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Discourses of borders and the nation in the USA. A discourse-historical approach.

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Veranstaltungskategorie Vortrag

In his lecture, Prof. Massimiliano Demata will explore how borders are used as mechanisms of power to invoke different notions of national identity during Trump’s presidency and the early stages of Biden’s mandate. Borders are considered as discursive constructs and their importance lies in the construction and expression of national identity across different forms of modern political discourse. Employing a framework informed by Ruth Wodak’s Discourse-Historical Approach, Prof. Demata will examine how the analysis of discourse from the Trump and Biden presidencies can reveal unique insights into how politicians use borders to recontextualize historical discourses of national identity and employ discursive strategies of inclusion and exclusion in promoting the idea of the nation. In adopting an approach which situates these discourses within their historical and socio-cultural contexts, the lecture will give insights into a multi-faceted understanding of notions of borders and national identity in contemporary political language.


Prof. Massimiliano Demata
Massimiliano Demata is Associate Professor of English at the University of Turin. He took his DPhil in English from the University of Oxford in 1999 and was a Fulbright scholar in Yale (1999) and Indiana University (2014). He has held Visiting Professorships/Lectureships at Saarland University (2020), Sciences Po Lyon (2021), and OTH Regensburg (2022). He is currently the co-editor of the Journal of Language and Discrimination and has published monographs, articles and book chapters on populist discourse, Trump’s rhetoric, metaphors of the nation and social media discourse.


Marta Degani (marta [dot] degani [at] aau [dot] at)