Call for Papers

Anglistica AION. An Interdisciplinary Journal

Call for Papers


Language Unleashed: The Anatomy of Hate Speech in Contemporary Discourse

Editors: Giuseppe Balirano (University of Naples L'Orientale,; Robert Lawson (Birmingham City University, and Giuseppina Scotto di Carlo (University of Naples L'Orientale,


In recent years, in the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary communication, the phenomenon of hate speech has become a pressing concern, casting a dark shadow over the foundational principles of diversity and inclusivity in contemporary societies (Esposito and KhosraviNik, 2018; Balirano and Hughes, 2020). This insidious threat takes on various linguistic forms, necessitating a thorough exploration to unravel its complexity. The urgency to address this issue is emphasised by the alarming escalation of divisive rhetoric in public discourse, thus recognising the imperative need for more focused and thorough explorations. In this sense, linguistics, as a discipline, provides a unique perspective to dissect the intricacies of hate speech, revealing its layers through systematic analysis. Therefore, the present call for papers seeks contributions from scholars and researchers specialising in linguistic analyses, fostering a collaborative space to critically interrogate the multifaceted nature of hate speech. The goal is to uncover the underlying mechanisms, identify recurring discursive patterns, and unravel the socio-linguistic aspects contributing to the perpetuation of this phenomenon. By delving into the linguistic dimensions of hate speech, contributors are encouraged to explore how language is weaponised to propagate discriminatory ideologies and incite hostility. This examination not only facilitates a deeper understanding of the problem but also contributes to the development of strategies and interventions aimed at mitigating the impact of hate speech on diverse communities. Furthermore, the exploration extends to the evolution of hate speech in the digital age (Zappavigna, 2012; Papacharissi, 2015; Esposito and KhosraviNik, 2024), considering the role of online platforms and social media in amplifying its reach and impact. The interplay between linguistic expressions, digital communication, and the dissemination of hate speech poses a unique set of challenges that warrant scholarly attention.

In addition to linguistic analyses, researchers are encouraged to explore the broader socio-cultural context within which hate speech operates. This includes examining historical precedents, societal attitudes, and the role of institutions in either perpetuating or countering the proliferation of hate speech. Ultimately, this call for papers aims to assemble a rich tapestry of research that not only dissects the linguistic dimensions of hate speech but also provides a holistic understanding of its societal roots and implications. 

We welcome submissions across a spectrum of themes, including but not limited to:

  • Defining Hate Speech: Exploring the evolving definitions and interpretations of hate speech across different cultural, legal, and social contexts.
  • Interpretation of Hate Symbols: Elucidating the meanings and interpretations of hate symbols, unraveling the relevance of these symbols in diverse cultural and communicative contexts.
  • Impact on Society: Analysing the consequences of hate speech on individuals, communities, and the broader societal framework. 
  • Intersectionality: Examining the intersectional nature of hate speech, acknowledging the varied forms of discrimination it encompasses. 
  • Political Discourse: Scrutinising hate speech within political communication and its implications for democratic values. 
  • Hate speech in Digital Spaces: Conducting a critical discourse analysis of hate speech in digital spaces, particularly focusing on collective forms of discrimination.
  • Hate speech in interpersonal relationships: Exploring self- and heterodesignation processes within the language interpersonal relationships. 
  • Analysis of Community Discourse: Exploring hate speech within specific online communities.


Submission of abstracts
Authors wishing to contribute to this issue of Anglistica AION are invited to send an abstract of their proposed article of no more than 300 words (excluding references) in MS Word format by 1st February 2024 to Giuseppe Balirano (, Robert Lawson ( and Giuseppina Scotto di Carlo ( [CC].

Important dates
Deadline for abstracts: February 1, 2024
Notification of acceptance: February 15, 2024
Deadline for completed articles: May 31, 2024


Publication Schedule
The accepted papers will be curated into a cohesive volume, aiming for publication in Anglistica AION ( in 2024.

For inquiries and submission details, please, contact Giuseppe Balirano (, Robert Lawson ( and Giuseppina Scotto di Carlo ( [CC]. We eagerly anticipate linguistically enriched contributions that will advance our understanding of hate speech in diverse linguistic contexts.


Balirano, Giuseppe / Hughes, Bronwen (Eds) 2020. Homing in on Hate: Critical Discourse Studies of Hate Speech, Discrimination and Inequality in the Digital Age. Naples: Paolo Loffredo Editore.

Esposito, Eleonora / KhosraviNik, Majid 2018. Online Hate, Digital Discourse and Critique: Exploring Digitally-mediated Discursive Practices of Gender-based Hostility. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 14(1): 45 – 68.

Esposito, Eleonora / KhosraviNik, Majid (Eds) 2024. Discourse in the Digital Age: Social Media, Power, and Society. London and New York: Routledge.

Papacharissi, Zizi 2015. Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zappavigna, Michele 2012. Discourse of Twitter and Social Media: How to Use Language to Create Affiliation on the Web. London: Bloomsbury.




 “In the tide of times”: Continuity and Change in Screen Shakespeare(s)
Editors: Sylvaine Bataille (Université de Rouen Normandie, and Victoria Bladen (University of Queensland,

Shakespeare has been present on screens for more than 120 years, from the 1899 silent film King John to recent films like Joel Coen’s 2021 Macbeth, the 2018 spin-off Ophelia or Netflix’s 2019 The King. From “box office poison” to “mass-market Shakespeare film”, from “new wave Shakespeare” to a “post-‘Shakespearean-blockbuster’ phase” (L.B. Mayer cited by Lanier, 2002; Lanier, 2002; Cartelli and Rowe, 2007; Hatchuel and Vienne-Guerrin, 2017), the history of Shakespeare on screen has been one of shifts and transformations, as well as endurance and citation. Times and technologies change, generations of directors and viewers succeed each other, but filmmakers continue to be drawn to Shakespeare and find his plays relevant to our world. New versions reinvent previous films (for instance, Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story) or use similar adaptational strategies, while the resurgence of black-and-white (in Joss Whedon’s 2012 Much Ado About Nothing and in Joel Coen’s 2021 Macbeth), as well as the pandemic-related revival of the filmed theatre subgenre (available on streaming platforms such as Globe Player or National Theatre Home), seem to take us back to the beginnings of Shakespeare on film.  

This special issue will provide an opportunity to ask where we are in Shakespeare on screen and in screen Shakespeare studies today. We invite papers on: 

  • the extent of the renewal brought by recent Shakespearean screen productions: are we currently witnessing a new “wave” of Shakespeare films or is this notion no longer relevant given today’s media context of fragmentation, niche production and Internet streaming?
  • Experimentation/innovation and tradition: how do film/TV/digital Shakespearean productions deal with the traditions established by previous screen interpretations and more broadly with cinematic genre conventions? At what point do innovations turn into conventions which can then lend themselves to parody? 
  • Screen Shakespeares in a changing world and in times of crisis: between resistance to change, escapism or nostalgia and a meaningful dialogue with the historical moment; and
  • Any other interpretations of the theme of ‘continuity and change’ in Shakespeare on screen. 

We welcome submissions from authors working in the field of Shakespeare and adaptation who would like to be considered for inclusion in the volume.

Please submit your 300-word abstract along with a short biography to  both editors and CC 

Deadline for abstracts: 1 December 2023
Notification of acceptance:  20 December 2023
Deadline for completed articles: 31 March 2024

The articles submitted must comply with the guidelines and a template that can be downloaded from the journal's website.



Persuasion in Religious Discourse
Aoife Beville (University of Naples L'Orientale, and Stephen Pihlaja (Aston University, 

Religious discourse, understood in a broad, functional sense (Harrison 2006; Hobbs 2021; Pihlaja 2021) often has a persuasive dimension. Indeed, certain kinds of texts are immediately recognisable as explicit argumentation: Da’wa, evangelism, apologetics or similar. However, persuasive strategies may also be revealed in appeals for almsgiving and financial donations, calls to social action, instructions for devotional practices or ethical choices, and so forth.

Persuasion, in linguistic terms, is not an inherently negative concept, despite the unpleasant connotations that it may evoke; it is, rather, “a legitimate function of argumentation” (Walton 2007, 46). Persuasion, therefore, is understood here as a kind of speech act (Austin 1962) which, prototypically, produces the perlocutionary effect of influencing the audience’s belief or actions.

‘Persuasion in Religious Discourse’ will be a special issue for Anglistica AION. An Interdisciplinary Journal. The issue aims to account for the forms and functions of persuasion in religious discourse. It, therefore, responds to “the perennial need for individuals and groups to be aware of the persuasive practices they use, or that are used upon them to produce or alter their beliefs and actions” (Fahnestock and Harris 2022, 1). 

We invite analyses of patterns and practices of persuasion in a variety of religious discourses (meditative and sermon texts; hadiths; interpersonal discourse; representation of religion in fictional texts; social media and online discourse, etc.). ‘Religious’, here, refers to minority religions, world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and others, or to closely related concepts such as New Age spirituality, New Atheism, and mysticism. Diachronic and comparative approaches which further broaden these horizons are welcome. Furthermore, religious language may function as a stylistic device intended to persuade within other forms of discourse – Hobbs (2021) notes its use in media, advertising, politics, and popular culture. 

Such analyses will serve to illuminate the rhetorical practices which constitute religious discourse and, which, in turn, construct religious, social, and cultural identities. 

Possible methods of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

  • Rhetoric and argumentation studies
  • Stylistics
  • Conversation Analysis
  • Discourse Analysis 
  • Pragmatics
  • Anthropological, ethnomethodological and linguistic approaches to religious studies
  • Historical linguistics
  • Corpus linguistics

Please submit abstracts (300wds; max. 5 keywords; max. 5 references) along with a short biography to both editors and cc

Deadline for abstracts - 30th November 2023
Notification of acceptance – 20th December 2023
Deadline for completed articles - 31st March 2024



Adam, Martin. 2017. ‘Persuasion in Religious Discourse: Enhancing Credibility in Sermon Titles and Openings’. Discourse and Interaction 10 (2): 5–25. 

Austin, J. L. 1962. How to Do Things with Words. Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books.

Crystal, David. 2018. ‘Whatever Happened to Theolinguistics?’ In Religion, Language, and the Human Mind, edited by Paul Chilton and Monika Kopytowska, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fahnestock, Jeanne. 2011. Rhetorical Style: The Uses of Language in Persuasion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fahnestock, Jeanne, and Randy Allen Harris, eds. 2022. The Routledge Handbook of Language and Persuasion. New York: Routledge.

Harris, Randy Allen, and Jeanne Fahnestock. 2022. ‘Rhetoric, Linguistics, and the Study of Persuasion’. In The Routledge Handbook of Language and PersuaHarsion, edited by Jeanne Fahnestock and Randy Allen Harris, 1–24. New York: Routledge.

Harrison, Victoria S. 2006. ‘The Pragmatics of Defining Religion in a Multi-Cultural World’. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 59 (3): 133–52.

Hobbs, Valerie. 2021. An Introduction to Religious Language: Exploring Theolinguistics in Contemporary Contexts. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Jeffries, Lesley, and Dan McIntyre. 2010. Stylistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keane, Webb. 1997. ‘Religious Language’. Annual Review of Anthropology 26 (1): 47–71.

Keane, Webb. 2005. ‘Language and Religion’. In A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology, 431–48. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Leech, Geoffrey. 2008. Language in Literature: Style and Foregrounding. New York: Pearson Longman.

Levinson, Stephen C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pihlaja, Stephen. 2018. Religious Talk Online: The Evangelical Discourse of Muslims, Christians and Atheists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pihlaja, Stephen. ed. 2021. Analysing Religious Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Searle, John R. 1975. Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Walton, Douglas, ed. 2007. ‘The Speech Act of Persuasion’. In Media Argumentation: Dialectic, Persuasion and Rhetoric, 46–90. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Wuthnow, Robert J. 2011. ‘Taking Talk Seriously: Religious Discourse as Social Practice’. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50 (1): 1–21.