Maria Cristina Caimotto
A scholar in English Linguistics and Translation whose research includes political and environmental discourse, with a focus on ideology, and who is also a cycling advocate.
I’m Assistant Professor of English Linguistics and Translation at the University of Turin, in Italy. I work in the Department of Culture, Politics and Society alongside sociologists and geographers who also focus on environment-related topics. My research interests include political discourse and environmental discourse, with a focus on ideology. I have worked on how translation may reveal ideology, focusing in particular on news articles and political speeches. My linguistic research on environment-related discourse has focused on the use of anglicisms in Italian as a strategy of greenwashing and green marketing. In my courses, I teach Critical Discourse Analysis.
I am also a cycling advocate, and in 2016 I was president of a local cycling association called Bike Pride. During that time, being a linguist, I observed the discourse strategies employed by journalists, politicians and representatives of various institutions to talk about cycling and I started thinking of a book investigating cycling discourse from an ecolinguistic perspective. The first aspect that attracted my attention was how the linguistic discrimination of cyclists in newspapers mirrored the discursive strategies of denial of racism identified by T.A. van Dijk. I then discovered a whole world; I learnt a lot more about the potentials and the pitfalls of advocacy. The book was published in 2020, Discourses of Cycling, Road Users and Sustainability An Ecolinguistic Investigation.