The Language and Communication research cluster grows out of research by staff across a number of subject areas in the University. Its members carry out research into the philosophy and theory of communication, pragmatics, the definition of language as a human phenomenon, gender and age in language use, political communication in language, narrative, language in critical theory, semiotics and rhetoric.
In particular, the group shares an interest in the history and practice of 'close reading'. That is, the process of analysis and attention to all kinds of texts, a process that came to the fore in the last century with the work of Saussure in Switzerland; Propp and the Formalists in Russia; Ogden, Richards, Empson and Leavis in Britain; the New Criticism, Innis, McLuhan and Frye in North America; the structuralists in France; the Prague Linguistic Circle in Czechoslovakia; so-called 'Soviet semiotics'; the Copenhagen School in Denmark; systems theory and cybernetics in Europe and the Americas.
This current of thought and practice continues today with Discourse Analysis, Conversation Analysis, investigations into Multimodality, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Modelling Systems Theory and other approaches in the study of language and communication.
Cluster members currently research and publish on topics including prosody, Parliamentary discourse, religion and utopia, narrative, discourses about food and ageing and metaphysics of communication.
The cluster is also home to the journal Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication, co-home to the journal Social Semiotics and the book series Handbooks of Communication Science, and is closely involved in the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).
Language and Communication research seminars
The Language and Communication research cluster hosts fortnightly research seminars during term time that explore work on language, discourse and communication. Literature, creative writing and even film are also considered, taking an inclusive view of the subject area. They include research presentations, workshops and reading groups.
Confirmed speakers for the 2018-19 Language & Communication Research Seminar Series include:
- Dr Leena Robertson (Middlesex): Excavating naming practices in language research methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe. Friday, 19th October 2018, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Dr Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast): Crime Fiction in the Archives: Hunting for Hammett. Friday, 2nd November 2018, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Dr Carina Hart (Middlesex): Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw. Tuesday 6th November 2018, 16.00 – 17.00, Room PAG02 (Portcabin)
- Emerging research in English: PhD student presentations. Friday, 23rd November 2018, 14.30 – 16.00, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Dr Johan Siebers (Middlesex), The Rhetoric of Death and Dying.Friday, 7th December 2018, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Professor Chris Mabey (Middlesex), Letters from Myanmar. Friday, 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30, Room WG48 (Williams building)
- Dr Anne Robinson (Middlesex): Wakeful: listening to the past through archives and experimentation. Friday, 25th January 2019, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Professor Bronwen Thomas (Bournemouth University): Reading on Screen: challenging myths and misperceptions of reading in the digital age. Friday, 8th February 2019, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Dr Petros Karatsareas (Westminster): Through two lenses: Re-enregistering Cypriot Greek as ‘slang’ in London’s Greek Cypriot diaspora. Friday, 8th March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- James Kenworth (Middlesex): A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham. Friday, 15th March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Professor María Martínez Lirola (Alicante): An analysis of the image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets: visual grammar as a tool to discover stereotypes. Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 16.00-18.00, Room PRTCB6B (Portacabin)
- Professor María Martínez Lirola (Alicante): Approaching the representation of Sub-Saharan immigrants in a sample from the Spanish press: deconstructing stereotypes. Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 14.30 -16.30, Room V105 (Vine building)
- Professor María Martínez Lirola (Alicante): How can we introduce culture and critical thinking in the classroom? Exploring the use of multimodal texts in the classroom. Thursday, 21st March 2019, 17.00-19.00, Room C110 (College building)
For more information, see our London English blog.