Welcome to the inaugural issue of the new journal Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines. In 2006, the University of East Anglia, where research first began thirty years before into what would become Critical Linguistics, hosted an international conference CADAAD 06. The conference was a resounding success, attracting nearly eighty scholars from four continents. The success of CADAAD 06 can perhaps be attributed to two principal factors. Firstly, it having been the only international event of its kind in Europe in a decade. And secondly, its cross-disciplinary reach.
An overarching objective of CADAAD 06 was to bring together scholars united by a critical agenda in discourse research but otherwise separated by arbitrary academic boundaries. This objective was reflected in the choice of plenary speakers and further realised in the range of papers delivered, with scholars from analytic disciplines as diverse as linguistics, communication studies, philosophy, psychology and political science all presenting critically informed discourse research.
At a more subordinate level, the conference sought to assess and develop the state of the art in two ways. On the one hand, where Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics has provided the prevailing methodology in Critical Discourse Analysis, perhaps the dominating trend on the critical discourse research plane, CADAAD 06 aimed to highlight current critical discourse research in which alternative methodological perspectives are adopted and, thus, illuminate and assess the wide range of potential methodologies available to critical discourse researchers, including cognitive linguistics, argumentation theory, and post-modernist social theory. On the other hand, where racism, for example, has typically been subject to investigation in Critical Discourse Analysis, CADAAD 06 aimed to expand the areas targeted by critical discourse research to include especially applied and professional areas, such as the environment, health, education, and law.
What became immediately apparent was that the wish to meet the goals set out by the conference organisers was shared by a large number of scholars. Furthermore, the need for a permanent stage upon which members of this academic community could interact became increasingly obvious. In developing this ongoing project, a proper publishing platform was seen as essential. Thus, to this end, CADAAD Journal was born. As part of a commitment to a freely accessible online space serving the critical discourse research community, it was decided that this publishing platform should take the form of a free but formal, peer-reviewed electronic journal, the aims and scope of which mirror those outlined for CADAAD conferences.