Plenary speakers

Marinella Belluati (Università di Torino)

"Journalism and diversity from an intersectional perspective"

Marinella Belluati is professor at Universita di Torino, where she teaches Sociology of Communication (bachelor’s degree course “Political and Social Sciences”) and Media Analysis and European Communication (master’s degree course “Public and Political Communication). She is the coordinator of “Public and Political Communication master’s degree course.

She was selected as high level profile by Italian Economic Development Department to write The Communication White Paper for the Digital Transformation Age. From 2015 she has been coordinator of “Communicating Europe Lab” Seminar activity focusing on European Public and Political communication, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in Italy (Milan Office). She is the main coordinator of Jean Monnet module: Communicating Europe: Institutions, Representations and Public Opinion (CoEUr) 2019-2021. She was a team member of the Jean Monnet project “Vote for Europe 2019” (coordinator Edoardo Novelli Universita di “Roma Tre”). She is a team member of Jean Monnet Center of Excellence Artificial Intelligence for European Integration (AI4EI) 2021-23. She is the president of To-Eu (Turin European Research center) of Cultures, Politics and Society Department (Universita di Torino). She is a team member of “Coder” applied research center of Social Sciences and “Political Communication Observatory” of Department of Cultures, Politics and Society. She is a team member (Italian Unit) of the Media for Democracy Monitor Euromedia Research Group.

She is part of the editorial board of the Italian journal: Problemi dell’informazione (Il Mulino) and vice-director of De Europa online journal of European Studies of To-Eu center (Department of Cultures, Politics and Society).

Her research interests are in European communication strategies, Electoral communication, Gender Politics and Gender Violence.

Selected Publications

Belluati. M. (2022). Media digitali, genere e politica. In Farci, M. & Scarcelli, C. M. (eds.) Media Digitali, Genere Sessualità. Milano: Mondadori

Belluati, M., Padovani. C., Karadimitriou, A., Horz-Ishak, C., & Baroni, A. (2022). Gender inequalities in and through the media: Comparing gender inequalities in the media across countries. In Trappel, J. & Tomaz, T. (eds) Success and failure in news media performance: Comparative analysis in the Media for Democracy Monitor. Gothenburg: Nordicom, pp. 79–100.

Belluati, M. (2021) (ed.) Femminicidio. Un'analisi tra realtà e rappresentazione (Feminicide. An analysis between reality and representation). Roma: Carocci.

Paola Catenaccio (Università degli Studi di Milano)

"'Midlife' prosodies at the age-gender interface"

Paola Catenaccio is Full Professor of English Linguistics and Translation at Università degli Studi di Milano. Her research interests lie primarily in the field of discourse analysis, which she has applied to a variety of domains, always with a focus on the discourse/society interface and frequently on topics which are the object of controversy or debate in contemporary society. Her methodological approach combines qualitative analyses grounded in pragmatics (including intercultural pragmatics), argumentation and rhetoric, which she also applies to visual and multimodal materials, with quantitative investigations in the tradition of corpus linguistics.

She has coordinated and/or participated in several research projects at local, national and international level. In particular, she has recently conducted research within the framework of two PRIN (Italian Research Program of Significant National Interest) projects, one devoted to Knowledge Dissemination across Media in English (PRIN  2015TJ8ZAS_003, PI Marina Bondi), where her contribution has focused on knowledge dissemination in sociotechnical controversies involving ethical quandaries, and one to English as a Lingua Franca in domain-specific contexts of intercultural communication (PRIN 2015REZ4EZ_001, PI Maria Grazia Guido), where she has focused on narratives in migrant contexts. She is co-editor-in-chief of the international peer-reviewed journal LCM - Languages Cultures Mediation.

She has also authored or co-authored numerous edited volumes and monographs, the latest one (co-authored with Giuliana Garzone) focused on issues of ethics in corporate and professional communication (Ethics in Professional and Corporate Discourse, Frank & Timme 2022). Her contribution to the scholarship on language and diversity spans two decades, from the early essay “De-humanising the Alien: The Construction of Migrants’ Rights in EU Legislation” (2007), to the co-editorship of the volume Language and Bias in Specialised Communication (2008), to the analysis of migrants’ narratives (“Repertori retorici e negoziazione culturale nei racconti di vita di rifugiati: lingua franca e implicazioni ideologiche”, Lingue e Linguaggi  2015; “Do you understand? Interactional strategies in ELF narratives of migration: A case study”, Lingue e Linguaggi, 2020) and the study of forms of discrimination across media and discourses (“A crisis within the crisis: Representations of children’s mental health in the UK press before and during the Covid-19 pandemic”, Journal of Language and Discrimination, 2022; “Discursive (De/Re)constructions of Identity and the Age/ Gender Interface: From Geriatric Pregnancies to Midlife Motherhood”, 2022; “Evolving Discursive Constructions of Aging in Social Gerontology Textbooks. A Preliminary Investigation.”, 2022; “Discrimination in organ allocation: a discourse analysis of scientific and policy documents”, forthcoming).

Paola Catenaccio has also served as coordinator of the BA in Language Mediation and Intercultural Communication offered by the Università degli Studi di Milano and as Head of Department in the same university. She has contributed to designing an inter-university MA in Migration Studies (set within the framework of the 4EU+ Project “Migration Studies and New Societies”) due to be launched in 2023-24.

Mark Nartey (University of West England) 

"Examining emancipatory discourses as translational research: The need for a socially engaged critical discourse analysis (CDA)"

Mark Nartey is Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of the West of England, where he is also a member of the Bristol Centre for Linguistics. He obtained his B.A. in English Language and Linguistics from the University of Cape Coast, M.Phil. in Linguistics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and PhD in Discourse Studies from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Mark is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in how discourse figures in social processes, social structures and social change. His research focuses on the contextualized forms of semiotic phenomena upon which social conventions, categories and indexical meanings are constructed or reconstructed, actualized, negotiated and disputed vis-à-vis wider social, cultural, racial, economic and historical conditions. He investigates how people deploy language in specific spatiotemporal and sociocultural contexts to achieve various aims, including but not limited to identity construction, self-promotion, argumentation, othering, resistance and (de)legitimation. He’s particularly interested in language and identity, language attitudes and stereotypes, language and diversity, language and the media and language and/in politics.

Mark’s research has a critical orientation and an emancipatory agenda. Hence, it aims to raise awareness about various complicated constructs in society and to illustrate how research on language use can translate into social transformation. His scholarship also argues for an activist-scholar posture and a more interventionist stance in ideologically-oriented discourse analysis in order to advocate positive social change given the role of scholars as public transformative intellectuals. Additionally, his work underscores the role of language as an inspiring artifact and a resource for agency by analysing hope-giving, reparative discourse and on-the ground practices which are oriented to well-being. While his research seeks out examples of transformative discourse to critique the dominant and to build other worlds, it at the same time exposes and resists discriminatory, exclusionist and prejudiced discourses as well as other types of unwholesome language use.

Mark’s speciality lies in the discourse analysis of texts situated within Global South contexts, with several studies on the discourse of Kwame Nkrumah, a pioneering Pan-African leader. He has also produced critical-discourse-analytical work on the construction of masculinity as well as articles on identity construction and negotiation in discourses about and by non-dominant groups such as feminists, nomads, LGBT+ people, indigenous people and Black Lives Matter. He has furthermore investigated discourse of contestation and its manifestation in digital protests, hashtag activism and online social movements.

Mark’s published work draws heavily on comparative and interdisciplinary research frameworks, while exploring phenomena in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Carribean and North America. His papers (>35) can be found in top-tier journals such as Corpora, World Englishes, Critical Discourse Studies, Pragmatics and Society, Discourse & Communication, Language & Intercultural Communication among others. His recent monograph published by Routledge examines the interplay of political myth-making, nationalist resistance and populist performance. His latest edited volume has also been published by Routledge, and it examines the enactment of emancipatory discourse in different societies. He is the Review Editor of Functions of Language.

Helen Ringrow (University of Portsmouth)

"Online narratives of religious conservative women"

Helen Ringrow is Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies and Applied Linguistics and Associate Head Research and Innovation at the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, University of Portsmouth, UK, where she teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate linguistics courses, and supervises PhD students in areas related to her specialism.

She has a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast, where she also contributed to teaching on language, power, and ideology. Her doctoral research focused on how femininity and beauty standards related to women’s bodies are textually and visually constructed in French and English cosmetics advertisements. This research was later developed into her 2016 monograph, The Language of Cosmetics Advertising, with Palgrave Macmillan.

Since her PhD studies, Helen’s research interests have expanded to include not only advertising language but other forms of media discourse, especially in terms of religion, identity, gender, and online communities. She is particularly interested in metaphorical representations of motherhood and of modest fashion in online religious contexts. She has published on this topic as part of her edited collection, Contemporary Media Stylistics (2020, Bloomsbury, with Dr Stephen Pihlaja) and as part of a Discourse, Context & Media journal special issue on parenting, identity, and digital interaction. Helen has also published her work outside of more formal academic contexts, such as in The Conversation and Contemporaries at Post45 essays. Helen uses a range of linguistic methods in her work, but this work often crosses disciplinary boundaries, drawing on scholarship from theology, media studies, sociology, fashion studies, and more.

Helen is passionate about using stylistic and critical linguistic approaches to explore the style and meaning-making potential of ‘everyday’ texts — such as song lyrics, blogs and pop culture more generally — that might be easily or erroneously dismissed as unworthy objects of academic study.


Helen is a member of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA), the International Association of Literary Semantics (IALS), and the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), presenting her research frequently at their international conferences. Helen is currently co-editing The Routledge Handbook of Language and Religion (with Dr Stephen Pihlaja). In addition, she is working on a project examining the language of the campaign to secure reproductive rights in Ireland (co-authored book with Dr Simon Statham, under contract with Bloomsbury).

Selected publications

Ringrow, H. (2020a) ‘“Beautiful masterpieces”: metaphors of the female body in modest fashion blogs’. In Ringrow, H. & Pihlaja, S. (eds). Contemporary Media Stylistics. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 15-34.

Ringrow, H. (2020b) ‘“I can feel myself being squeezed and stretched, moulded and grown, and expanded in my capacity to love loudly and profoundly”: Metaphor and religion in motherhood blogs’. Discourse, Context & Media Special Issue (eds: Jai Mackenzie & Sumin Zhao): ‘Doing Motherhood Online: parenting, identity and digital interaction’, Vol. 37.

Ringrow, H. (2016) The Language of Cosmetics Advertising. London: Palgrave Macmillan.