CASS Changing Climates project presented at the University of Turin

Carmen blog 2

It was a great honour and pleasure to present CASS Changing Climates project to an engaging audience at the University of Turin last month, on 27th April 2016. This was the 8th symposium on ‘Energy and Power: Social ontology perspectives and energy transitions’ as part of a UNESCO Chair programme in Sustainable Development and Territory Management currently hosted by University of Turin (Italy), under the coordination of Professor Dario Padovan.

Carmen blog 1

The symposium brought together academics and students from various disciplines – sociology, linguistics, history and environmental sciences –, thus having an enthusiastic audience and resulting in a lively debate. CASS would like to thank the organisers Professor Dario Padovan, Dr Maria Cristina Caimotto and Gabriela Gabriela Cavaglià for this great opportunity to exchange experience and ideas. I very much enjoyed the event and, as expected, had a great time in lovely Torino.

Changing Climates and the Media

The ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) and the Department of Sociology are pleased to announce a one-day symposium on Changing Climates and the Media taking place at Lancaster University on 21st Sep 2015.

This is the end-of-grant event of the CASS project on Changing Climates. The symposium will bring together leading academics from various disciplines, community experts and the Environment Agency in a unique event to discuss recent research on climate change and the media from a wide range of perspectives. Presentations will cover various countries, including Brazil, UK, Germany and Italy. Click here to see details of the programme.

We are all looking forward very much to this event.

Welcoming the new members of the Climate Change team

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Marcus Müller from the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and Dr. Maria Cristina Caimotto from the University of Torino (Italy) have kindly agreed to join CASS Changing Climate project, led by Professor John Urry.

They both will have a lot to contribute to the project. Their experience and language skills will allow us to broaden the project’s scope and also examine the discourses around climate change issues in German and Italian newspapers.

Dr. Marcus Müller is a senior lecturer in German linguistics at the Department of German in the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is also an associate member of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) and a teaching fellow of the Heidelberg Graduate School for Humanities and Social Sciences (HGGS). He has also been a visiting lecturer at the universities of Paderborn and Düsseldorf as well as at the universities of Tashkent, Budapest and Beijing. Dr. Marcus Müller is the founder and spokesman for the German-Chinese graduate network “Sprachkulturen – Fachkulturen” and the “Language and Knowledge” Graduate Platform (http://en.sprache-und-wissen.de/). His research interests include corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, grammatical variation, language and social roles, language and art. You can find more about him at http://www.gs.uni-heidelberg.de/sprache02/mitarbeiter/mueller/index.html

Dr. Maria Cristina Caimotto is research fellow in English Language and Translation at the Department of Culture, Politics and Society of the University of Torino. She is also a member of the Environmental Humanities International Research Group. Her research interests include translation studies, political discourse and environmental discourse. In her work, the contrastive analysis of texts in different languages (translated or comparable) is employed as a tool for critical discourse analysis.

New working paper on “Changing Climate and Society: The Surprising Case of Brazil” now available

Why is Brazil unique when it comes to climate change? Brazil is a major emerging economy and it is the sixth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. However, its fossil fuel-based emissions are low by global standards. Brazil has been innovative in developing some relevant low carbon ways of generating energy and pioneered significant transport innovations. It has also played a major role in international debates on global warming and Brazilians’ degree of concern about global warming is higher than almost anywhere else. Brazil has the largest reserve of agricultural land in the world and it houses most of the Amazon forest and river basin.

climatechangeworkingThis working paper examines the interesting case of Brazil, offering a general overview of the centrality of Brazil within climate policy and politics.

Download and read the complimentary working paper now.

Changing Climates: Crossing Boundaries

Last Friday (28th), CASS had the pleasure to host a cordial meeting in which researchers from CASS and the University of Bergen got together to discuss about their ongoing research on discourses surrounding climate change.

The Norwegian team runs the NTAP project (Networks of Texts and People) which aims to explore the flow of information across online social networks with a view to understanding how knowledge develops and how opinion is shaped. Among other topics, the project examines the dynamics of discussions in the blogosphere around the various issues related to climate change.

Dag Elgesem and Andrew Salway – the principal investigator and scientific co-ordinator of the NTAP project respectively – provided an overview of the main goals of the project, state of affairs, expectations and their next steps. The Technical consultant and programmer for the project, Knut Hofland, talked about the data and the process of collecting it, describing various issues and decisions made along this process. Lubos Steskal, the project’s post-doctoral fellow, presented an interesting graphical representation of bloggers’ interactions which offers the researcher a clear indication about how communities are formed as well as whether and how they interact with each other. Samia Touileb presented a sample of her ongoing PhD project which uses grammar induction techniques to capture typical expressions used in blogs that discuss climate change.

Tony McEnery and Carmen Dayrell represented the CASS centre. Tony McEnery first provided a general broad view of the centre’s activities and staff by briefly mentioning its various projects. He also talked about some techniques commonly used in corpus-based discourse analysis to extract and manipulate the data. As expected, more attention was paid to the Changing Climates project. Having the climate change sociologist John Urry as its principal investigator, the project aims to contrast how climate change is discussed in news printed media in Britain and Brazil. Carmen Dayrell presented the current stage of the project. Her talk revolved around the composition of the corpora used in this study and a preliminary analysis of the data.

This was an excellent opportunity for these researchers to exchange ideas and experiences, expand horizons and learn about other approaches, perspectives, and views. We hope this first meeting will encourage and foster fruitful enhanced collaboration between these research teams.

Update on Changing Climates

The Changing Climates project is a corpus-based investigation of discourses around climate change. It aims to examine how climate change has been framed in the media coverage across Britain and Brazil in the past decade. Here, we look at two different scenarios. Recent surveys have shown that climate change is currently considered a high priority concern within Brazil, with the country showing higher degree of concern than almost anywhere else. By contrast, climate change scepticism is increasingly prominent in the British public sphere.

We are pleased to announce that we have just finished collecting the data. The Brazilian corpus contains about 8 million words, comprising texts from 12 newspapers. The British corpus is much larger. It has nearly 80 million words and includes texts published by all major British broadsheet and tabloid papers.

Welcoming new CASS Senior Research Associate: Carmen Dayrell

We are pleased to announce that Dr Carmen Dayrell (c.dayrell(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)lancaster.ac.uk) has joined the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science as the Senior Research Associate on the Changing Climates project. You can read a bit more about her in her own words, below.


My main research interests relate to the use of corpus methodologies to study language production, from various perspectives and in different settings.

I was first interested in the distinctive features of translated language and carried out a corpus study to investigate potential differences (and similarities) between collocational patterns in translated and non-translated texts of the same language. The main issue under my investigation was whether collocational patterns tend to be less diverse (i.e. reduced in range) in translations when compared to texts originally written in the language in question.

I then turned my attention to English academic writing and examined lexical and syntactical features of abstracts written in English by Brazilian graduate students, hence native speakers of Portuguese, from various disciplines. My primary goal was to provide insights for the development and improvement of teaching material that can directly target the specific needs of Brazilian novice researchers. This research project involved comparing the textual patterns used by students vis-à-vis those in abstracts taken from published papers from the same disciplines.

My current research focuses on the discourse of climate change in media coverage. This is part of a larger project which aims to conduct a large-scale, systematic empirical analysis of climate change discourse across Britain and Brazil. Our primary purpose is to investigate how the issue has been framed in these two countries in the past decade.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Translation Studies, CTIS – The University of Manchester (UK)
  • MA in Applied Linguistics, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG,Brazil)
  • BA in Business Administration and Accountancy, Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC-MG, Brazil)

Selected Publications

DAYRELL, C. (2011a) ‘Corpora and academic English teaching: lexico-grammatical patterns in abstracts written by Brazilian graduate students’. Vander Viana and Stella Tagnin (Eds.) Corpora in Foreign Language Teaching. São Paulo: HUB Editorial, pp. 137-172. (in Portuguese)

DAYRELL, C. (2011b) ‘Anticipatory ‘it’ in English abstracts: a corpus-based study of non-native student and published writing’. Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski (Ed.) Explorations across Languages and Corpora. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 581-598.

DAYRELL, C. (2010) ‘Frequency and lexico-grammatical patterns of sense-related verbs in English and Portuguese abstracts’. Richard Xiao (ed.) Using Corpora in Contrastive and Translation Studies. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 486-507.

DAYRELL, C. (2009) ‘Sense-related verbs in English scientific abstracts: a corpus-based study of students’ writing’. ESP Across Cultures 6: 61-78.

DAYRELL, C. (2008) ‘Investigating the preference of translators for recurrent lexical patterns: a corpus-based study’. Juliane House (ed.) Beyond Intervention: Universals in Translation?, TRANSKOM, First and Special Issue of TRANSKOM (1). Available at http://www.trans-kom.eu/.

DAYRELL, C. (2007) ‘A quantitative approach to investigate collocations in translated texts’. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 12(3): 415-444.