I am an applied linguist and qualitative researcher with an interest in health discourse and media technologies. Prior to taking up my current position as Assistant Professor in Discourse Analysis I was a research associate on the ESRC-funded project Chronic illness and online networking: expectations, assumptions, and everyday realities. Led by Nelya Koteyko (Queen Mary) and Barrie Gunter (Leicester), this study explored the impacts of social networking sites (SNSs) on the self-management practices of individuals with chronic health problems, and particularly diabetes. In doing so, it considered the professional and policy arguments employed to justify the use of social media technologies in healthcare as well as the situated use of SNSs by diabetes patients seeking to manage their conditions. This project was followed by a brief spell at the University of Bristol, working with Talia Isaacs (now UCL) on the 'Fostering cross-cultural communication' project. This project involved examining rates of recruitment of ethnic minority participants to trials of telehealth interventions for type 2 diabetes and the role of language in promoting and restricting ethnic minority participation in clinical research.
I have also worked previously at Nottingham, having both completed my PhD here and worked as a teaching associate in the School of English in 2013. My doctoral thesis examined contemporary discourses of mental health conditions in the language of lay patients and practicing clinicians. Specifically, I employed methods from corpus linguistics and discourse analysis to consider discussions of anorexia and depression held in web-based patient communities and also in face-to-face meetings of primary care physicians. This illuminated areas of convergence and potential dissonance in lay and professional understandings of these problematic conditions and the ramifications for these upon clinical encounters. Central themes in the analysis included medicalisation, the discussion of (non-)psychological treatments and the verbal negotiation of identity in the face of psychological distress.
I am interested in supervising doctoral projects in the areas of (online) health communication and corpus based discourse analysis.
Broadly speaking, I am interested in the relationships between language and aspects of social organisation, particularly in relation to health and healthcare. As such, I have expertise in the following overlapping fields:
Corpus linguistics, (critical) discourse analysis, health communication, health humanities, multimodal discourse analysis, and sociolinguistics.
I teach across the School's undergraduate and postgraduate linguistics curricula. My teaching is broadly concerned with the analysis of spoken and written language in a range of contexts and reflects… read more
In 2020-21 I am Director the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics. Previously, I have also been the School's Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Employability and Volunteering.
Outside of the University I am the Treasurer for the British Association of Applied Linguistics's Health and Science Communication special interest group. In addition, from Autumn 2016-late 2020 I was the external examiner for the University of Birmingham's MA Applied Linguistics and MA TESOL distance learning programmes.
I teach across the School's undergraduate and postgraduate linguistics curricula. My teaching is broadly concerned with the analysis of spoken and written language in a range of contexts and reflects my interests in professional, digital and health communication. In addition to supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations, this year I convene and teach across the following modules:
Language in Society
Discourses of Health and Work
Research Methods: Corpus Linguistics (on campus)
Research Methods: Corpus Linguistics (distance learning)
I have also previously convened and/or taught on:
Discourse and Society