Mapping Theory and Method in the Neighborhood of Protest

  • Mary Lynne Gasaway Hill


This chapter provides the theoretical and methodological basis for the text. An overview of Austin’s Speech Act Theory and performativity is provided in relation to aspects of Critical Discourse Analysis. It is argued that the instances of protest language examined are not periperformatives but explicit performatives. Felicity conditions of the performative speech act are then renovated, allowing for comparisons between different genres of protest language—chants, songs, poems, prose—followed by the introduction of convocativity and pragmatic legitimacy. The instances of protest language are introduced: the chants of, “Everyday I’m çapuling!” from environmental activists in Turkey and “Sí se puede” from the United Farm Workers of America; the songs of, We Shall Overcome from Civil Rights marchers and 99 Luftabllons/99 Red Balloons from Nena and anti-nuke activists; the poems of, “Cruciada Copiilor”/”Children’s Crusade” from Ana Blandiana in Romania and “Dulce et Decorum Est” from Wilfred Owen during World War I; and finally, the condemnations of government violence during the electricity protests by the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, the government of Totonicapán, and the Comunidades Lingüistica Maya K’iche’, and the Diary of Bobby Sands by hunger strike leader Bobby Sands in Northern Ireland.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and Communication StudiesSt. Mary’s University, TexasSan AntonioUSA

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