Dr Christopher Hart
BA, MA, PhD
Job title: Senior Lecturer in English Language and Communication
Email Address: C.J.Hart@herts.ac.uk
Memberships and Appointments: Editor of Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines; Review editor for Journal of Language and Politics; Managing Editor for Language and Cognition; Publicity Officer for UK Cognitive Linguistics Association
Editor of Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines; Review editor for Journal of Language and Politics; Managing Editor for Language and Cognition; Publicity Officer for UK Cognitive Linguistics Association
I joined the University of Hertfordshire as faculty in 2007. Previously, I studied linguistics at the University of East Anglia and received my PhD from Lancaster University in 2009.
Research InterestsMy main research interests lie in cognitive and naturalistic approaches to language, manipulation and ideology. This involves two (interconnected) dimensions of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). In the first, I advocate a Cognitive Linguistic Approach to CDA, analysing the relationship between representations in text and conceptualisation. The principal aim of this approach is to demonstrate, in a systematic way, how certain linguistic (lexical and grammatical) constructions found in political and media discourses can engender ideologically vested cognitive representations of 'reality'. In the second dimension, I am interested in relationships between argument and adapted cognition, drawing on a theoretical synergy between Evolutionary Psychology and Argumentation Theory to explain the cognitive impact and manipulative potential of particular argument schemes recurrent in political and media texts. I have applied this model primarily in studies of anti-immigration discourse. However, I am currently using the Cognitive Linguistic Approach to investigate discourse in other domains, specifically representations of violence in news reports of political protests. Other areas of interest include cognitive lexical semantics, cognitive metaphor theory, corpus linguistics, and cognitive pragmatics.
Teaching specialismsI teach a number of modules at different levels including courses in Cognitive Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Semantics/Pragmatics and EvoLingo,.
Collaborations and Projects
Funded by the Social Science, Arts and Humanties Research Institute (£3,718), I am currently working on a project entitled Argumentation and Adapted Cognition in Public Discourses of Social Exclusion. The project investigates the potential psychological effects of argumentation schemes recurrent in anti-immigration discourses. It suggests that particular argument acts may, if the premise in the argument is accepted as true, activate extant adapted decision-rules which provided sensible ‘rules of thumb' for our ancestors but which are counter-conducive to social cohesion in contemporary society.
I am also the founder of a non-funded project Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines. This is an ongoing project which aims to foster and promote cross-disciplinary communication in critical discourse research. The project includes an international conference series and peer-reviewed, online journal.