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Professor Ruth Wodak AcSS

Emeritus, Distinguished Professor

Ruth Wodak

County South

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YL

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592437



Ruth is Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies at Lancaster University since 2004, having previously held a chair at the University Vienna. During Terms 2 and 3 in 2013/2014, she is teaching at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) as the Royden B. Davis, S.J., Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies.

She convenes the LIP group (Language, Ideology, and Power) which meets every week during term time, and is also affiliated to CPERC (Cultural Political Economy Research Centre) and DoM (Dynamics of Memory Cluster) at Lancaster University.

Current Research

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.

At the moment, Ruth is writing up a monograph entitled The Politics of Fear - Analysing Right-wing Populist Rhetoric (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).

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).

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 recent 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.

Current Teaching

Ruth is currently supervising 11 PhD students in the areas of Identity Politics, Language Policy Studies, Political Communication, Comics and Discrimination, and Media Studies. While in Lancaster, she has supervised 14 PhD students to completion.

Additional Information

In the past, Ruth was involved with several funded large research projects. Between 2005 and 2007, she was part of the project about Asylum seekers and refugees in the UK press, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Between 2006 and 2011, she was head of the Lancaster team of DYLAN: Language Dynamics and Management of Diversity, an interdisciplinary project, part of the EU 6th Framework. Between 2004 and 2007, she worked on the EMEDIATE project, part of the EU 5th Framework. Previously, she was head of the Discourse, Politics, Identity Research Centre, funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences as part of the Wittgenstein Award, where she coordinated projects about Austrian and European identities, racism and discrimination, and historical memory.

During her career, Ruth has received numerous awards and honours. In 2013, she became a member of the Academy of Social Sciences. In September 2013, she was also honoured by an invitation to speak at the Brucknerfest, an international music festival held in Linz, Austria, dedicated to music and artists persecuted by the Nazis (see speech in German). On December 19, 2011, Ruth was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria (Großes Silbernes Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich). On February 6, 2010, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Örebro University (Sweden). In September 2010, Ruth became member of the Academia Europaea. In October 2006, she was awarded the Woman's Prize of the City of Vienna and in 1996 the Wittgenstein Award for elite researchers which made six years of continuous interdisciplinary team research possible.

Ruth has held visiting professorships in Uppsala, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. In the spring 2004, she had a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. 2007, she was awarded the Kerstin Hesselgren Chair of the Swedish Parliament and stayed at University of Örebro, Sweden, from March to June 2008. In 2012, she spent 10 days at the University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, as an “Academic Icon”. That same year, she was invited as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

For more details, see Ruth Wodak’s CV: Curriculum Vitae | Extended Curriculum Vitae

New books and special issues of journals published

DAPSAC series: Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, Frank Austermühl, 53  2014.  ix, 338 pp.

DAPSAC series: Discourse and Crisis: Critical perspectives Edited by Antoon De Rycker and Zuraidah Mohd Don, 2013. vii, 498 pp.

Critical Discourse Analysis: Four Volumes, edited by Ruth Wodak

Messer, Michi; Schroeder, Renee; Wodak, Ruth (Eds) (2012) Migrations: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Berlin: Springer. (http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/population+studies/book/978-3-7091-0949-6)

Wodak, Ruth (2011) The Discourse of Politics in Action: Politics as Usual (2nd revised edition, paperback) Basingstoke: Palgrave,

Paul Chilton, Hailong Tian and Ruth Wodak (Eds) (2012) Discourse and Socio-political Transformations in Contemporary China

2012 DAPSAC series: Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture celebrates 10 years

Recently published:

Wodak, Ruth (2013) Critical Discourse Analysis - Four volumes, London: Sage

Wodak, Ruth & Richardson, John E. (Eds.) (2013) Analysing Fascist Discourse: European Fascism in Talk and Text, Routledge Critical Studies in Discourse series

Wodak, Ruth & Krzyzanowski, Michal (Eds.) (2011) Jakosciowa Analiza Dyskursu w Naukach Spolecznych. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Losgraf (translation of Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences Palgrave 2008).

Gerard Delanty, Ruth Wodak, Paul Jones (Eds.) (2011) Migration, Identity and Belonging. Liverpool: LUP.

Ruth Wodak, Barbara Johnstone, Paul Kerswill (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Sociolinguistics. London: Sage.

External Roles


Ruth is member of the editorial board of a range of linguistic journals, co-editor of the journals Discourse and Society (with Teun van Dijk [executive editor], Teresa Carbo. and Mick Billig), Critical Discourse Studies (with John Richardson and Phil Graham) and Journal of Language and Politics (with Michal Krzyzanowski and David Machin). Together with Andreas Musolff and Johann Unger, she co-edits the book series DAPSAC (Benjamins) (the most recently published monograph in the DAPSAC series is Journalism and Politics).

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