Discourse in institutional settings: Education, Medicine, and Forensics

Course Name

Discourse in institutional settings: Education, Medicine, and Forensics



5 or 10

Course date

semester 1 (2015 - 2016)

Registration open until

- 15/01/2015


Amsterdam (UvA)


Anne Bannink (University of Amsterdam) and Fleur van der Houwen (VU University Amsterdam)

E-mail Contact

Course objectives

Students will acquire in-depth knowledge of specific proposals for the analysis of interactional data in professional task-oriented settings, especially multiparty settings that involve complex roles and participation frameworks and will learn to apply these insights in the description and analysis of authentic data.
To achieve the aims of the course, the activities in the course will include: (i) reading and discussing academic texts from books and journals; and (ii) presentations and assignments.

Course content

This course will address professional communication in a range of face-to-face and technologically-mediated situations, with a special focus on education, medicine and forensics.
During the first 5 ECTS of the course, we will read and discuss studies in discourse analysis, conversation analysis, ethnography and linguistic pragmatics in order to familiarize ourselves with the issues and notions that are addressed by scholars in the field of institutional discourse. We will study topics such as: narratives in institutions, intertextuality/hybrid discourse practices, identity construction, ‘talking an institution into being’, institutional gatekeeping encounters, framing and frame-shifting, and facework and linguistic politeness.
In the second half of the course (5 ECTS) we will zoom in on the specific settings of education, medicine and forensics.


Homework assignments for each class. Completion of all assignments is required to take part in the final exams.

Part 1 (5 ECTS): written exam consisting of essay questions on the reading materials and the activities during the seminars.
Part 2 (5 ECTS): paper (5.000 words)

Background Literature and Course Materials

Jones, R. (2012) Discourse Analysis: A Resource Book for Students (New York: Routledge, 2012) and “Selected papers”.

Further information