Symposium in Amsterdam, Formation of CDA, Work of the Founders

Theresa Catalano, Linda R. Waugh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter begins by briefly discussing the general domain of discourse analysis (DA) (including text linguistics), van Dijk’s (1985) Handbook of Discourse Analysis, and an explanation of how DA set the stage for the development of CDA. We then describe the emergence of critical discourse analysis (CDA) following a small symposium in Amsterdam in January 1991 about DA and a ‘critical’ approach to DA—which eventually became CDA. We describe briefly the events leading up to the symposium and what was accomplished there followed by the consolidation and development of CDA. Next, we discuss the five scholars at the meeting, beginning with a short description of Gunther Kress’s work before he decided to pursue his interests in education. We then move to a discussion of the work of Norman Fairclough, van Dijk, and Ruth Wodak, which includes detailed descriptions of their most important contributions before 1991, their work in the 1990s, in general their relation to what is now CDS/CDA, the productive professional collaboration of van Dijk and Wodak, and a special focus on Wodak’s role as promoter, biographer and historian of how CDA developed and changed over the years. We complete the chapter with a look at van Leeuwen’s work in SocSem, multimodality, and CDA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPerspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages84
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePerspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy and Psychology
ISSN (Print)2214-3807
ISSN (Electronic)2214-3815


  • Amsterdam
  • CDA
  • DA
  • Discourse analysis
  • Gunther Kress
  • Multimodality
  • Norman Fairclough
  • Ruth Wodak
  • SocSem
  • Symposium
  • Teun van Dijk
  • Theo van Leeuwen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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