Introducing Mantrap: Misogyny and the red pill

Content warning: this talk will deal with difficult topics which some audience members may find disturbing.

We are delighted to welcome Veronika Koller, from Lancaster University as the next speaker in our research seminar series this semester.

The talk takes place online at 12noon UK time on Wednesday the 17th of November.

The talk is open to all and will be delivered via Teams. Please email Billy clark for the link: billy.clark@northumbria.ac.uk

The title of Veronika’s talk is:

‘Introducing Mantrap: Misogyny and the Red Pill

The abstract is below.

The talk is open to all. For any queries, please email Billy Clark: billy.clark@northumbria.ac.uk

The full programme for this semester is at: https://northumbriaenglish.org/northumbria-linguistics-seminars-2021-2022/

. . .

Abstract:

Introducing Mantrap: Misogyny and the Red Pill

Veronika Koller (with Jess Aiston, Alexandra Krendel and Mark McGlashan)

In this talk, I will introduce a research project that focuses on language use in the so-called manosphere. The manosphere can be described as a loose online network of websites and discussion forums dedicated to specific issues relating to men and masculinity, such as techniques for the seduction of women, male separatism, men’s rights activism, and ‘involuntary celibacy’. Consistent across many of these sites and forums is the legitimation of misogyny through discussion of ‘red pill philosophy’, which disavows feminism and gender equality. The Mantrap project examines language use within and between manosphere communities and considers how the popularisation and normalisation of misogynistic discourse especially online may have profound social effects on beliefs, values and social behaviours. 

I will introduce the members of the project team, highlighting their contributions and elaborating on the special aspects of manopshere discourse that they work on. This will be followed by a review of publications that have resulted from our collaborative work, alongside other previous studies that inform our research. In short, this part of my talk will summarise what we know about the language use by different groups within the manosphere so far. 

The team works with a range of academic and non-academic research partners to develop and disseminate tools and strategies for countering the social harms resulting from the normalisation of misogynist discourse and practices, especially via mainstream online media. Accordingly, the final part of my talk will focus on collaborations between the Mantrap team and individuals and organisations in academia and beyond. 

Discourse of Resistance

David_Wright

We’re looking forward to next week’s linguistics research seminar (2pm Wednesday 3 April)

David Wright, from Nottingham Trent University, will be talking about a fascinating aspect of forensic linguistics.  Here’s more information:

“She kept saying no but that didn’t stop me”: discourses of resistance in an online Pick Up Artist forum.

3 April; 2:00-3:00 pm; Lipman Building 121

Abstract:
This paper is a corpus-assisted discourse study of a dataset comprising 26-million-words taken from a popular and publicly accessible ‘Pick-Up Artist’ (PUA) online forum. The analysis of this data finds that the forum provides a unique communicative space in which discourses of sexual resistance and consent are regularly co-constructed in the posts made by members of the community. The discursive patterns identified offer a new perspective on the relationship between resistance and consent thus far explored by forensic linguistics, and suggest that while in the criminal justice system female victims are held to a standard of utmost resistance, what they can often face from assailants is non-relenting, abusive and utmost persistence.

All welcome

There’s a campus map and directions to the campus here:

https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/contact-us/

 

Power, Politics, Language and the Law

Courtroom Narrative and Legal Meanings Through the Ages

 

The Institute of Humanities Winter Symposium, organised by two of our research groups: English Language & Linguistics; Power and Politics in Language and Literature.

12 December 2018, 2-6pm, Lipman 332

There are still places left for a fascinating afternoon where leading researchers on language and the law will explore courtroom language from the 17th century to the present day.

If you’d like to come, please email Nicci MacLeod to book your place:

nicci.macleod@northumbria.ac.uk

Here is a summary:

Courtroom Narrative and Legal Meanings Through the Ages

This half-day symposium, bringing together scholars from both Law and Linguistics, seeks to elucidate the nature of courtroom language as represented in proceedings from the 17th century through to the present day. A central concern for forensic linguists and researchers of public discourse, courtroom interactions such as those explored by our speakers have also proved to be an object of interest for legal scholars, literature scholars and historians alike. With reference to real-life cases the speakers will illustrate the varied ways in which language both embodies the institutional authority of the law, and maps neatly on to particular ideologies which permeate that institution and, as a result, our lives.

And here are the abstracts:

Advocacy, history, and story in the Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913.

Dr Alison Johnson, University of Leeds

This paper examines advocacy through the records of criminal trials left to us in the Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674-1913 (POB), looking at their value not simply as voices of the past, but just as much of the present, as the traditions of advocacy lie in their roots, and the voices of the advocate are infused by legal practices that are socially and historically constituted. The nearly 200,000 trials in this online resource are too extensive and diverse to tackle as a whole, so, using the methodology that I have developed of creating small sub-corpora in relevant collections (e.g. rape trials of the 18thcentury; a single lawyer’s trials from the 19thcentury; 19thcentury trials with an insanity defence), I illustrate, through vignettes from a range of trials and periods, how distinct advocacies produce different effects: prosecution advocacythat speaks on behalf of the complainant, creative defence advocacythat transforms the prosecution story into one that advantages the defence, the little-discussedjudicial advocacythat sees the judge move from trial manager to co-advocate (with one side), and the risky self-advocacythat sees ordinary people attempting to combine the roles of lawyer and witness. I argue that the complexity of the advocate’s voice is produced through competing forces of dominance and subtlety, explicitness and ambiguity, protection and attack, eloquence and understatement, and restraint and audaciousness; this makes the POBan important source, resource, and reflection of legal voices in society, not only in the 18th and 19th century, but also today.

 . . . 

“As the sun rose…:” Narrative construction in the adversarial courtroom

Dr Kirsty Blewitt, Newcastle University

This research explores how narratives are constructed in the adversarial courtroom system. Data are from two US-based, first degree murder trials concerning the same homicide, where both defendants (who were then husband and wife) were tried separately. Narrative construction referred to the same basic ‘facts’, but differed in their interpretation. Despite this common themes such as time, space, location, responsibility and agency were present in the four versions presented. This study uses a three level conceptualisation of trial interactions, which are; the agenda; macro-level narrative(s); and micro-level interactions. This allows for a contextualised and holistic approach to narrative construction within the trials, as these three elements are seen as being dynamic and reflexive. Narratives are explored drawing on Ricoeur’s (1980) concepts of time and narrative, building on previous conceptualisations of narrative in court (Cotterill, 2003; Heffer, 2005; 2010). Power is viewed through Foucault’s (1982) theory of power relations, and Hutchby’s (1999) discussion of asymmetry in micro-analysis.

 . . .

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’Law through the looking-glass?

Dr Natalie Wortley, Northumbria University

This paper will explore some of the ways in which appeal courts have interpreted key words and phrases in the context of a variety of criminal offences and defences. It will highlight cases in which the courts have assumed a shared understanding of particular words and will consider the potential consequences of such interpretations and assumptions for lawyers, defendants and witnesses/victims. These themes will be developed in the context of cases involving expert witnesses, particularly psychiatrists, where the language of the law may be “out of step with modern psychiatric thinking” (Law Commission, Insanity and Automatism: A Discussion Paper,July 2013).  Measures that are available to assist those who are vulnerable to participate effectively in the criminal process will also be discussed, particularly the adaptation of questioning techniques with a view to ensuring that a witness/defendant is able to give their best evidence.

When and where:

12 December 2018, 2-6pm, Lipman 332

If you’d like to come, please email Nicci MacLeod to book your place:

nicci.macleod@northumbria.ac.uk