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The Otherisation of Terror: Media reporting of “other people’s” terror attacks

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Tranchese
    Dr N Vince
    Dr M Saraceni
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project description

There is an abundance of literature on how terrorist attacks are reported in Europe and the US. It is also well known that terrorist attacks in the Global South receive far less coverage than those perpetrated in the Global North. Thanks to this fully-funded studentship you’ll be able to explore the representation of terrorism in the media from a different angle. You will have the possibility to look at how the UK media reports on terrorist attacks happening in France and/or former French colonies, as well as how the French media reports on terrorist attacks happening in the UK and/or former British colonies, and how countries such as Algeria and Nigeria (i.e. former colonies of either countries) report on these same events.

Some of the questions you’ll be able to explore are: Is “expert knowledge” about Africa still filtered through the colonial power in the French and British media? How are regimes of knowledge produced? Do similar ‘zones of knowledge’ apply in reverse when media outlets in e.g. Algeria or Nigeria report on terrorist attacks in Britain, France, India or Mali? What can language use tell us about the place that journalists and experts give to colonial history as an explanation, amongst others, for terrorism in former colonies or ‘second generation radicalisation’ in France or Britain? How is the colonial past constructed linguistically and used as an explanatory framework in analyses of terrorists and terrorism? You will be able to refine, revise and/or expand these research questions and you will have the chance to choose case studies involving different countries and news sources, as well as specific terror attacks.

This interdisciplinary project approaches a contemporary theme of major global significance through methods drawn from Applied Linguistics (Corpus Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Corpus-based Discourse Analysis). You will become part of an exceptionally supportive environment, working across two research groups within CEISR: ‘Languages across Borders’ and ‘Francophone Africa’. Both centres are well established in their own right, and have a growing track record of working together collaboratively on cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. Moreover, both clusters have an excellent international network of contacts and collaborations with academic and non-academic partners, which you will benefit from and contribute to.

The optional internship offers an additional opportunity for you to gain a fuller understanding of the practice, by directly observing and/or interviewing journalists.


Candidate specification

You must be a UK or EU resident and hold a good honours degree (2:1 or above) from a recognised higher education institution.
We require English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
We welcome applications from candidates with a background in Applied Linguistics, especially Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics, (or related disciplines). Good language skills in French are also a requirement. Ideally, candidates will have a master’s degree in a relevant area, excellent IT skills (knowledge of webscraping would be desirable, but not essential) and good knowledge of the recent history and contemporary politics at least of one of the countries in the study.

Enquiries and application

Please contact Dr Alessia Tranchese ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting both the project code and the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form, making sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.

Please also submit a research proposal (up to 1000 words), detailing how you would develop this project:
• What research questions would you pose?
• How would you design the project?
• What research methods would you use?
• How would you engage with/ build on existing research?

Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SLAL4390219 when applying.

Funding Notes

The studentship will include tuition fees at UK/EU level for three years, a stipend in line with RCUK rates (currently £14,77), and up to £1500 research expenses for the duration of the studentship, subject to satisfactory progress

How good is research at University of Portsmouth in Area Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 39.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities


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