Volume 12 is a special issue on discursive identities in historical English texts. Papers selected for publication are currently under review. The volume is guest-edited by Christina Samson University of Florence.

Discursive Identities in Historical English Texts

Identity has been extensively researched from multiple perspectives. However, over time, there has been a growing consensus on the centrality of language through which speakers express their world view and identify their ‘self’ against the ‘other’. Identity is seen as constituted and reconstituted by discursive interaction and as the product rather than the source of linguistic and other semiotic practices. Identity is, therefore, not only an internal psychological phenomenon but a social, cultural one that can comprise macro-level demographic categories, temporary and interactionally specific stances and/or local, ethnographically emergent cultural positions. Because identity is construed through several and often overlapping aspects of the relationship between ‘self’ and ‘other’, it may include similarity/difference, genuineness/artifice, authority/delegitimacy which might be intentional, habitual, less than fully conscious, an outcome of interactional negotiation, a construct of others’ perceptions and representations, or an outcome of larger ideological processes and structures. While recent literature mostly focuses on identity linked to present-day issues concerning ethnicity, gender, immigrants, or minorities without much reference to the past, this issue intends to shed light on these issues in a historical perspective.