Matthias is a linguist, with a strong focus on pragmatics, cognitive linguistics, (critical) discourse and media studies, research on prejudice and nationalism, as well as on internet/social media studies.
At Freie Universität Berlin, he read linguistics, philosophy and literature, and has worked in several research projects on the use of language in political and media campaigns. His doctoral dissertation, published with Nomos in 2018, analyses the linguistic construction of national pride, antisemitic stereotypes and demonising historical analogies in British and German discourses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An English version of the book (with the title “Antisemitism in Reader Comments: Analogies for Reckoning with the Past”) was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.
Since 2019, Matthias is a postdoc researcher at the Centre for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA) at Technische Universität in Berlin. Furthermore, he is affiliated to CENTRIC (Sheffield Hallam University) and to the Vidal Sassoon Center at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. In his postdoc project, he examines various forms of antisemitic and racist hate speech on British news websites in the context of Brexit. Next to antisemitism, he conducted studies on the concept of national racism and antiziganism.
A consistent link between all his research activities is the question of how implicit hate speech – apparently accepted within various milieus of the political mainstream – is constructed and what conditions its production is subject to.