School of English

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Sarah Bennett

Research Student,

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Teaching Summary

My professional background is in English Language Teaching (ELT). I am currently a British Council Aptis examiner and have undertaken several fixed-term contracts in English for Academic Purposes… read more

Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

The rhetoric of conspiracy theories

Research Summary

My research aims to address the central question: what hooks people into conspiracy theories? Ranging from the self-confessed ardent conspiracy theorist to a complete rejection of any conspiracy theory narratives, whilst equally labelled wildly between the highly implausible and the 'probably true but just not official', most people will at some point at least entertain one.

Taking a cognitive critical discourse analysis approach, whereby I employ tools from cognitive linguistics, my research looks more specifically at how and where conspiracy theories manifest in different areas of society online and the relationship between conspiracy theory groups and the perceived opposition. I also analyse key aspects of the rhetoric- such as tools of persuasion that draw (or don't) people in and how to go about constructing a conspiracy theory argument.

Research Supervisors

Prof. Peter Stockwell

Dr. Kevin Harvey

My professional background is in English Language Teaching (ELT). I am currently a British Council Aptis examiner and have undertaken several fixed-term contracts in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) teaching in universities alongside my PhD research.

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: english-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk