Press release 22/23 - 28.03.2023

Augsburg conference on the sociology of discourse research

The 5th international conference on the discursive construction of reality will take place from the 30th to the 31st of March 2023 at the University of Augsburg.

Discourse research spans a broad range of themes, including questions of educational justice, environmental problems, problems associated with the pandemic, as well as identity conflicts and migration. From the 30th to the 31st of March, leading researchers will meet at the University of Augsburg for the international conference “The Discursive Construction of Reality V,” organised by the Chair of Sociology. Alongside research, the conference will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung (ZfD),” which was founded in Augsburg.

© University of Augsburg

For 50 years now, sociological discourse research has been investigating both public-political and scientific-religious interpretive conflicts in which different actors try to assert their respective points of view. 'Discourse' is not a synonym for debate and discussion, but rather refers to specific forms and content of speech about certain phenomena. Such phenomena include climate change, which affects the entire public, for example, as well as individual sciences and religions, which only affect a certain part of society. Whatever the phenomenon, the question is always about the different discourses, their forms, and how they clash. Discourse research also examines which interpretations prevail and their social consequences.

Conference: “The Discursive Construction of Reality V”

The 5th international conference on the discursive construction of reality will take place from the 30th to the 31st of March 2023 at the University of Augsburg. It is organised every two years by Prof. Dr Reiner Keller and his team at the Chair of Sociology. Following a break due to corona, the conference will once again bring together interdisciplinary contributions to the sociology of discourse analysis and related perspectives on discourse, dispositive, and subjectivation research. Keller says: “Sociological discourse research was developed in Augsburg and has an established tradition which we can look back on. This is one of the reasons why our conference has become an important international forum for discussion and exchange between discourse researchers from many different disciplines in the German-speaking world.”


Researchers are invited to discuss their completed and current work as well as questions of theory, methodology, and methods within discourse research. A total of 52 presentations will take place in 15 parallel thematic streams from which participants can choose. Keller adds: “Several streams are in English, bringing together contributions from several different countries and offering promising opportunities for international dialogue. There will be opportunities to exchange ideas and network during the breaks and evening events.” Contributions span a broad spectrum of topics ranging from questions concerning educational justice to health, pandemic, and environmental-related problems to political/(post-)colonial upheavals, and identity conflicts and migration. The effects of discourses on their subjects and the further development of methods will also be discussed.

Discourse research from Africa

Keller highlights three keynotes dedicated to overarching themes in discourse research. Prof. Dr Angelika Poferl (TU Dortmund University) will speak on “The Crisis of Interpretation” and Dr Katharina Miko-Schefzig (Vienna University of Economics and Business) will discuss theoretical and methodological issues related to socially relevant struggles for interpretation in “times of discursive polarisation.” Another international guest is Dr Dennis Puorideme (SB Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development in Wa, Ghana). He will discuss contributions of sociological discourse research to the analysis of contemporary change in Africa under the title “SKAD Research Agenda in the Developing World: The prospects and trajectories of change in contemporary African Societies.” Keller says: “The conference therefore deliberately opens with the opportunity for cooperation with discourse researchers from Africa, to which we attribute great future significance."

Anniversary of the “Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung (ZfD)”

The conference also celebrates the tenth anniversary of the “Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung (ZfD),” founded at the University of Augsburg and edited by Reiner Keller, Werner Schneider, Wolf Schünemann, and Willy Viehöver. Since its foundation, the journal has published numerous articles in German and English from various academic disciplines such as sociology, linguistics, political science, and philosophy and has initiated relevant discussions in discourse research. It has thus established itself as one of the leading international journals in discourse research. To mark the anniversary, a special issue will be published with more than 30 contributions and over 300 pages.

More information

The conference “The Discursive Construction of Reality V” will take place on the university campus in Building G (Zentrum für Kunst und Musik) and will begin on Thursday, the 30th of March at 13:30. It will conclude on Friday, the 31st of March at 19:20. Further information on the programme can be found via the link below:

Diskursforschung (

Scientific contact

Chair of Sociology
Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences

Media contact

Dr. Manuela Rutsatz
Media Officer
Communications and Media Relations