Professor Innocent E. Mnal. Chiluwa
Head of Department and former Dean, College of Leadership and Development Studies
B.A. (English and Literary Studies); M.A. (English); PhD (English & Media/Communication Studies)
- Discourse studies; discourse and conflict & peace studies; social movement studies; social media and society; cyber civic engagement, online activism, terrorism and political violence.
- Online deceptive communications - phishing, email scams and (dis)misinformation;
- Socio-political and cultural discourses in the media and the Internet, including online religion and the discourses of identity.
Awards & Honours
Post-doctoral fellowships/Research grants/awards
- Humboldt’s 6-months special renewed research stay at the University of Freiburg, August 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020. Project topic: “Representations of the herder-farmer conflict in the local and foreign press.”
- Humboldt’s 3-months renewed research stay at the University of Freiburg, September - November 2017. Project topic: Online Activism in Sub-Sahara Africa: examining militant and secessionist cyber discourses in Nigeria and Mali.
- Humboldt’s 3-months renewed research stay at the University of Freiburg, May - August, 2014. Project topic: “Stance in digital discourse of radical movements in Nigeria.”
- Research Grant from AvH, Covenant University (May 2011 – April), 2012 (€6,000). Project topic: “Social media networks and discourses of political resistance.
5. Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Researchers (AvH). University of Freiburg, Germany, (October 2009-January, 2011). Project Topic: “The media and the militants: constructing the Nigerian Niger Delta conflicts.”
(i) ENG 323 – Discourse Analysis
(ii) ENG 412 – Pragmatics
(iii) ENG 424 – English for the Mass Media
(iv) ENG 823 – Advanced Discourse Analysis
(v) ENG 825 – Pragmatics (postgraduate)
(vi) ENG 924 - Topics in the Analysis of Discourse in English (M.Phil)
(vi) Former Coordinator of the General Studies (Communication in English programme)
Current Postgraduate Supervision
Selected Publications (43)
(ii) 32nd Annual National Conference of the English Scholars' Association of Nigeria (ESAN). Theme: English Studies in Non-native Environments: Reflections and Projections. Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Ile-Ife. 5-7 September, 2016. Paper presented: Nigerian English in Digital Discourse (with Emmanuel Uba).
(iii) 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), Theme: Communicating with Power. Fukuoka, Japan. 9-13 June, 2016. Paper presented: Online Discourse of Radical Movements: Exploring Stance in Nigerian Islamist Groups Web Discourses.
(iv) 14th International Pragmatics Conference. Theme: Language and Adaptability. University of Antwerp, Belgium. 26-31 July, 2015. Paper presented: The Pragmatics of Written (Terror) Threats: assessing online threats by Nigerian terrorist groups.
(v) 65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA). Theme: Communication across the Life Span. San Juan Caribe Hilton Hotel, Puerto Rico. 21-25 May, 2015. Paper presented: Texting and Relationship: Examining discourse strategies in negotiating and sustaining relationships using mobile phone.
(vi) 59th Annual Conference of the International Linguistic Association. Theme: The Linguistic of Rhetoric and Debate. University of Paris 2. Pantheon-Assas, 12 Place du Pantheon 75005, Paris, France. 22-24 May, 2014. Paper presented: Language Use in Crisis Situations: A Study of Rhetorical Strategies in Online Reactions to News Reports of the Washington Navy Yard Shooting and the Nairobi Westgate Attack.
(vii) 58th Annual Conference, International Linguistic Association. Theme: English-Global and Local. Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York, NY. USA 12-14 April, 2013. Paper presented: West African English in Digital Discourse.
(viii) Ife English Language, Literature and Communication Conference. Theme: Language, Literature and Communication in the Globalised and Digital Age. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Nigeria. 20-23 August, 2012. Paper presented: Twittering the Boko Haram Uprising in Nigeria: Investigating Pragmatic Acts in the Social Media.
(ix) International Conference on Digital Religion. Center for Media, Religion and Culture. Theme: When Religion Meets New Media. University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, 12-15 January, 2012. Paper presented: Sociolinguistics of Digital Religious Discourse in West Africa.
(x) Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines (CADAAD, 2010). Theme: Ideology, Identity and Interaction. University of Lodz, Poland, 13-15 September, 2010. Paper presented: Ethnic Militia, the Press and the Nigerian Government: examining the discourse of ‘amnesty’ and ‘identity.’
(xi) The International Association of Media and Communication Research 2010. Theme: Communication and Citizenship: Rethinking Crisis and Change. University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. 18-22 July, 2010. Paper presented: Online Religion in Nigeria: the Internet Church and Cyber Miracles.
(xii) Mapping Language across Cultures: Textual Analysis in Cross-cultural and Intercultural Communication (MLAC10). University of Salamanca, Spain. 5-7 July, 2010. Paper presented: Language in the News: Implications of Lexical Variations in Media Reports of Militancy in Nigeria.
(xiii) Fifth International Symposium on Politeness, Basel, Switzerland. Theme: Politeness and Impoliteness, on-and off-line. University of Basel, Switzerland. 30th June - 2nd July 2010. Paper presented: Politeness Strategies in Personal Emails.
(xiv) Corpus Linguistics Advanced Research Education and Training (CLARET) Workshop, Lancaster University, United Kingdom. 24th May, 2010. Theme: Corpus Compilation and Annotation.
(xv) International Conference of the Association for the Study of New Literatures in English (ASNEL/GNEL 2010). Theme: Contested Communities: Communication, Narration, Imagination. Bayreuth University, Germany. 13-16, May, 2010. Paper presented: The Media and the Militants: Constructing the Niger Delta Crises.
(xvi) Text-Mining in the Digital Humanities: the Interface between Conceptual History, Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics. Workshop: Lancaster University, United Kingdom, 13-14, May, 2010. Paper presented: ‘Militants’ or ‘Freedom Fighters?’ The Press and the Ideological War in Nigeria.
(xvii) Developments in Linguistic Pragmatics. 5th Lodz Symposium, University of Lodz, Poland, 7-9 May, 2010. Paper presented: The Positive Side of Confrontation: A Look at the Nigerian Press. New
(xviii) Nigeria English Studies Association Conference. Theme: English in the Nigerian Environment: Emerging Patterns and New Challenges. University of Uyo, Nigeria. September 18 -21, 2007. Paper presented: The Nigerianness of SMS Text Messages in English.
Summary of Profile
Prof. Chiluwa is a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) (Bonn), and a visiting Professor in the Department of English, University of Freiburg. He is also a member of the Africa Centre for Transregional Research (ACT) at the University of Freiburg. He has the professional training in Conflict Management, Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution.
He has published books and edited volumes in media studies, social media and society, discourse and conflict studies and deception studies. He has also published extensively in reputable peer-reviewed journals, and contributed several chapters in books and encyclopedia. He is on the Editorial Boards of Discourse & Society (SAGE), Journal of Multicultural Discourses (Routledge) and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (Taylor & Francis).
Overview of Teaching and Research
I have 15 years of teaching experience at the university level – 5 years as professor. I have taught and still teach courses in English Language and Linguistics (e.g. Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics and Writing for the Mass Media) and Communication Skills. I specialize in discourse analysis and pragmatics – the study of language use by individuals and groups at different sociocultural and political contexts, highlighting the influence of the context in the process of meaning-making and interpretation.
My research in the last 7 years has focused on the investigation and analyses of political and conflict discourses in the media and Internet – especially discourses produced by social movements, minority groups, civil societies, rebel groups and terrorist organizations in the form of resistance, protests, activism or dissent and their wider implications for peace and security. Discourses that show evidence of linguistic violence, language aggression and hate speech have been of special interest. I have also carried our research into the linguistic and discourse structures of online deceptive communications and cybercrime, particularly those associated with phishing, email financial scam and misinformation. I have edited a core reference book with Dr. Sergei Samoilenko of George Mason University, Virginia entitled: Deception, Fake News and misinformation online (IGI Global, 2019).
(i) Discourse studies; discourse and conflict & peace studies; social movement studies; social media and society; cyber civic engagement, online activism, terrorism and political violence;
(ii) Online deceptive communications - phishing, email scams and (dis)misinformation;
(iii) Socio-political and cultural discourses in the media and the Internet, including online religion and the discourses of identity.
(i) Principal Investigator in “Nigeria post-election survey” (Facebook - Social Science One project) in collaboration with Harvard University (IQSS), 2019 – Ongoing.
(ii) Participated in the UNDP study on the links between social media and youth radicalization in Africa – a RAND Europe research project for the United Nations Development Program. September, 2017.
(iii) Currently on the Africa Advisory Committee of SOCIAL SCIENCE ONE of the Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science – co-chaired by Gary King (Harvard University) and Nathaniel Persily (Stanford University).
(iv) Member, African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) Durban, South Africa.