News & Events

Specialized (economic) knowledge on blogs: engaging multiple audiences on the Web

by Professor Marina Bondi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Date                  25 February 2016
Time                 5:00pm-6:00pm
Venue               AG434
The talk will be conducted in English.

The web is gradually becoming the site where expert knowledge is exchanged and disseminated. Early studies on web discourse focused on the impact of the medium on the hybridization of spoken and written discourse. It is now the time to look more closely into how the extended participatory framework of the Web influences both language choice and communicative practices by increasing the range of interactive patterns and discursive identities construed in each text. Virtual discourse communities are rapidly created, extended and maintained through shared knowledge and forms of communal bonding. The Web has also given origin to a wide range of new specific communicative genres.

Blogs have proved to be interesting arenas for persuasion and exchange of opinions, providing excellent material for the study of writer/reader interaction. How is all this affecting communicative practices in academic and scientific communication? The talk looks at the discourse of knowledge dissemination in the context of the ‘evaluatively charged’ nature of blogs’ posts (and comments). The analysis is based on a small-scale study of a corpus of materials produced by Paul Krugman for different communicative contexts – journal articles, newspaper articles, blogs. Integrating quantitative and qualitative analysis, the study highlights differences in reader engagement across different genres and media. Blogs show interesting patterns of reader engagement and complex forms of dialogue, with participants co-constructing parallel academic, as well as socio-political debates.

About the speaker:
Marina Bondi is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and Director of the CLAVIER centre (Corpus and Language Variation in English Research). She has published extensively in the field of genre analysis, EAP and corpus linguistics, with a focus on argumentative dialogue and language variation across genres, disciplines and cultures. Here recent publications include an edited volume on Abstracts in Academic Discourse, with Rosa Lores Sanz, a special issue of ESP across cultures on Academic English across cultures, with Chris Williams, as well as studies on blogs, popular history and CSR reports.

Back to top