Mission Statement

ACDC is an open discussion platform based in Amsterdam. ACDC is a collaboration between the two Amsterdam universities: the Faculties of Arts, Social Science and Economics and Business Studies at the VU University Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Communication and Language Centre based at the University of Amsterdam (ACLC).

ACDC is a transdisciplinary network that focuses on the analysis and social practice of communication through the paradigm of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), and meets once a month. ACDC is an independent, non-profit group.

Critical Discourse Analysis

  • Regards language use as a social practice by which social realities are shaped, changed or upheld
  • Integrates linguistics and social sciences to study the (de)construction of power relations and inequality in their social contexts
  • Studies textual, verbal, gestural and visual data in its social context and thus promotes Text Oriented Discourse Analysis (TODA)
  • Investigates the impact of cognitive, linguistic and discursive constraints on language use to explain how language may affect the mind and human behavior, recognizing cultural diversity
  • Bridges Linguistic, Cognitive, Psychological, Sociological, Political, Cultural, Anthropological, Educational, Legal, Media, Rhetoric and other domain-specific paradigms by matching theories and methods as required by the nature of the data and the research goals.
  • Aims for transparency in research design and requires a reflective awareness of the consequences of theoretical, methodological and procedural choices made
  • Encourages critical investigations of hegemonic discourses and explorations in alternative discourses
  • Is open to critical approaches to critical discourse analysis

ACDC Group Discussions

  • Focus on empirical discourse-data analysis from various disciplinary perspectives
  • Encourage transdisciplinary research designs converging or layering analytic methods across disciplines
  • Encourage combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods for the analysis of functions of text in its social context
  • Welcome approaches that expand CDA through participative action research as a dialogical problem-solving method
  • Enact cross-disciplinary collaboration in an open exchange of knowledge

Discussion Format

Meetings are organized on a regular basis (about 10 x per year). Sessions are informal and are designed to encourage dialogue about theories, methods, hypotheses, social relevance and ethics of doing research. We encourage discussions on projects that are in progress and in a phase where there is room to include new insights. Considering these aims, our sessions are not bound to a strict format, but some guidelines may be useful to give structure to the discussions.

About two weeks before each session the presenter submits an abstract including discussion points and attachments, such as a data sample and/or an article to introduce the problem to be discussed. The duration of meetings is 1½ hrs.


  1. Presentation of a research question, its context, the data, approach, problem, relevance of additional readings
  2. Discussion of the data: each participant can reflect on the data or the approach from his/her own background/perspectives
  3. Comments from the presenter and further discussion
  4. Discussion of quality criteria and constructive suggestions in relation to the research

A summary of the discussion will be made by the conveners in cooperation with the presenter. This will be posted in the archive.

Presenters may be invited by the conveners, however, we cannot provide reimbursement for expenses. We welcome proposals for presentations of work in progress.