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Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies, Lancaster University

Ruth's main research agenda focus the development of theoretical approaches in discourse studies (combining ethnography, argumentation theory, rhetoric, and text linguistics); organizational communication; identity politics and politics of the past; language and/in politics; racism, prejudice and discrimination. Combining several fields in discourse studies, she continues to develop the Discourse-Historical Approach in CDA, an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented approach which analyses the changes of discursive practices over time and in various genres.

Ruth has just published a monograph entitled The Politics of Fear - What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean (Sage). In it, she focusses on the discourse, rhetoric and argumentation of populist right-wing politicians across Europe (compared with the “tea-party” movement in the US) on the front- and back-stage. Specifically, she elaborates on the (inter)dependencies between politics and the media in several case studies. The recontextualisation and glocalisation of images and posters across several European right-wing political parties also form a relevant focus of this book. Click here for an interview with Ruth about the rise of right-wing populist politics in Europe. Currently, she is also preparing the Handbook of Discourse and Politics (with Bernhardt Forchtner, Routledge) and a new edition of Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (with Michael Meyer, Sage; to be published in October 2015).

Moreover, Ruth's current research projects include a study on Language change in Austrian German (from 1970 - 2010), while exploring several genres in various social fields (with Markus Rheindorf, Vienna). Secondly, Ruth participates in an interdisciplinary team of historians/journalists, psychiatrists and linguists which is investigating the discursive and psychological dynamics of a unique network consisting of children of Holocaust survivors and resistance fighters in Vienna (Kinderjause - Zur Geschichte einer marginalisierten Gruppe; 'Childrens' party - the history of a marginalised peer group). Thirdly, Ruth is PI of an FWF funded Project on the Discursive Construction of National Identity - Austria 2015 (until 2019). THis is a comparative longitudinal study (see Wodak et al. 2009; De Cillia & Wodak 2009).

In 2013, Ruth edited Critical Discourse Analysis (Sage), four comprehensive volumes (readers) on CDA, and Advances in Critical Discourse Studies (with John Richardson, Michal Krzyzanowski, and David Machin; Routledge). In 2012, she co-edited two volumes about right-wing populist discourse, Analysing European Fascism: Fascism in Text and Talk (co-edited with John Richardson; Routledge), and Rightwing Populism across Europe: Discourse and Politics (co-edited with Majid KhosraviNik and Brigitte Mral; Bloomsbury). Three articles related to the latter volume were also published on Opendemocracy. Ruth's monograph The discourse of politics in action: politics as usual, was published in June 2011 in paperback (second revised edition, with Palgrave). The co-edited book Migration, Identity and Belonging (with Gerard Delanty and Paul Jones) was also published as paperback in March 2011 (Liverpool University Press). In 2010, Ruth edited a new comprehensive Handbook of Sociolinguistics (with Paul Kerswill and Barbara Johnstone, Sage) which was published as paperback 2013.


  • –present
    Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies, Lancaster University


Order of Austria