New Book on Critical Genre Analysis of Professional Practice

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

It is with pleasure that I am able to announce a forthcoming publication titled Critical Genre Analysis: Investigating Interdiscursive Performance in Professional Practice. A description of the author, Professor Vijay Bhatia, appears on his website:

Vijay Bhatia has recently retired as a Visiting Professor from the Department of English at the City University of Hong Kong. He is an Adjunct Professor (Department of Linguistics) at Macquarie University, Australia, and also at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is the founding President of the LSP and Professional Communication Association for the Asia-Pacific Rim. Some of his recent research projects include Analyzing Genre-bending in Corporate Disclosure Documents, and International Arbitration Practice: A Discourse Analytical Study, in which he led research teams from more than 20 countries. His research interests are: Genre Analysis of academic and professional discourses, including, legal, business, newspaper, advertising, genres; ESP and Professional Communication; simplification of legal and other public documents; cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary variations in professional genres. Two of his books, Analysing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings and Worlds of Written Discourse: A Genre-based View, are widely used in genre theory and practice.

Vijay Bhatia
President, Asia-Pacific LSP and Professional Communication Association
CEO, ESP Communication Services

As Vijay informed me in an email, the forthcoming publication of his next monograph on critical genre analysis reflects his thinking and most of his work in the last 10 years or so.

In the publisher’s (Routledge) announcement about the book:

Genre theory has focused primarily on the analysis of generic constructs, with increasing attention to and emphasis on the contexts in which such genres are produced, interpreted, and used to achieve objectives, often giving the impression as if producing genres is an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. The result of this focus is that there has been very little attention paid to the ultimate outcomes of these genre-based discursive activities, which are more appropriately viewed as academic, institutional, organizational, and professional actions and practices, which are invariably non-discursive, though often achieved through discursive means. It was [with] this objective in mind that the book develops an approach to a more critical and deeper understanding of interdiscursive professional voices and actions.

My interest in reading the description above of the book is a focus on the discursive means employed to achieve genre, especially in view of leadership as an influence relationship.

In a review of the book on the publisher’s announcement, John Swales, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an ESP giant,  writes:

…Vijay Bhatia writes something very profound and very important…that genre theory often gives “the impression as if producing genres is an end in itself, rather than a means to an end”. That I think is the ultimate and very valuable “take-home message” of this (book), and, in demonstrating this, it will provide a very useful corrective to the current direction of many contemporary studies of genre in academic and professional contexts.

I also am reminded of leadership here, where leadership is communicating to create and to achieve a vision. What is the “end” (or the vision) that a genre is being created to achieve, and why?

I have heard that the book will be available in October 2016, so keep your eyes posted, and pass on this information!

All the best,



Bhatia, V. K. (1993). Analysing genre: Language use in professional settings. London, England: Longman.

Bhatia, V. K. (2004). Worlds of written discourse: A genre-based view. London and New York: Continuum.

Bhatia, V. K. (In press). Critical genre analysis: Investigating interdiscursive performance in professional practice. London, England: Routledge.

About Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight (PhD in Linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is an associate professor in the Department of International Communication (International Business Career major) and has also been working in the Career Education Center of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. In the TESOL ESP Interest Section (ESPIS), he has served as chair and English in occupational settings (EOS) representative, and he is currently the ESPIS community manager. He was also a member of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) appointed by the board of directors. In addition, he has been a TESOL blogger in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). He has more than 30 years of professional experience working for private, public, and academic sector institutions including Sony and the Japan Patent Office. His doctoral research on leadership communication (i.e., discourse) as a basis for leadership development was under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin and Dr. Alan Jones.
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