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Cyprus Education

Open lecture on social media’s link to rise of fascism

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The University of Cyprus is co-hosting an English language lecture this Friday on how social media have been used in the rise of neo-fascism and far-right extremism.

Professor of Applied Linguistics University of Massachusetts Boston Panayota Gounari will present an online talk under the title From Twitter to Capitol Hill: Trumpism, Fascism and Far-right Authoritarian Populist Discourses in the United States at 7pm on Friday.

According to the summary of the lecture, Gounari will start with a question regarding the rise of far-right extremism and neo-fascism in the United States and will draw on Critical Discourse Studies and the one-dimensional authoritarian discourse framework inspired by Critical Theory.

“This talk will explore how conservative social media have been used as a platform for far-right discourses, the features of these discourses and the kinds of social practices that are shaped and mobilised by them,” it was added.

The lecture, through the exploration and critical analysis of the discursive manifestations of far-right authoritarian populism and Nazism on social media will reveal “how in their obscurity and anonymity, ideologies are becoming normalised”.

Gounari will focus on how Trump’s speeches and tweets throughout his presidential campaign and four years in office, and how these “helped fuse the various factions of the far right as the latter gained in power and visibility thanks to the political cover provided by the White House”.

Panayota Gounari is professor of applied linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She has published extensively on authoritarian and neoliberal discourses and critical pedagogy.

Her most recent books include From Twitter to Capitol Hill: Far-right Authoritarian Populist Discourses, Social Media and Critical Pedagogy (Brill, 2022) and Liberatory and Critical Education in Greece: Historical Trajectories and Perspectives (Gutenberg, 2016, co-authored with G. Grollios).


The lecture will be hosted by the Postgraduate Programme in “Greek Language and Linguistics” of the Open University of Cyprus and the Department of Education of the University of Cyprus. The lecture will be broadcasted through the OUC eLearning Platform:



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