PhD seminar: A Discourse-Based Approach to Media, Migration, and National Identity

This seminar focuses on national identities and migration, the media’s role in representing migrants, and ethnographic discourse analysis. It is aimed at doctoral students from various disciplines whose doctoral projects deal with migration, national identity, and/or discourse analysis.

The seminar consists of two lectures followed by interactive sessions.

The lectures will be given by Anna Triandafyllidou (European University Institute) and Felicitas Macgilchrist (University of Göttingen).

The lectures and interactive sessions focus on applied methodological aspects of research. The general questions discussed are how experienced researchers design and carry out their studies, and how they look back at their previous research. Further issues touched upon are ethical considerations when approaching topics such as migration, newspaper coverage of Russia, and factors that influence the choice of a particular research method.

Seminar topics

European (national) identity/identities in light of immigration to Europe and the media’s role in (re)presenting migrants (Anna Triandafyllidou)

The empirical example discussed is Greece, and it includes a comparison with other European countries with regard to integration/inclusion of immigrants. The term “European identity” across Europe in times of large-scale migration to Europe is discussed, as well as the question of differences in representations of migrants across Europe: are they represented as a threat to national values and identity, or to European values and identity?

Analysis of media discourse and ethnographic discourse analysis (Felicitas Macgilchrist)

This topic relates to Macgilchrist’s book Journalism and the Political. The issues discussed are:
– How commonplace, often negative, representations of Russia as an Other affect the Western media’s coverage of Russia
– Russian media and their state alignment (television vs. newspapers)
– The combination of quantitative and qualitative methods (based on the book Journalism and the Political), and this book in light of the current situation in Ukraine
– How studies in ethnographic discourse analysis are carried out in practice. The advantages and disadvantages of such studies, compared to, for example, discourse analysis of material from interviews or media texts.


27. February (Anna Triandafyllidou)

09:00–10:30: lecture with discussion
10:30–11:15: (45 mins) lunch break
11:15– ca.12:45: (ca. 1½ hours) interactive session

28. February (Felicitas Macgilchrist)

10:00–11:30: lecture with discussion
11:30–12:15: (45 mins) lunch break
12:15– ca. 1:45: (ca. 1½ hours) interactive session

Required reading

Anna Triandafyllidou


Gropas, Ruby, and Anna Triandafyllidou. 2012. 'Migrants and Political Life in Greece: Between Political Patronage and the Search for Inclusion', South European Society and Politics, 17: 45-63.

Triandafyllidou, Anna. 1998. 'National identity and the 'other'', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 21: 593-612.

Triandafyllidou, Anna. 2013. 'Migrants and the media in thetwenty-first century: Obstacles and opportunities for the media to reflect diversity and promote integration', Journalism Practice, 7: 240-47.

Triandafyllidou, Anna. ‘A ‘refugee crisis’ unfolding: ‘Real’ events and their interpretation in media and political debates’ To appear in the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies , 2017.

Book chapters

Triandafyllidou, Anna. 2010. Muslims in 21st century Europe : structural and cultural perspectives (Routledge: London).Chapter 1: Muslims in 21st century Europe: conceptual and empirical issues. Chapter 11: Greece: The Challenge of Native and Immigrant Muslim Populations.

Triandafyllidou, Anna, and Ruby Gropas. 2015. What is Europe? (Palgrave Macmillan). Introduction and chapter 6: The Borders and Boundaries of Europe.

Felicitas Macgilchrist


Macgilchrist, Felicitas, and Tom Van Hout. 2011. 'Ethnographic Discourse Analysis and Social Science', Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12.

Macgilchrist, F. & Van Praet, E. (2013): ‘Writing the history of the victors? Discourse, social change and (radical) democracy’. Journal of Language and Politics 12(4): 626-651.

Macgilchrist, Felicitas (2014): “Media discourse and de/coloniality: A post-foundational approach. In: Christ Hart and Piotr Cap (eds.) Contemporary Studies in Critical Discourse Analysis, London: Continuum. 387-407.

Macgilchrist, F. (2016): ‘Fissures in the discourse-scape: Critique, rationality and validity in postfoundational approaches to CDS’. Discourse & Society 27(3): 262-277. (Special   issue on Conceptual Challenges in Critical Discourse Studies).

Book chapters

Macgilchrist, Felicitas. 2011. Journalism and the political. Discursive tensions in news coverage of Russia (John Benjamins Publishing Company: Amsterdam). Introduction and chapter 9 ‘Positive discourse analysis’.


Total pages: 281


ECTS credits

Attendance, active participation, and reading of required course literature = 2 ECTS.


The deadline for applications is 20 January. Applications should be brief and include details about university affiliation and education, and a paragraph on the doctoral project (not required for doctoral students in area studies at ILOS). Please send your applications to ph.d. admin Anna Kristine Høyem.


Maximum number of participants: 15.

Practical information

There is no course fee. Participants must arrange their own travel and accommodation. Lunch will be provided.


Published Jan. 2, 2017 11:52 AM - Last modified Oct. 18, 2019 2:55 PM