Dr Alon Lischinsky

Senior Lecturer in Communication and Discourse

Subject Coordinator for Communication, Media and Culture

My work focuses on the use of linguistic techniques (especially computational techniques using large corpora) for the critical analysis of environmental, social and political issues. I am especially interested in how business organisations conceive their relations with the natural environment and how they present themselves as working towards a sustainable society.

I coordinate the Communication, Media & Culture programme, where I also teach about semiotics and discourse theory; research methodology in the social sciences; design for computer-mediated communication; and critical approaches to the persuasion industries.

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • U75100 Understanding Communication: We intuitively think of communication as essentially transmitting information—and we couldn't be more wrong. This module aims to introduce students to a social and semiotic view of communication that views it instead as the delicate coordination of human interaction: how do people know what to say (or write), and how to say it? How do they know when it is time to speak, or to be silent (or to text, or to tweet, or to post to their Instagram flow)? How do people create, through their communicative choices, different forms of social relations?
  • U75125 Research Methods: Research is not an obscure, arcane skill. Journalists, advertisers, government regulators, public relations specialists, information officers and a myriad other communication specialists face every day the need to compile and analyse reliable information, and to explain it in a useful manner. This module intends to help students learn how to plan, conduct and report original research for both academic and professional purposes.
  • U75131 Design for Online Communication: Communicating online requires not only the technical and creative skills to manipulate image and text, but also an understanding of how the behaviour of audiences changes in this specific social, cultural and technological context. This module intends to introduce students to the fundamental practical elements of web design, including HTML and CSS coding. No prior programming experience required.
  • U75172 Special Topics: Communication, media and cultural studies are fast-moving fields. This module introduces participants to an issue or topic of particular contemporary relevance at the time of teaching, drawing on the CMC staff research specialisms.
  • U75183 Branded Communication: We like in a world saturated by the pervasive influence of the persuasion industries —advertising, branding, public relations, etc. This module explores the techniques used by commercial and non-commercial organisations to build their image in the eyes of the public, developing at the same time a practical command of these skills and a critical reflction on the effects they have on contemporary culture and society.

I am also module leader for U75168 Independent Study, U75190 Interdisciplinary Dissertation and U75199 Dissertation.

Research

My current projects address questions of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility reporting, environmentally-themed public relations and advertising, and greenwash. My research takes a Digital Humanities approach, using computer-aided methods to examine large datsets of text-based communication in order to model the social and cultural dynamics that motivate it.

More broadly, I am interested in using critical discourse analysis to investigate shifts in social relations of production, especially the social impact of managerialism as an "expert system"; societal representations of labour; and the managerialisation of the self, personal life and the environment.

Together with Andrea Macrae, I convene OBLaDi, the Oxford Brookes Language & Discourse research group. I am also book review editor for Discourse & Society.

Conferences

  • Lischinsky, A. (2015) ‘Modelling interpersonal dimensions in presidential discourse’. Paper presented to the iMean 4 Conference, Warwick
  • Lischinsky, A. (2015) ‘Doing the naughty or having it done to you: agent roles in erotic writing’. Paper presented to the Corpus Linguistics 2015 Conference, Lancaster
  • Lischinsky, A. (2014) ‘Modelling Argentine presidential discourse (2007–2014): a computational approach’. Paper presented to the CADAAD’14 Conference, Budapest
  • Lischinsky, A. and Egan Sjölander, A. (2013) ‘Corporate voices in the public sphere: PR and the environment’. Paper presented to the 2013 Conference on Communication and Environment, Uppsala
  • Lischinsky, A. (2013) ‘What’s the environment doing in my report?’. Paper presented to the Corpus Linguistics 2013 Conference, Lancaster
  • Lischinsky, A. (2012) ‘Misinformed participation: corporate greenwash and the exclusion of consumers from environmental decision-making’. Paper presented to the 2nd ISA Forum, Buenos Aires
  • Lischinsky, A. (2012) ‘Framing analysis across the disciplines? (critical) discourse studies in interdisciplinary research projects’. Paper presented to the CADAAD’12 Conference, Braga
  • Lischinsky, A. (2011) ‘‘We believe we are a constructive partner in society’: A corpus perspective on the discursive construction of a corporate self in annual reports’. Paper presented to the Rhetoric in Society III Conference, Antwerp
  • Lischinsky, A. (2010) ‘‘Our business acumen has proved to be invaluable in times of crisis’: A corpus perspective on the discursive construction of critical events in annual reports’. Paper presented to the 9th International Conference on Organizational Discourse, Amsterdam
  • Lischinsky, A. (2010) ‘The struggle over sustainability: a corpus approach to managerial conceptions of sustainable development’. Paper presented to the CADAAD’10 Conference “Ideology, identity and interaction”, Łódź
  • Lischinsky, A. (2010) ‘The business conception of sustainable development: a view from corpus linguistics’. Paper presented to the IAMCR 2010 Conference “Communication and citizenship”, Braga
  • Lischinsky, A. (2009) ‘The narrative construction of managerial expertise. Storytelling in popular management books’. Paper presented to the International Conference on Narrative, Birmingham
  • Lischinsky, A. (2009) ‘Talking like you mean business. Metadiscourse in popular books on management’. Paper presented to the XXVII AESLA International Conference, Ciudad Real, Spain
  • Coromines, D., Lischinsky, A. and Valls, M. (2009) ‘La redacció del Treball de Fi de Grau: Proposta didàctica per superar les mancances de la competència escrita acadèmica dels estudiants’ [Writing final year projects: a pedagogic proposal to improve the teaching of academic writing]. Paper presented to the Jornades de Docència 2009, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • Lischinsky, A. (2008) ‘Titling practices in popular management books’. Paper presented to the Interpersonality in Written Academic Discourse Conference: Perspective across Languages and Cultures, Jaca, Spain
  • Lischinsky, A. (2008) ‘Lo que el dinero no puede comprar. Higiene verbal en la recepción de la jerga gerencial’ [What money can’t buy: verbal hygiene in the public understanding of managerial jargon]. Paper presented to the XII Jornadas Nacionales de Investigadores en Comunicación, Rosario, Argentina
  • Lischinsky, A. (2008) ‘At the crossroads of language, class and culture: Responses to managerial jargon in Spanish’. Paper presented to the 4th International Conference of Hispanic Linguistics & 2nd Biennial Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society “Spanish at work”, Swansea
  • Lischinsky, A. and Antonini, C. (2008) ‘Dollars are green too. A discourse-based approach to the analysis of corporate social responsibility reports’. Paper presented to the II European Communication Conference “Communication Policies and Culture in Europe”, Barcelona
  • Lischinsky, A. (2007) ‘“Show, don’t tell”. Racism in the visual depiction of the other in high school textbooks’. Paper presented to the II Language Ideologies and Media Discourse Conference, Leeds
  • Lischinsky, A. (2007) ‘Examples as persuasive communication in popular management literature’. Paper presented to the XIV Susanne Hübner International Seminar, Zaragoza

Further information

For up-to-date versions of my publications, please visit my Academia.edu profile or my Google Citations page.

Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, Corpus linguistics, Expert knowledge, Managerialism, Political Economy

Publications

  • Journal articles
  • Book chapters
  • Other

Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Lischinsky, A. (forthcoming 2017) ‘Discourse Studies and Branding’, in Flowerdew, J. & Richardson, J. (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Critical Discourse Studies. London: Routledge
  • Lischinsky, A. (2012) ‘Wikipedia och kampen om sanningen’ [Wikipedia and the struggle over meaning], in Lindgren, S. (ed.) Nya medier och kommunikation. Makt och meningsskapande i den digitala tidsåldern [New media and communication. Power and the making of meaning in the digital age]. Lund: Gleerups, pp. 168–179
  • Lischinsky, A. (2011) ‘“We believe we are a constructive partner in society”: A corpus perspective on the discursive construction of a corporate self in annual reports,’, in Egan Sjölander, A. and Gunnarsson Payne, J. (eds.) Tracking Discourses:Politics, Identity and Social Change. Lund: Nordic Academic Press, pp. 257–285
  • Lischinsky, A. (2010) ‘“At times of crisis, communication is vital”: A corpus perspective on the discursive construction of critical events in annual reports,’, in Reed, C., Keenoy, T., Oswick, T., Sabelis, I. and Ybema, S. (eds.) Organizational Discourse: Crises, corruption, character and change. London: KMCP, pp. 127–129
  • Lischinsky, A. (2010) ‘Writing the reader in: Titling practices in popular management,’, in Lorés-Sanz, R., Mur-Dueñas, P. and Lafuente-Millán, E. (eds.) Constructing Interpersonality: multiple perspectives and applications to written academic discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge Publishing Scholars, pp. 275–294

Other