Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics
  • Print

Stylistics and Discourse Analysis Reading Group

The Stylistics and Discourse Analysis (S&DA) Reading Group was founded in January 2013 to enhance and facilitate interdisciplinary discussion and potential networking among PG students in various areas of stylistics and discourse analysis.

We meet every fortnight and usually discuss selected papers, testing the effectiveness of their approaches on literary and non-literary texts.

The group is open to members of staff as well and also incorporates some workshop-based meetings.

Feel free to join the Stylistics and Discourse Analysis Reading Group

Upcoming Events

Character Building: A symposium on constructing character and identity in real and fictional worlds 2019


Sarah Bennett

Sarah’s doctoral research focuses on the contentious and increasingly prevalent rhetoric of conspiracy theories. Neither pathologising and ridiculing, nor lauding as the path to truth, her approach aims to firmly transcend such bias. The research positions the explanations as a timeless rhetoric, constantly morphing in response to the ebbs and tides of cultural change, inviting the reader/ listener to become active primarily through assessing their plausibility. Through the lens of Critical Discourse Analysis, she aims to address how issues pertaining to morality and power are represented in conspiracy theories and, in turn, how this implicates the reader/ listener to accept, reject or merely entertain a particular narrative.

View Sarah's profile.


Alice Haines

Alice’s doctoral research uses a cognitive poetic approach to the study of humour in literature. She is developing a spatial model of humour that links the cognition of humour to its social distancing and cohesion effects. By examining humour in contemporary fictional texts, she aims to show how the linguistic construction of humour metaphorically displaces readers in a way that reflects the way humour affects their emotional proximity to or distance from characters in the text. More generally, she is interested in the way texts can affect the ideological positioning of readers and what causes readers to be responsive or resistant to the ideological impositions of a text.

View Alice's profile.


Leigh Harrington

Leigh’s research is situated in the field of im/politeness research within applied pragmatics. Her thesis uses authentic spoken data from debt collection encounters to explore the complex facework at play in this context. She is interested in developing existing conceptions of face in ways that ensure they have real-world applications and implications so as to encourage an increased synthesis between linguistic theory and working practitioners.

View Leigh's profile


Lucy Peacock

Lucy’s PhD research topic is empathy and literature – what is it that can make us feel real emotions for characters who don’t exist? Taking a cross-disciplinary approach involving stylistics, cognitive linguistics and social psychology, she hopes to further our understanding of the topic generally, and also to identify ways in which this increased understanding could be used to help motivate young readers.


Emma Putland

Emma’s doctoral research combines corpus and multimodal critical discourse analysis approaches to examine how people living with dementia (as well as dementia as a topic) are visually and linguistically represented in British society. She is particularly interested in the various representations promoted by different policy makers and the press, and in how these relate to public conceptions of dementia. Within her research, she is keen to involve people living with dementia, their family/friends and members of the public to explore how people situate themselves within wider social discourses on dementia. 

View Emma's profile.


Bernardo Silva

Bernardo's PhD research comprises an investigation of style in the fiction of John Dos Passos. More specifically, he seeks to understand the semantic workings of Free Indirect Style and Interior Monologue in the texture of Dos Passos' novels by complementing conventional stylistic analysis with a consideration of literary criticism, empirically collected reader response data and manuscript revisions. His thesis is intended as a literary linguistic contribution to the wider resurgence of scholarly and critical interest in this author's often neglected oeuvre. More broadly, Bernardo is interested in matters of stylistics, narratology, poetics and experientiality.  


Ella Wydrzynska

Ella’s research centres on the language of children’s fiction, stylistically examining complex literary strategies that have traditionally been considered absent in such material. She aims to illustrate that children’s fiction is, in fact, rife with linguistic and structural complexity, drawing particular attention to postmodernism and metafiction – terms which are seldom associated with children’s books in existing criticism. By comparing contemporary popular Junior Fiction with texts commonly used to satisfy the National Curriculum, in conjunction with empirical research involving student interviews, Ella hopes to establish whether there is enough stylistic complexity in children’s fiction to warrant it being used in the classroom to help engage low-attaining students and so-called ‘Reluctant Readers’.

View Ella's profile.


Past Events

PALA Conference 2018 - Birmingham Approaching the Historical: A Symposium on Early Modern and Medieval Stylistics (SEMMS) 2017 Stylistics Reading Group Symposium 2016 Real, ideal or implied…? The Reader in Stylistics 2014


Email Bernardo Silva if you are interested in joining the group or simply to ask for further information.

MeetingsTimes and Dates

The group usually meets:

  • Time : Mondays, 4.30 - 6 pm
  • Venue : A35, Trent Building, University Park Campus

Spring Semester 2018-19

  • 14th January
  • 28th January
  • 11th February
  • 25th February
  • 11th March
  • 25th March
  • 8th April
  • 13th May
  • 3rd June
  • 17th June

Related Links

The Research Group of
Stylistics, Eötvös Loránd
University (Budapest)

Back to top

Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

The University of Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924