Centre project (1984-1991) on a semiotic analysis of keywords of politics
and diplomacy (results of this project in e.g.: Christiane Villain-Gandossi
/ Klaus Bochmann / Michel Metzeltin / Christina Sch=E4ffner (=E9ds.) (1990):=
concept de l'Europe dans le processus de la CSCE / The concept of Europe in
the process of the CSCE. Gunter Narr Verlag T=FCbingen 1990). Within the
framework of this project I also did some work on stereotyping. I plan to
do a project on the discourse on Europe in the context of the IGC 1996.
Anybody interested in this?

My current research in the field of translation studies concentrates on
analysing translation strategies applied in the translation of political
and culture-specific texts. Apart from co-organising workshops at
forthcoming congresses 1995 and 1996 I prepare papers for books and
journals. Anybody interested in translation problems of political texts?

Christina Sch=E4ffner
Department of Languages and European Studies
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham B4 7ET
phone: + 44 121 359 3611 Ext. 4224
=46ax: + 44 121 359 6153
phone home: + 44 121 449 7477
e-mail: C.Schaeffner at

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