Associate projects - Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: EU Perceptions in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine (C3EU) - EU Global Perceptions - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Associate projects

UKRAINE – EUROPEAN UNION:
Referendum in the Netherlands as Viewed in Ukrainian and Russian Internet Blogs

Leaders: Professor Svitlana Zhabotynska and Associate Professor Valentina Velivchenko

This is a pilot study of media narratives focused on the referendum in Holland as to the approval of Ukraine’s association with the EU. The narratives are represented by randomly selected articles published in Ukrainian (80 articles) and Russian (70 articles) Internet blogs in March – April 2016. The analyzed temporal spans are: March 1 – April 5 (before the referendum), April 6 – 12 (the referendum proper and the subsequent decision of the country’s government), April 13 – 30 (after the government’s decision). The study aims to establish the focal narrative topics, their prominence and dynamics exhibited through time, as well as evaluation of these topics exposed through verbal and visual means.

The narrative topics are arranged within a coherent conceptual ontology that structures information about the referendum and exhibits reciprocal relations between the involved participants. These relations, specified in the texts, are described in them with a certain degree of regularity, which demonstrates salience of topics for the narrators. The latter, as the confronting discourse parties, Ukraine and Russia, tend to display their attitudes and dispositions to the described events.

Referendum

Fig. 1. Referendum in the Netherlands: a conceptual ontology

The project is carried out by the faculty members and students of Bohdan Khmelnitsky National University in Cherkasy. The theoretical framework for data analysis is developed by Professor Svitlana Zhabotynska. The analysis of data within this framework is fulfilled by Associate Professor Valentina Velivchenko. The data have been collected by BA students of the School of Foreign Languages.

UKRAINE – EUROPEAN UNION:
Conceptual Metaphors in the Verbal Image

Leaders: Prof. Svitlana Zhabotynska, Prof. Galyna Yavorska, and Prof. Olena Morozova

This satellite project intends to provide an in-depth analysis of multiple metaphorical expressions (conventional and non-conventional) represented in Ukrainian media narratives dated January – June 2006 and focused on Ukraine – EU relations. Considered within the framework of cognitive linguistics, these metaphorical expressions are expected to reveal a limited number of basic conceptual metaphors typical of political discourse. When employed for portraying some referential domain, the relations between Ukraine and the EU in particular, such conceptual metaphors acquire specificity in both reflecting the events and creating their axiological planes. This specificity, as the major highlight of the study, is expected to be found in the target and source domains, as well as in their cross-mapping.

The theoretical conception includes the analysis of conceptual metaphors from the following standpoints:

  1. the TARGET domains of the named concepts – their metaphorical range defined by the number of sources mapped on the targets, and the number of resulting metaphorical expressions. These two parameters expose the degree of the targets’ metaphorization, which, in its turn, shows the salience of a target and its importance for the speakers; 
  2. the SOURCE domains of entities with which the targets are compared – their metaphorical scope defined by the number of targets on which the sources are mapped. The cross-mapping of the source and the target results in one or several conceptual metaphors represented by a metaphorical schema which is specified in various metaphorical expressions. The metaphorical scope of the source domain, the number of conceptual metaphors it creates, and the number of respective metaphorical expressions expose the metaphorical potential of the source, which in some cases displays the importance of a particular axiological plane.

The project, which has theoretical and practical implications for both media studies and linguistics, is carried out by Prof. Svitlana Zhabotynska, Prof. Galyna Yavorska, and Prof. Olena Morozova.

UKRAINIAN PERSPECIVES ON SELF, EU AND RUSSIA:
Intersemiotic and Cognitive Images Construed by Ukrainian Newspapers

Leader: Anastasiya Pshenychnykh

Anastasiya’s research looks into Ukrainians’ view of themselves, the European Union and Russia as presented in Ukrainian media discourse, namely, in social and political newspapers. Method: Ukrainian dailies’ and weeklies’ monitoring with the focus on both verbal and visual semiotic layers and their interaction. The research aims at generalizing on intersemiotic images of Ukraine-the EU-Russia triangle in the contemporary context as well as bringing to light the respective cognitive images, or the ways Self (Ukraine) and the Other (the EU and Russia) are presented by Ukrainian press.

The starting point of the investigation is the formal analysis of photographic images of Ukraine, the EU and Russia involving visualization tools software for organizing the image data; the core formal qualities being analyzed are types of photographs, shots and shooting angles, composition, colour and a range of visual elements like light, focus, repetition, shape, texture and others which give form to the images under study. This serves as an access to what is “in” the form or interpretations of meaning: symbolism in photos, their connotations and metaphorical meanings, as well as types of resonance with the verbal text of articles and the creation of additional meanings resulting from the interaction of the two semiotic layers. The final aim is to elaborate cognitive images. For comparing and contrasting Ukrainian cognitive images of Self, the EU and Russia the cognitive theory of perspectives is used which helps to show the cognitive viewing arrangement changes depending on what object is focused on or framed. The visual and verbal image is analyzed in terms of differences in cognitive perspectival points, perspectival distance and mode, direction of situation scanning.

THE EUROPEAN UNION IN INSTITUIONAL DISCOURSE:
A Ukrainian Perspective vs. an EU Perspective

Leader: Anna Kryvenko

In recent years, relations between language and society – a traditional concern of sociolinguistics – have been reconsidered, not least of all, under the influence of ideas borrowed from social, cultural and political studies. The view of language as a mere reflection of social interaction has been transformed to the comprehension of a constructive role of discourse in social change. European integration is a kind of social change which is propelled by discourse, and since ‘institutions play a vital role in reality construction’ (Mayr 2008: 3) of the European community, it is institutional discourse that is ‘endowed with the performative power to bring into being the very realities it claims to describe’ (Fairclough 2003: 203-204).

The main question of Anna’s current research is how European integration is constructed and reconstructed by institutional discourses in the EU and in Ukraine in the context of the recently signed association agreement, while there is an ongoing conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. In seeking an answer to this question, Anna engages the methodology developed by Natalia Chaban and her team for their C3EU project, along with a corpus approach to critical discourse analysis.

In particular, Anna maintains that a systematic account of the perception of the EU in Ukrainian institutional discourse and the perception of Ukraine in EU institutional discourse will uncover similarities and discrepancies in the structure, sequence and coherence of discursive practices in Ukraine and the EU respectively with regard to European integration. The findings of this research will contribute to C3EU by assessing the communicative and strategic actions of the EU and Ukraine under crisis as they are constructed by institutional discourse.

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