Discourse Lab: Information and research platform for discourse analysis as transcultural research

Discourse Lab is a virtual information and research platform for transcultural discourse analysis, primarily designed for PHD students and researchers who collaborate in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary frameworks. In constructing Discourse Lab we take advantage of the multi-perspectivity and methodical diversity of discourse analysis.

The big issues of our time – such as climate change, bioethics or immigration – are debated transnationally and throughout various domains of knowledge. Our aim is therefore to provide an infrastructure for transcultural and interdisciplinary collaborative work, which simultaneously enables analytic research with electronic corpus tools, qualitative text analysis and methodological coaching. Providing permanent documentation of the outcomes and main issues of interdisciplinary dialogue, Discourse Lab will become a centre of competence for transdisciplinary methods in discourse analysis.

Discourse Lab is a web-based virtual research and teaching platform and will have the following features:

  • development, storage and annotation of corpora for collaborative research
  • provision of freeware analytical tools
  • integration of visualization tools
  • collaborative research through live chats and fora
  • systematic documentation of research processes
  • tutorials and multimedia e-learning modules

Pilot projects

Discourse Lab will be a core component of the PHD students’ network epistemic cultures – linguistic cultures which Dr Müller founded in 2013 in cooperation with the Beijing Foreign Studies University (Prof. Jia Wenjian, vice president) in the field of collaborative transcultural research. Discourse Lab will also be the working platform of the CASS project Changing Climates.

The Discourse Lab project was awarded € 101.950,00 by the German Excellence Initiative (FRONTIER program, Heidelberg University). The project was approved for a period of 24 months, starting in February 2015. For more information, please contact Dr Marcus Müller (marcus.mueller@gs.uni-heidelberg.de), the PI of the project.