Cambridge-Africa

Dr Levis Mugumya

Dr Levis Mugumya (Makerere University)

Research title: Deconstructing AI-Shabaab and ISIS: a cross-cultural exploration of news reports on terrorism across the British and Ugandan press

Research Project: Research on terrorism since 2001 has largely focused on America and European states which are largely and directly affected by terrorist acts. Whereas the African continent has equally been affected by terrorism, there is limited linguistic research on terrorism particularly on the East African region which has been largely affected by Al-Shabaab. The research project explores news reportage on terrorism in Uganda and Britain. It demonstrates the role of language in constructing, communicating and construing the discourse of terrorism in two different cultural contexts that struggle to confront and fight a common enemy. It examines both covert and overt linguistic mechanisms that news writers invoke to recount terrorism events. It also establishes non-linguistic factors that influence the construction of news stories on terrorism. The research project employs discourse analytical approaches to examine news stories on Al-Shabaab and ISIS drawn from New Vision and Daily Monitor (Uganda) and The Independent and Daily Telegraph (Britain) respectively. To this end, the project seeks to contribute to construing terrorism in sub-Saharan Africa and Britain via linguistic manifestations unfolding in newspaper discourse.

Collaborator Dr Ella McPherson, Department of Sociology