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Overview

I completed my PhD in July 2022 at the Centre for Language and Communication Research (CLCR). My thesis is titled: (Re)framing rape: A sociocognitive discourse analysis of sexual violence at the intersection of white and male supremacy.


I am a qualified lecturer in post-compulsory education and have taught a variety of subjects relating to English language, EAP and Law, in both further and higher education institutions. I combined my interests in language and law by doing a master's degree in Forensic Linguistics here in Cardiff. During this MA, my main focus was on linguistic issues relating to online hate speech; sexual violence and rape myths; and consent in rape cases. I am now continuing my research in these areas within the context of far-right extremism.

Research

Research interests

Research


My main research interests include:



  • online hate speech

  • digital narratives and online discourses

  • corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis (CADS)

  • far-right extremism and radicalisation

  • rape and sexual assault

  • online identity construction


Publications



  • Barber, K. (2021). From the Outside Looking in: The Risks and Challenges of Analysing Extremist Discourses on Far-right and Manosphere Websites. In: Cunningham, C. & Hall, C.J. (Eds). Vulnerabilities, Challenges and Risks in Applied Linguistics. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. pp. 131-146

  • Contributor to the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL). 2021. Recommendations on Good Practice in Applied Linguistics 2021, (4th edition)


Conferences



  • Religion and Rape Culture Conference


The Shiloh Project at The University of Sheffield (July 2018)


'Rape is a liberal disease': An analysis of alternative rape culture perpetuated by far-right extremists online



  • VOX-Pol Conference: Violent Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet: Present and Future Trends


The University of Amsterdam (August 2018)


'Rape is a liberal disease': An analysis of alternative rape culture perpetuated by far-right extremists online




  • 2018 BAAL Annual Conference: Taking Risks in Applied Linguistics


York St John University (September 2018)


The risks and challenges of analysing multimodal discourse in extremist rhetoric online



  • XI International Conference on Corpus Linguistics - Corpus Approaches to Discourse Analysis


The University of Valencia, Spain (May 2019)


The reframing of rape in extremist online rhetoric: Using corpus linguistics to compare identity construction in narrative and non-narrative discourses




  • 14th International Association of Forensic Linguistics (IAFL) Biennial Conference


RMIT, Melbourne, Australia (July 2019)


Reframing Rape: Investigating identities and alternative rape culture in extremist discourses online




  • International Corpus Linguistics 2019 Conference


Cardiff University (July 2019)


'Shitlibs and soyboys': Identity construction overlap in racist and misogynistic discourses online




  • Invited speaker - The Forensic Linguistics Research Group (FORGE)


Lancaster University (February 2020)


The Reframing of Rape in Extremist Online Discourses




  • Corpora and Discourse International Conference 2020


University of Sussex (online) (June 2020)


Using CADS to uncover how right-wing extremists generate an alternative rape culture in online narratives


(Award: Project addressing the most socially relevant topic by a student researcher)




  • Focus on the Researcher: Dealing with Distressing Data Symposium (organiser)


BAAL Language and New Media SIG (online) (May 2021)




  • 15th International Association of Forensic Linguistics (IAFL) Biennial Conference


Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (online) (September 2021)


The delegitimation of legal process in discourses of sexual violence against women in online extremists’ blog posts




  • Invited speaker - Language, Ideology and Power (LIP) Research Group


Lancaster University (online) (June 2022)


Investigating ideological convergence and divergence in Alt-Right and Manosphere discourses on sexual violence against women




  • Perpetrators of Violence Against Women Conference


City, University of London (October 2022)


The "real" perpetrators of rape: How sexual violence against women is (re)framed in right-wing extremists' blog posts



Teaching

Undergraduate modules I've tutored on:



  • Developing English

  • Reading and Writing in the Digital Age (RWDA)




Thesis

(Re)framing Rape: A sociocognitive discourse analysis of sexual violence at the intersection of white and male supremacy

The emergence of the Alternative Right (Alt-Right) redefined far-right extremism and enabled white male nationalists to unify online (Neiwert 2017, p. 258). While its racist rhetoric and white supremacist origins have received academic attention, the misogyny and explicit anti-feminist stance (Hermansson et al. 2020, p. 181) expressed between members of these groups, specifically regarding sexual offences against women, remain underexplored. The affordances of the online environment have also united supremacist groups which blame feminism for a perceived degradation of men: collectively, this “loose confederacy of interest groups” is known as the Manosphere (Ging, 2019). While both the Alt-Right and Manosphere incorporate anti-feminism in their collective ideologies, there is a lack of linguistic analyses on the extent of this overlap and how these positions manifest in the groups’ online discourses.


Utilising van Dijk's (2011) approach to critical ideological analysis—namely Epistemic Critical Discourse Analysis—as the underlying foundational theory, this thesis investigates how violence against women is (re)framed across 99 blog posts collected from Alt-Right sites and from the Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) subcommunity of the Manosphere. Within this theoretical foundation, analytical frameworks relating to social actor representations van Leeuwen, 2008); legitimation strategies (van Leeuwen, 2007; Reyes, 2011); and narrative construction (Labov and Waletzky, 1967; 1997) are employed.


The findings indicate varying degrees of convergence in the ways anti-feminism and misogyny are articulated among the Alt-Right and MRAs, particularly around legal cynicism, male victimhood, and a shared alternative rape culture which excuses sexual violence against women while promoting white male protectionism. The study contributes to linguistic work on how in-group and out-group identities within the extreme right-wing are indexed; ideological stance is legitimised; and narrative discourses are constructed within extremist rhetoric. It concludes with suggestions on how this work can contribute to measures designed to counter violent extremism online.

Funding source

ESRC

Supervisors

alt

Dr Amanda Potts

Senior Lecturer

Publications

2022

2021

Areas of expertise