ESR11 Afzali Soraya

Trinity College Dublin
Supervised by Dr. R. Fazaeli
I look into the role of charismatic leaders in the propagation of hate through a bottom-up approach.

Project Synopsis

Project title: Preaching Hate: A Contextual Discourse Analysis of Charismatic Socio-Religious Speech.

This project investigates the relationship between the emotions undergirding the practice of hate and the construction and influence of formal and informal types of authority in the European context. Increasingly “hateful ideologies” are propagated by right-wing propagandists, religious fanatics, and extreme left groups. This project seeks to study the role and origins of charismatic leaders in propagating hate. In a bottom-up approach, this project investigates the work of groups that agitate against Persian-speaking diasporas in Austria, Germany, and Ireland. Through texts, including religious sermons, and political speeches, this project will chart the topography of the personality politics driving discourses of hate and alterity in a European context. This project will employ an interdisciplinary methodology composed of discourse analysis, cultural studies, and socio-religious and socio-political. The project will also be filtered through a strong gender lens in order to address the intimate relationship between gender and systems of authority.



Soraya Afzali received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at the American University of Afghanistan and her masters in International Relations from Central European University. She has more than 4 years of experience in communication and has contributed to different research projects in the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Economics in Afghanistan in collaboration with the World Bank and GIZ. Within her volunteer work, she has volunteered for Solace for the Children, the American Councils, and co-founded Humans of Kabul in 2013 to tell stories of Afghan people. Throughout the years, Soraya has been part of different networks that focus on civil society empowerment as the likes of Open Society Foundation, Initiatives of Change- Caux Scholars Program, and the American Councils. She is a recipient of the US Embassy Scholarship and Open Society Leadership Award. Soraya is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion that stays at the core of her values as well as her research.