Centre for Research in Language and Heritage


We run a range of external outreach and knowledge exchange activities, including:

  • Seminar series on themed and interdisciplinary topics. Recent examples include ‘The language acquisition of modals’, ‘Ripple session on Ecopoetries’, ‘Why Litter? The evils of abundance demonstrated by paper re-use in the long eighteenth century’
  • Open Public lectures, on topics such ‘Autism and language’ and ‘Heritage language acquisition’, attended by hundreds.
  • International conferences and workshops. Examples include a ‘Workshop on Aspect & Argument Structure in Adjectives and Participles’, ‘Neo-slave narratives’ and the annual conference for the Society for the Study of Childhood and Youth
  • Workshops at and with schools, such as regular aspirations week with Thomas Tallis.
  • Stakeholder events, including the Greenwich Heritage Network and Talks around and launch of Manifesto on language needs in House of Commons
  • Engagement with initiatives such as Pint of Science and the Being Human festival, TEDX, and articles for The Conversation.

Recent Events

21st March - The First Labour Government in Britain (1924): Local & Feminist Perspectives

Co-hosted by the Centre for Research in Language and Heritage and the Institute for Inclusive Communities and Environments (FLAS) with the Hub for History, the Lifecourse and the Professions, Institute of Lifecourse Development (FEHHS)

Further details and booking link can be found HERE

Time: 4:30pm-8:00pm

Venue: University of Greenwich Campus, Queen Anne 280

January 1924 was a key moment in Labour history. For the first time a Labour government was in power, led by Ramsay MacDonald. Albeit short lived, and a minority government, the 1924 government demonstrated that Labour could govern and determine the policy priorities it would pursue. Labour’s ascendancy was at a time when enabling legislation empowering local authorities to deliver new, primarily, social welfare services was beginning to have an impact despite high unemployment and a rising cost of living.

The history of political parties has usually been written with women left out, or else as appendages making the tea or supporting their menfolk, apart from a few striking individuals. Yet, as Pat Thane has demonstrated, women had a profound impact on the making and direction of policy as well as building grass roots support. It has also been a predominantly white story. Yet, different local contexts were and are crucial for building up support and providing opportunities for Labour, including women and people of colour, to be active at local level in Lewisham, Greenwich and beyond.

This event will look back on the achievements of the 1920s, reflect on parallels with the present and look forward to what the Labour party aim to deliver, should they win the next election. We will consider the national context, both in 1924 and now, but will focus on the impact of a Labour government and Labour councillors from the viewpoint of the (current) London Borough of Greenwich.

21st February - The essay as forms of rewriting: an architect, a graphic designer and a translator at work…

Dr Caroline Rabourdin, Sophie Lewis and Matthew Chrislip

Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm

Location: Greenwich Campus, Queen Anne Building, Room 065 and Online

What happens when an architect decides to translate a knotty essay on Hélène Cixous and Montaigne, about writing as always rewriting – and ropes in an experimental designer and a literary translator to assist? How could this odd trio give the project wings while anchoring its feet on the ground (and still keep a handle on the metaphors)? 

Caroline Rabourdin (the architect), Matthew Chrislip (the designer) and Sophie Lewis (the translator) reflect on their collaboration and celebrate the launch of “The essay as forms of rewriting: Cixous to Montaigne”, an unfinished and multiple translation of Mireille Calle-Gruber’s original “L’essai comme forme de réécriture: Cixous à Montaigne”.

In her essay, Calle-Gruber writes about the genealogical and generative forces of literature, the human condition and the ‘kitchen of literature’. Rabourdin’s aim in this Arts Council England-funded project was to explore the translation process itself, from visual as well as literary perspectives. Throughout the process she faced multiple choices – and began to entertain the option of not choosing. The translation process therefore became about the text’s multiplicity. As a result, the translation currently exists as an interactive digital version, offering the reader their choice of alternative translations of key words and phrases: theessayasrewriting.net. This digital version is also catalogued on Library Stack.

Dr Caroline Rabourdin is Senior Lecturer in Architecture Histories & Theories at the University of Greenwich. She is the author of Sense in Translation: Essays on the Bilingual Body (Routledge, 2020) and more recently 'Being outside inside Oran: deconstruction, translation and architecture in Hélène Cixous's "Promised Cities"' (Routledge, 2023). Trained as an architect, she practiced in Paris and London before completing her PhD at the University of the Arts London. She has taught at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, UAL, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and the Architectural Association, where she led the AA Visiting School in Paris. Her interdisciplinary research draws from spatial theory and literature, art writing, poststructuralist theory, phenomenology and translation studies. carolinerabourdin.com

Sophie Lewis is a translator and an editor. Working from French and Portuguese, she has translated works by Stendhal, Jules Verne, Marcel Aymé, Violette Leduc, Leïla Slimani, Noémi Lefebvre, Emmanuelle Pagano, Mona Chollet and Annie Ernaux, among others, as well as Natalia Borges Polesso, João Gilberto Noll, Sheyla Smanioto, Victor Heringer and Patrícia Melo. With Gitanjali Patel, she co-founded the Shadow Heroes translation workshops enterprise – shadowheroes.org. Lewis’s translations have been shortlisted for the Scott Moncrieff and Republic of Consciousness prizes, and longlisted for the International Booker Prize. She was joint winner of the 2022 French-American Foundation prize for non-fiction, for her translation of anthropologist Nastassja Martin’s In the Eye of the Wild.

Matthew Chrislip founded his independent design practice, Dowland, in 2008. The practice is scalable, multidisciplinary, and multiform, operating alongside various other professional activities, expanding and contracting to either consume or create space as needed. Matthew's current research explores how the practice of simultaneous interpretation offers a framework and vocabulary for exploring specific linguistic, temporal, spatial, and technological conditions of graphic design and publishing. Matthew is a PhD candidate in the School of Design at RMIT University (2023–). He also has a BFA in Graphic Design and French Studies from Brigham Young University (2007) and an MFA in Graphic Design from the Yale School of Art (2013). He is currently Course Leader in MA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins. dowland.us

This event will be held at University of Greenwich, Queen Anne Building, room 065 and Online. Online attendees will receive the event link a couple of days before the event.

31st January 2024 - So what’s your story? The Impact of Bilingual Narrative Intervention

Dr Carmit Altman, Bar Ilan University


The most important resources for language development bilinguals have are their two languages. Nevertheless, most research on narrative skills, including narrative intervention studies with bilingual children, focus on a single language, usually the societal language. The current presentation focuses on the impact of Bilingual Narrative Intervention in the two languages of bilingual preschool children with typical language development (TLD) and with developmental language disorder (DLD) to investigate ways to assist children in recognizing and using key components of narrative structure. Key components, which include narrative microstructure skills (word and sentence level) and macrostructure (story grammar) features, will be examined in both languages as well as between languages via cross-linguistic influence, a unique feature of bilingual language acquisition. The presentation will be focused on children in two distinct bilingual populations: English-Hebrew and Russian-Hebrew bilinguals. The discussion will highlight differences and similarities between bilingual children with TLD and DLD and shed light on how and where cross-linguistic influence may be used to enhance both home language and societal language skills.

About the speaker

Dr Carmit Altman is Head of the Child Development Program in the Faculty of Education and affiliated with the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar Ilan University. Her academic career has followed a psycholinguistics - sociolinguistics interdisciplinary trajectory and her research has focused on bilingual language development and narrative acquisition and intervention, funded by BSF, ISF and Ministry of Education grants. She is co-director of Bilingualism Matters.

29th November 2023 - Integrating inclusive practitioner research into culturally relevant language teaching and learning, Dr Judith Hanks, University of Leeds

Inclusive practitioner research is now seen as a transformative factor in the professional development of teachers. In this talk Judith will consider one form of inclusive practitioner research, namely Exploratory Practice (EP). EP is a form of practitioner research including learners alongside teachers as potential researchers of their classrooms. By inviting practitioners to puzzle about their teaching/learning experiences, EP enables us to become teachers-as-learners researching our classroom practices. But what does this mean in practice? Judith will examine recent developments in practitioner research (namely, Exploratory Practice), drawing on examples from teachers and teacher educators engaging in EP in Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and the UK. Participants are invited to consider what puzzles them about their language teaching (and learning) lives. Judith will then discuss ways of investigating classroom language learning and teaching, using our normal pedagogic practices as investigative tools, considering the emotional aspects of language learning and teaching, using ‘sticky objects’ as a springboard for discussion (please bring your own favourite object about which you can tell a story). Judith will end by proposing ways in which research can be integrated into culturally relevant pedagogic practice, drawing on examples from around the world.

Judith has worked as a language teacher, lecturer and teacher educator in Italy, China, Singapore, and the UK and she has been centrally involved in Exploratory Practice (a form of fully inclusive practitioner research) since 1997. Judith's research interests lie in Language Teacher Education and Applied Linguistics, with particular emphasis on Co-production through Exploratory Practice – a form of fully inclusive practitioner research which involves teachers and learners investigating their own experiences of learning and teaching. Focusing on the ethical dilemmas raised when researching pedagogy; identifying and understanding puzzling issues in education; and exploring how notions of culture affect teacher/learner identities and agency.

22nd November 2023 - Literary History as Publishing History: Rethinking Chronology and the Canon', Dr Leah Orr, University of Louisiana introduced by Dr Katarina Stenke.

The interdisciplinary seminar series ‘Narratives’ is now entering its fourth year of interdisciplinary talks, readings and conversations by literature scholars, historians, and creative writers. We are delighted to introduce our first event of 2023/24, featuring literary and print historian Leah Orr that will explore how the vagaries of publishing assign order and value to canonical literature.

Dr Leah Orr is Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, where she currently holds the Joseph P. Montiel/Board of Regents Professorship. She is the author of many articles on eighteenth-century literature as well as the book Novel Ventures: Fiction and Print Culture in England, 1690-1730 (Virginia, 2017). Her most recent book, Publishing the Woman Writer in England, 1670-1750, was published by Oxford University Press in 2023.

We tend to think of literary history as a chronological sequence in which literary works are tied to specific years in a sequence: Paradise Lost comes before Robinson Crusoe, which is before Lyrical Ballads, which in turn is followed by Frankenstein, for example. Many reference books, anthologies, and survey courses are designed around such a sequence. Whether we think of it this way or not, such a view prioritizes the history of publishing—but we often assume it also depicts a history of reading and/or writing. As we know from being readers and writers ourselves, however, writers often work on books for many years before they are published, and readers experience them for many years after their first publication. This talk explores the implications of understanding literary history as the history of publishing by arguing for the importance of publishers in establishing a literary canon. It also posits other models for studying and teaching the history of writers and readers that better account for the longer time frame in which they experience texts.

6th November 2023 - How do the speech patterns of people with depression and their therapists change over the time-course of treatment?

Dr Laurence White, Newcastle University

People with clinical depression often have distinctive speech prosody, including lower fundamental frequency (F0), lower F0 range and slower articulation rate, but the conversational dynamics between depressed speakers and their interlocutors are poorly understood. We examined the prosody of patients and therapists at the beginning and end of 29-week behavioural therapy for longstanding depression. As expected, therapist articulation rate was higher than patient rate. Controlling for speaker sex, therapist median F0 was higher than patient F0; however, therapists of more depressed patients had lower F0 range at therapy outset, suggestive of therapists’ accommodation to depressive prosody. Surprisingly, patients with more severe end-of-treatment depression spoke more quickly, likely reflecting both elevated anxiety and communication pressures. A three-way speaker/session/time-within-session interaction indicated that patient articulation rate increased over the first session, towards therapist rate: exploratory analyses additionally found that greater magnitude of this first-session patient-therapist rate convergence predicted better end-of-treatment outcomes.

About the speaker
Dr Laurence White is Senior Lecturer in Speech and Language Sciences at Newcastle University. His research explores speech perception, speech production and their relationship. A focus in Laurence’s perceptual work has been the mechanisms by which listeners locate the boundaries between spoken words, in typical adult speech processing, infant language development and second language acquisition. In speech production, Laurence is interested in the form and functions of prosody, in particular, speech rhythm and timing.

7 July 2023 - Multilingualism Summer School Open Lecture, Professor Roumyana Slabakova

Why do we need a native speaker control group in our experimental studies?

Professor Roumyana Slabakova, University of Southampton, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

This open lecture closes the third edition of the Online Multilingualism Summer School organised by the Centre for Research in Language and Heritage, IICE, the Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR), University of Southampton, with the collaboration of the Center for Language Science (CLS) from Pennsylvania State University (USA).

There has been renewed debate recently on whether we need control groups of native speakers in second language acquisition research, and what purposes they serve. In my presentation, I will review some opposing viewpoints and focus on the view from generative SLA. I will provide an extended example from an unpublished study on L2 Mandarin, which supports the view that control groups are necessary for two purposes: to validate the property under discussion and the test instrument. I will also argue that employing native speaker control groups does not constitute “monolingual comparative normativity” (Rothman et al. 2022).

About the speaker
Professor Roumyana Slabakova is the Chair of Applied Linguistics at the University of Southampton and Head of Research of the Modern Languages and Linguistics department. Professor Slabakova’s research is grounded in generative linguistic theory and explores the second language (L2) acquisition process. Her theoretical focus is the acquisition of grammatical structure and its interaction with meaning.

14 June 2023 - The Beauty of Data Visualisation – A Data Visualisation Workshop with Waleed Backler

The Institute for Inclusive Communities and Environments Science Practice Hub workshop organised by Dr Ana Paula Palacios.

Summary: This workshop, led by Waleed Backler, will provide a flavour of the importance of data visualisation, and how to use it to improve organisational effectiveness by harnessing the power of data. The session will focus on Tableau as the data visualisation software for participants to use on open datasets.

Speaker: Waleed Backler

About the Speaker: Waleed Backler is an analytical leader in the Civil Service, currently working as the principal data adviser to the Law Officers at the Attorney General’s office, with responsibility for establishing data and evidence at the heart of AGO’s priorities post COVID. Prior to this Waleed led critical work across several government departments in diverse policy areas, including delivering the analyses for HMRC’s 20-21 Annual Report and Accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Waleed is a Chartered Statistician by the Royal Statistical Society and an Advanced Data Science Professional by the Alliance for Data Science Professionals. Waleed holds an MSc (Medical Statistics) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as well as a BSc Hons (Mathematics) and a Diploma in Industrial Studies from the University of Greenwich.

3 May 2023 - The complexity of the acquisition of modals with Irene Balza, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)

Languages differ considerably in the way they encode modality. In this talk I will focus on the way different modal meanings (i.e. obligation, ability, epistemic possibility…) behave relative to tense/aspect and negation. The allegedly consistent asymmetries exhibited by modals in combination with these elements has motivated their classification in two main classes: epistemics -concerning what is known and what the available evidence is (von Fintel 2006)- and roots (ability, oblilgation, permission, volition…). Epistemics are assumed to be interpreted higher than tense, aspect and negation (1a-b, 3a-b), whereas root modals are interpreted lower than these elements (2a-b, 4a-b) (Butler 2003, 2004; Hacquard 2006 et seq.). This difference has been suggested to account for the fact that epistemics are acquired later to root modals (Cournane 2015). However, I evidence that the way different modal meanings interact with the aforementioned scope-bearing elements is even more intricate than shown in (1-4), as some epistemic and root (deontic) behave contrary to assumptions (5-8). This leads me to adopt a reformulated classification of modals into speech-act oriented vs. event-oriented (Narrog 2012) (rather than epistemic vs. root). I argue that speech-act oriented modal constructions are syntactically more complex, in that they project a speech-act layer (Speas & Tenny 2003, Wiltschko & Heim 2016, Krifa 2020) missing in event-oriented modal sentences.

The questions I would like to address in a near future are: (i) whether there might be any relevant differences in the acquisition of speech-oriented vs. event-oriented modality, and in case there are, (ii) whether these are linked to their syntactic differences, specifically, to the presence/absence of a higher speech-act layer, and/or the way the two types of modals interact with tense, aspect or negation.

About the speaker
Irene Balza is Assistant Professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), where she currently teaches undergraduate courses in English Language. She defended her PhD (International Ph Mention) on the syntax-semantics interface of modal verbs in joint supervision between UPV-EHU and University Bordeaux-Montaigne in 2018. Her research interests are the syntax-semantics interface, particularly modalitity and its relation with tense, aspect and negation, and its acquisition.

29 March 2023 - Ecopoetries with Harriet Tarlo, Frances Presley and Zoe Skoulding, hosted by Emily Critchley

Location: Greenwich Campus, Queen Anne Building, Room 063

Three of the UK’s leading poets will read from their latest ecopoetic collections and discuss how the time-critical environmental crises we face are inextricably interwoven with historical, cultural, and linguistic concerns, starting with the very division between nature and culture.

Harriet Tarlo is Professor of Ecopoetry and Poetics at Sheffield Hallam University and one of the founding British ecopoets. Single author poetry publications are with Guillemot Press, Shearsman Press and Etruscan books and her artists’ books with Judith Tucker are with Wild Pansy Press. Tarlo is editor of the foundational The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry (2011) and special features on ecopoetics for How2 and Plumwood Mountain and on cross-disciplinary environmental art in Green Letters. She is the author of numerous academic essays on poetics, place and environment, including recent joint essays with Judith Tucker on walking, landscape and collaboration in special features of Sociologia Ruralis and Critical Survey.

Frances Presley is one of the UK’s most important contemporary poets whose interest in feminisms, political commitment, ecology and ecopoetics go back decades. She has pursued collaborations with artists and other poets, such as Irma Irsara, Elizabeth James, Peterjon Skelt and Tilla Brading and has written various essays and reviews, especially on innovative British women poets. Her Collected Poems: 2004 to 2020 was published by Shearsman Books in 2022: a two volume set representing a major achievement in modernist and postmodern poetry and prose, projects and collaborations.

Zoë Skoulding is an award-winning English/Welsh poet and Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Bangor University, where her research explores urban space, sound, ecopoetics, contemporary experimental poetry and translation. She has published more than 11 poetry collections as well as 2 monographs on contemporary poetics, and her work has been widely anthologised, translated into over 25 languages and presented at numerous international festivals. As Editor of Poetry Wales from 2008 to 2014, Skoulding maintained the magazine's international focus and broadened its scope to include more experimental forms of poetry and in 2018 she received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors for the achievement and distinction of her body of work and her contribution to poetry.

22 February 2023 - EFL Materials Development in Context: Thinking about Japan

A workshop with Tim Cleminson, Associate Professor, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, hosted by Dr Anna Costantino

In this workshop, I will introduce my experiences teaching English in Japan. I will teach a little about the Japanese language and cultural aspects of communication. I will introduce some materials I have created to help students engage with each other in the classroom, reflect on their language learning and become more active communicators. I will introduce some dialogic concepts to help us understand and structure interaction in language classes. Participants will be expected to take part in activities, smile and have some fun!

Tim has taught English in Japan for 20 years.  Even so, he finds every class full of mystery and wonder. His research interests are co-creativity and dialogic engagement in the language classroom. He has a Master’s in Educational Research Theory (IoE) and is a Ph.D. candidate in Language Education Research and Development (Kyoto University).  He has written for the British Council, the Japan Times and has been a presenter on NHK Television.  He has also worked as an interpreter on a number of government-funded research projects. Presently, he is researching how materials and activities based on creative play can help develop dialogue in the language classroom.  When he isn’t teaching or researching, he’s running up a mountain or taking photos.

22 February 2023 - Jungian Arts-Based Research, Alchemy, America and the Climate Emergency, featuring the book launch of The Alchemy Fire Murder by Susan Rowland

Jungian arts-based research is a new research methodology that places creativity at the heart of knowing and being. In doing it promotes a Transdisciplinary paradigm while bringing back the almost forgotten, but never wholly abandoned, practice of alchemy. One aspect of the JABR detective novel, The Alchemy Fire Murder (Chiron, 15th Feb 2023) is using the genre to investigate the psychological impact of the climate emergency. How far do climate exacerbated wildfires speak to human arson and fiery emotions? Might the challenge to find new narratives offer something to the origin story of America itself?

Therefore, The Alchemy Fire Murder explores wildfires in California in relation to America’s little known history with alchemy in colonial times.

Buy the book here

In the seventeenth century, the real John Winthrop Jnr. emigrated from London to colonial Connecticut with a barrel full of alchemy manuscripts. He practiced as an alchemist, dispensed medicines, and became the colony’s Governor. In my fiction, a famous alchemy scroll was stolen from Oxford in 1658 and taken to colonial Connecticut by alchemist and future governor, Francis Andrew Ransome. He fooled the college by leaving a near perfect copy made by his friend, Robert Le More, who accompanied him to the New World. Only in the twenty-first century would it be revealed that Le More was an African woman, Roberta, the Moor.

The Alchemy Fire Murder: A Mary Wandwalker Mystery uses the mystery genre to explore what was lost when colonial alchemy got swallowed up. The story thinks the climate emergency in relation to alchemy’s use of fire as a crucial ingredient of transformation.

Can these inexperienced detectives triumph over corrupt professors and racist attempts to rewrite history? Can they remake their fragile family? Will the extraordinary story of Robert Le More prove a source of hope for today? Gentle reader, I dare you to find out!

About the speaker
Susan Rowland (PhD), formerly Professor of English and Jungian Studies at Greenwich is Core Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California. She has published extensively on Jung, literary theory, gender, literature and detective fiction. Her books include, Jung: A Feminist Revision (2002), , Jungian Literary Criticism: the Essential Guide (2019), Jungian Arts-based Research and the Nuclear Enchantment of New Mexico (2021). Her Jungian arts-based research is writing the Mary Wandwalker detective novels. Susan lives in California with digital literary artist, Joel Weishaus.

25 January 2023 - Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO): Is it a gatekeeper?

Dr Mohammed Ateek, University of Leicester

With discussions from Dr Elena Vacchelli, Centre for Applied Sociology and Dr Erika Kalocsányiová, Centre for Thinking & Learning & CREL, University of Greenwich

The issue of Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin (LADO) has been well documented in linguistic research over the last decade (Eades et al. 2003; Maryns 2004; Spotti and Detailleur 2011; McNamara, Van Den Hazelkamp and Verrips 2016). LADO is used by immigration departments in different countries, including the United Kingdom, to assist in identifying an asylum seeker’s place of origin or nationality. This is often used in cases where asylum seekers lack valid identification documents through which their origin or identity can be verified, or when there are doubts about the validity of those documents. Research on LADO have shown the pitfalls of the language test, but the relevant literature lacks research on the asylum seekers’ experiences with LADO. In this talk, Mohammed will discuss asylum seekers’ views and experiences with LADO based on his research with them. Mohammed will also show how LADO is used as a gatekeeper by the Home Office based on his investigation with the Guardian on this issue.

About the speakers
Dr Mohammed Ateek is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Language Education at the University of Leicester. Mohammed came to the UK in 2013 to complete his PhD in Applied Linguistics and TESOL after fleeing the war in Syria. As a refugee academic and social justice activist, his research focuses on language and migration, language and identity, linguistic issues affecting refugees and migrants, minority language education and others. Mohammed has also worked as a TV journalist and was involved in making different investigatory reports on international contemporary stories, as well as researching emerging news stories.

Dr Elena Vacchelli is an Associate Professor in Gender & Migration at the University of Greenwich. Elena's teaching and research interests include migration, diversity and social inequality; gender and space; embodiment; art-based and digital research methodologies.

Dr Erika Kalocsányiová is a Research Fellow with the Institute for Lifecourse Development, at the University of Greenwich. Her research focuses primarily on displaced and refugee students' transitioning and re-integration into higher education.

6 December 2022 - Poetry Reading: If the River is Hidden

Dr Cherry Smyth, Associate Professor Creative & Critical Writing

If the River is Hidden (époque press, 2022) reflects the shape of Northern Ireland’s River Bann in a hybrid, prose and poetry form: long, sinewy poems are bridged by a lyric essay. This hybridity speaks to the third space emerging in the North, as well as how belonging starts with the words we inherit.

What is hidden? The pagan past and its associations with An Bhanna, the Goddess; the Mesolithic treasures offered to the river; histories of sectarianism and division in towns on the river’s course; the pollutants destroying the ecology of the Bann; and how blood belonging streams through us, even if we no longer live in the North of Ireland, or never did.

‘If the river is hidden

So is what enters it.’

About the speaker
Cherry is an Irish writer, living in London. Her first two poetry collections, When the Lights Go Up, 2001 and One Wanted Thing, 2006 were published by Lagan Press. Her third collection, Test, Orange, 2012, and fourth, Famished, 2019 were published by Pindrop Press. Her debut novel, Hold Still, Holland Park Press, appeared in 2013. Famished tours as a performance in collaboration with vocalist Lauren Kinsella and composer Ed Bennett. Cherry was nominated as a Fellow for the Royal Society of Literature in 2022 and is also a Hawthornden Fellow. She is Associate Professor in Creative & Critical Writing at the University of Greenwich.

13 October 2022 - Practitioner Research, Teacher Education and Ethics: Do they Matter? And Why?

Dr Inés Kayon de Miller, PUC-Rio, Brazil

In this talk, I will draw on ethical issues arising from my own experience as a practitioner researcher and as a teacher educator. I will illustrate the work of Exploratory Practice, a modality of practitioner research developed in initial and continuing teacher and learner development in Brazilian universities, language institutes, and private and public sector schools. Working within this practitioner research framework, practitioners collectively engage in understanding their local issues by integrating research into their regular academic/professional activities. I will also address some of the ethical challenges faced by practitioners who have been working to bring together practitioners and academic research.

About the speaker
Dr Inés K. Miller is an Assistant Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil. She is involved in English language teaching and teacher education and development at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests focus on the discourse of professional reflection generated by learners, teachers, teacher educators and consultants. As a core member of the Rio Exploratory Practice Group, she co-mentors the exploratory practitioners who engage in developing and disseminating Exploratory Practice. She is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections nationally and internationally.

12 October 2022 - Why Litter? The evils of abundance demonstrated by paper re-use in the long eighteenth century

Dr Amélie Junqua, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France

Thoughtlessly discarding whatever is considered as refuse comes as second nature nowadays, as attested by the myriad materials dumped on streets, or washed ashore on the world’s beaches. The impulse to litter seems to be analogous to the way some animals leave by-products of their food consumption in the wild.
Perhaps this might the reason why human campaigns promoting recycling and a more responsible behaviour never succeed, whether on the individual or collective scale – there will always be a lazy idiot to litter a pristine nature reserve, a city council to turn a blind eye to an unauthorized dumping ground, and an oil company to hire an unseaworthy tanker.
Looking towards the past may provide some further explanations for this failure. Studying the generation, re-use and circulation of one material which was considered “waste” in eighteenth-century England, i.e. paper, offers an insight into far more potent motivations to recycle. Scarcity, want and thrift appear to be the mothers of invention. The now unimaginable creativity displayed by paper users -- servants, housewives, surgeons, scientists, street-sweepers and thieves, as well as men of letters – will be contrasted with the neglect displayed by mid-nineteenth-century consumers of cheaper, and abundant machine-made paper.

About the speaker
Dr Amélie Junqua is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Language at the Université de Picardie Jules Verne. Her research interests lie in British literary, material and cultural history of eighteenth century. Dr Junqua’s published work includes edited essays collections, book chapters and journal articles on topics including the career and writings of Joseph Addison, eighteenth-century periodicals and the history of re-use and recycling.

15 July 2022 - Silvina Montrul, Multilingualism Summer School Open Lecture

Supporting Heritage Language Acquisition When it Matters Most

Heritage language acquisition is concerned with the developmental stages and outcome of learning a minority language as a first but secondary language in a bilingual context from childhood to adulthood, as well as the wax and wane of the heritage language in response to input factors. Most studies of heritage languages focus on adults, who are unbalanced bilinguals with stronger command of the majority language than of the heritage language, because the heritage language exhibits systematic differences in vocabulary, morphological knowledge and in certain discourse-pragmatic interfaces compared to baseline speakers. In this talk, I focus on recent studies of Spanish and other languages in school-age heritage speakers, because it is during late childhood and adolescence that input decreases substantially with effects in the still developing linguistic system. I will show that many of the apparent grammatical differences found in young adult heritage speakers can be traced back to protracted development in childhood. Two important factors that can be observed with this age group are the roles of parental input in heritage language development and of academic support of the heritage language. The emerging conclusions from recent studies are that 1) there is little relationship between the language of the parents and the patterns that emerge in the heritage language children, and 2) academic support of the heritage language during the entire school-age period is critical to maintain and develop the language to achieve fluent bilingualism.

Professor Silvina Montrul completed her undergraduate university education in Argentina and received a Masters in English from the University of Cincinnati and a PhD in Linguistics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Professor Montrul is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois. In 2010 she founded the University Language Academy for Children, an after school and summer camp Spanish program for 4–16-year-old children, which she directed until 2018. Professor Montrul’s research interests include second language acquisition, bilingualism and heritage language acquisition.

30 March 2022 - Mathematics, Memetics & Artificial Intelligence: An Exploration through Performance | Dr Neil Saunders

Artificial Intelligence has become a major focal point for so much research in mathematics, science, linguistics and the arts. But what does it mean for a computer to be genuinely intelligent? Does it even make sense to talk about computers in these terms? When we start to try and answer these questions, we are drawn to more fundamental questions around how our own human understanding arises and how it works. This talk will explore ideas of human and artificial intelligence from a range of viewpoints: philosophical, mathematical, artistic and memetic. Drawing on recent and historical work of Dennett, Searle and Seth and with selected readings from David Harrower’s powerful play Knives in Hens by professional actors Bryony Miller and David Young, this talk will explore how language is central to intelligence and understanding, whether that be human or artificial.

Neil Saunders is a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics and part of the Steering Group of CREL at the University of Greenwich. His research focuses on geometric and combinatorial aspects of representation theory, and language and the philosophy of mind. Neil has presented on the syntax and semantics of mathematics and the relations between form and meaning.

Bryony Miller is an actor from Leeds, trained at the National Youth Theatre and Manchester School of Theatre. She plays a principal role in Ben Wheatley's film adaptation of Rebecca and appears in 3 episodes of Netflix series Cursed. She worked with prolific director Mike Leigh on his most recent feature film, Peterloo, playing Bessie. Most recently, Bryony filmed the role of Tonya in the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 and performed a one-woman show, Everything, for the Arcola Theatre.

David Young graduated from Lamda in 2014 and went straight into two UK tours. The History Boys by Allan Bennett and Single Spies, also by Allan Bennett. (He promises he can do more than just Bennett.) In 2019 he made his West End debut opposite Clive Owen and Anna Gunn in The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams. He’s also a writer and is currently in the process of selling his first feature film The Lost Boys based on JM Barrie’s Peter Pan

Guests may wish to read the following articles:

'A Perfect and Beautiful Machine': What Darwin's Theory of Evolution Reveals About Artificial Intelligence

How language helps us think - Ray Jackendoff

09 March 2022 - A psycholinguistic study on bilingual speech recognition

Dr Siyu Chen

Dr Siyu Chen obtained her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Greenwich in 2021 and very quickly got hired as a data scientist at the renowned firm Ernst & Young. She continues developing her research career in psycholinguistics and has already published in highly regarded venues.

The processing of lexical tone in bilingual speech recognition: the case of Chinese-English bilinguals.

Whilst many studies have shown that bilinguals automatically activate the lexicons of both languages during word recognition, how activation is mediated by lexical tone has rarely been considered. In this talk I will present a study developed for my PhD dissertation, where we used a visual-world eye-tracking paradigm to explore the effect of lexical tone on Chinese-English bilingual cross-language activation in spoken word recognition. Results show automatic activation of the first language phonological equivalents in the processing of a second language, which is in line with previous findings that bilingual spoken word recognition is language non-selective. Importantly, the difference in both target and competitor fixation between condition shows that the lexical tone of the first language is accessed during the processing of a non-tonal second language, and modulates cross-language lexical activation.

27 October 2021 - Transnational Narratives, Writing across borders in 19th-century Europe

Dr Laura Kirkley (University of Newcastle), Dr Marianne Van Remoortel (University of Ghent) and Dr Stefan Huygebaert (University of Ghent)

Featuring presentations by Dr Laura Kirkley (University of Newcastle), Dr Marianne Van Remoortel (University of Ghent) and Dr Stefan Huygebaert (University of Ghent) for a panel exploring transnational crossings, cosmopolitanism and translation across cultures in nineteenth-century Europe.

Revealing the nuanced and distinctively gendered cosmopolitanism of nineteenth-century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (Kirkley), and mapping nineteenth-century translations of ‘The Sculptor of Bruges’ from its Flemish origins to its reincarnations within the British print market (Van Remoortel and Huygebaert), these papers will invite us to consider what the past can tell us about the challenges and possibilities of border-crossings, be they national, linguistic or cultural.


Dr Laura Kirkley

“Wollstonecraft's 'Ardent Affection for the Human Race': the cosmopolitan ethic of caring in Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark”

This paper is taken from my book, Mary Wollstonecraft: Cosmopolitan, which shines a light on Wollstonecraft's transnationalism and argues that her works are shaped by her rejection of national allegiances and ethical commitment to philanthropy, in its root sense of 'love of humankind.' Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark (1795) has a philanthropic ethos derived from an erotic source: the cycle of letters between Wollstonecraft and her wayward lover, Gilbert Imlay. I demonstrate that she depicts her intimate affections for Imlay and their daughter as wellsprings of philanthropic love for a broader transnational community. Moreover, Wollstonecraft identifies her personal suffering with that of female outsiders from otherwise alien cultures, constructing an epistolary voice that is at once compassionate and distinctively gendered, wholly unlike the lazy stereotype of the eighteenth-century elitist touting a totalising and detached universalism. Through imaginative and practical engagement with foreign and distant others, the letter-writer of Short Residence embodies a cosmopolitan ‘ethic of caring,’ a philanthropic commitment to the well-being of others that stems from sentiment but can be reconciled with the principles of justice.

Dr Laura Kirkley is a Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century at Newcastle University. She is a comparatist with expertise in French and English women's writing and translation in the Revolutionary era, especially the works of Mary Wollstonecraft. Her monograph, Mary Wollstonecraft: Cosmopolitan, will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2022. Her new research project focuses on the cosmopolitanism of Germaine de Staël, Mary Shelley, and other women novelists contending with an age of rising nationalism. She is also part of the team behind The Gothic Women Project, which is running an online seminar series to showcase new strands of research on 'Gothic Women', in particular how they challenge mainstream narratives of gender, sexuality, race and nationhood in times of crisis.

Marianne Van Remoortel and Stefan Huygebaert

“From picturesque anecdote to viral story: the many lives of the ‘Sculptor of Bruges’”

The ‘Sculptor of Bruges’ is a popular story first published in Belgium in French in 1837. It was originally conceived by a local archivist, Joseph Octave Delepierre, as an anecdote explaining the origin of a monumental mantelpiece in the aldermen’s chamber of the mansion of the Liberty of Bruges. According to the anecdote, the creator was a sixteenth-century artist named André wrongfully convicted of murder, who was given a year to sculpt the mantelpiece pending execution of his death sentence. Though entirely fictional, the story quickly went viral, appearing in reprinted, translated, and adapted versions numerous times across Western Europe throughout the nineteenth century. This talk will focus on the story’s connections with and crossings to British literature and culture. After situating the original anecdote in the context of the development of modern tourism, we will discuss two British versions of the story: one published by Dinah Craik in Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal in 1847 and another, in the form of an 1886 poem entitled “The Chimneypiece of Bruges”, by Constance E. Dixon. Our focus will be on how the two versions dealt with the story’s legal plot as they built on, modified, and recontextualised its central themes of (capital) punishment and miscarriage of justice.

Stefan Huygebaert is an art historian and a Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, Belgium, on the topic of picturesque and symbolist Bruges. He co-edited the exhibition catalogue The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Bruges, Groeningemuseum, 2016–17), and the volumes The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law and Justice in Context (Springer, 2018), and Sensing the Nation’s Law: Historical Inquiries into the Aesthetics of Democratic Legitimacy (Springer, 2018).

Marianne Van Remoortel is Associate Professor of English Literature at Ghent University, Belgium. She is the author of Lives of the Sonnet, 1787–1895: Genre, Gender and Criticism (Ashgate, 2011) and Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press (Palgrave, 2015) and editor-in-chief of the Journal of European Periodical Studies. In 2015–21, she directed the ERC Starting Grant project “Agents of Change: Women Editors and Socio-Cultural Transformation in Europe, 1710–1920.”

13 October 2021 - CREL Opening | Language in Autism

The Centre for Research & Enterprise in Language 2021-22 opening event

Welcome and introduction to activities

Professor Mark O’Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Professor Chris Bailey, Director of Research of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences

CREL & Institute for Lifecourse Development (ILD) initiatives’ leads (M. Arche, R. Pacella, J. Baillie, C. Laval, A. Samara, N. Saunders, K. Stenke)

Guest talk

Language in Autism

Language in Autism Lab, University of Amsterdam

Professor Jeannette Schaeffer is a world-wide recognised expert on the links between language development and extra-linguistic cognitive knowledge across populations and languages. She studied at the university of Utrecht, UCLA and MIT, worked at Ben Gurion University in Israel and has been at the University of Amsterdam since 2011. Schaeffer has been the founding lead of international networks such as Language Abilities in Children with Autism (LACA), where the analysis of language development and Intelligence, Executive Function, Theory of Mind and Coherence has provided a more refined picture of human cognition.

Dr Ileana Grama lectures at the University of Amsterdam. She got her BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Bucharest and MA and PhD in Linguistics at Utrecht University. She is an expert in statistical learning and its potential role in language development in infants, adults and clinical populations, as well as in the relationship between language, learning and cognition in Autism.

Harriet Reynolds obtained her BA in Modern Languages at the University of Sheffield and MA in Linguistics from the University of Amsterdam. Her PhD research focuses on information structure in autistic and neurotypical subjects, connecting linguistic areas (pragmatics, prosody) with cognition and psychology.

Ileana Grama, Harriet Reynolds and Jeannette Schaeffer

University of Amsterdam

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) is characterized by (1) persistent deficits in social interaction and communication, and (2) restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities, both of which occur with varying degrees of severity (DSM-V; APA, 2013). Despite the fact that language is not one of the diagnostic criteria for ASC, language is affected in all autistic children. Around 30% of autistic children remain non- or minimally verbal. As for verbal autistic children, they differ from neurotypicals in their pragmatic language, and many of them demonstrate structural language (morphosyntax, phonology) differences.

Our Language-in-Autism (LiA) lab investigates the development of various language domains in autistic individuals and the interaction of language (development) with non-linguistic cognition. We will report on some ongoing studies regarding language skills in relation to statistical learning, and regarding pragmatic language development. Special attention will be paid to methods of data collection and to the way autism and autistic individuals are referred to in the research literature.

9 July 2021 - Linguistic competence and how to measure it​, Multilingualism Summer School Open Lecture

Professor Lydia White, McGill University

This talk is organised by the Centre for Research and Enterprise in Language and the Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR), University of Southampton, with the collaboration of the Center for Language Science (CLS), Pennsylvania State University (USA).

A distinction between competence and performance (or, more recently, representation and processing) has been adopted, implicitly or explicitly, in many different domains of language acquisition, particularly in research coming from the generative linguistic perspective. At the same time, there are researchers who do not believe in such a distinction. In this talk, I will consider what is meant by linguistic competence and argue for the continuing usefulness of such a concept, as well as discussing different methodologies that are used to assess it.

About the speaker
Professor Lydia White is a linguist and educator in the area of second language acquisition (SLA). She is James McGill Professor Emeritus of Linguistics. Lydia received her BA in Moral Sciences and Psychology from Cambridge University in 1969 and PhD in linguistics from McGill University in 1980. In 2010 she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Academy of Arts and Humanities. In 2012, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Language Acquisition, Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, and Second Language Research.

16 June 2021 - CREL Open Research Evening, Language & Healthy Ageing

Welcome and reflections on activities and events

Professor Christopher Bailey, Director of Research & Enterprise, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor Mark O’Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor Derek Moore, Pro Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences
CREL & Institute for Lifecourse Development (ILD) initiatives’ leads (M. Arche, R. Pacella, J. Baillie, A. Palacios, A. Samara, N. Saunders, K. Stenke)

Guest speaker

University of Greenwich Alumna Dr Caroline Beese, Scientific Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
How Language-Specific are the Declines in Language Functioning in Healthy Ageing?

Dr Caroline Beese is a Scientific Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. She has been working on the connection between syntax and neurocognitive factors such as aging and memory for several years, since her undergraduate dissertation in 2012 to the present. She obtained her undergraduate degree in International Studies: Language and Culture from the University of Greenwich. The linguistics modules were her ‘options’ and became her life. She completed an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University in The Netherlands, and PhD from Max Planck Institute at the Department of Neuropsychology. She has recently accepted a new position at the University of Vienna.

It was put into question whether age-related declines in domain-general cognitive functions like verbal working memory (vWM) or inhibitory control have an effect on language processing. First, we examined which language processes are affected later in life when vWM capacity is typically limited. In comparison to younger adults, we found that older adults focused more on what is said (i.e., semantics) rather than how it is said (i.e., syntax) to cope with vWM limitations. We then examined how this wealth of information in sentences is successfully encoded into vWM. To this end, we compared encoding-related electrophysiological activity between sentences that were later remembered and those that were later not remembered by younger, middle-aged and older adults. Age-related declines in encoding success were found related to age differences in the electrophysiological network underlying inhibitory control. We followed this up by examining older adults’ inhibitory functions with a picture-word interference (PWI) task combined with eye tracking. Here pre-activated semantically related but irrelevant words needed to be inhibited in order to subsequently name a picture. Though generally slower and less accurate, older adults were able to speed up picture naming through stronger pre-activation, possibly counteracting inhibitory deficits. Overall, the findings of these studies suggest that age-related declines in domain-general cognitive functions differentially affect some but not all language functions.

12 May 2021 - Play texts and poetry pamphlets: stories of print publication in the 17th, 20th and 21st centuries

Ian Heames (Face Press) and Dr Jennifer Young (University of Greenwich)

Exploring the narratives embedded in print history – in the work of a little-known Early Modern publisher of Shakespeare, and in the practices of independent poetry presses in the UK and US.

Turning to the past to re-imagine the canonical playwright’s work within a network of print-based communities (Young), and considering what the late twentieth century’s ‘mimeograph revolution’ can teach today’s DIY publishers (Heames), these papers will invite us to consider the stories that material texts can tell and their value in the present.

Dr Jennifer Young, ‘Shakespeare for the ‘Triers’: Richard Hawkins and Q2 Othello at the Serjeants’ Inn’

Abstract: In 1630 the Stationer Richard Hawkins began selling an edition of Shakespeare’s Othello from ‘his shoppe in Chancery-Lane, neere Sergeants-Inne’. This edition, identified by modern scholars as Q2, is remarkable as the first edition to fully conflate existent quarto and folio texts of a Shakespeare play. Scholars have remarked on the process that brought Q2 into being—but the question of why a 17th century publisher/bookseller would invest the time and money to create such an edition remains to be considered. This paper decentres the author to reconsider Q2’s place amongst the people and ideas of the area in which it was published and sold: the Serjeants’ Inn in the heart of the Inns of Court area of London. The paper examines how Hawkins fashioned the books sold in his shop to entice this local readership. Literary and textual evidence from the Quarto is then reconsidered in the light of this new readership, providing new insights into the construction of this unique quarto and its place in modern editorial practice. This paper also highlights the extent to which individual members of the book trade in the early 17th century engaged with local readerships and the value of second-plus editions to that market.

Biography: Jennifer Young is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at the University of Greenwich. She is co-author of Shakespeare in London (Arden Shakespeare 2015). Her research focuses on the printers and publishers of Shakespeare’s earliest editions and she is currently working on a monograph exploring the relationship between early modern members of the book trade and Shakespeare. This summer an article inspired by the research in this paper will appear in the Journal of Early Modern Literary Culture.

Ian Heames (Face Press), ‘Some mimeo precedents for contemporary small press poetry publishing’

Abstract: This talk will offer a brief overview of some of the varied independent publishing efforts sometimes collectively styled as the 'mimeo revolution' (circa 1960-80). It will consider how these publishing practices might have shaped the reading and writing of texts originally produced and circulated in such low-key DIY contexts, and how the legacy of these networks of reception and production continues to inform certain cultures of approach to the idea of 'publication', and of the poet's own mooted sense of their own first (or only) audience in 'print'. A couple of case studies of important historical publications (1960s) will be offered, along with some thoughts on what these traditions could offer to poets writing and sharing new work today.

Biography: Ian Heames is the founder of Face Press, http://face-press.org/, which has published work by poets such as Jeff Keen, J. H. Prynne, and Tom Raworth, as well as his own compositions. He also edits the Earthbound Poetry Series (2020-) https://earthbound.press/poetryseries-volume1, the London Review of Bookshop Sampler series (2018-) and the poetry magazine No Prizes (2012-). He is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on the US poet Stephen Rodefer.

28 April 2021 - Vampire Migration: Searching for Dracula in Stephen King’s Salem's Lot

Connor Long-Johnson, Postgraduate Student, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dracula has been inescapable since its publication in 1897. The Count still looms large over popular culture in the twenty-first century and his brethren have spread to all forms of media, with novels and films such as Twilight, The Strain and Buffy the Vampire Slayer finding huge success. In 1975, horror author Stephen King helped to bring the undead from the antiquity of Eastern Europe to the modern suburbs of American New England with Salem’s Lot. The influence of Stoker’s novel is evident throughout King’s second published novel as is Salem’s Lot’s role in bringing the vampire mythos into the modern era. Through comparing Stoker’s work with King’s, we can discover how the latter has not only borrowed from Stoker, but also evolved the figure of the vampire, making it more fit for purpose in the late-twentieth century and beyond.

Connor Long-Johnson completed his English BA and MA English: Literary London at University of Greenwich. He is currently a postgraduate in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, also at the University of Greenwich, researching his PhD thesis on American novelist Stephen King and the gothic tradition. Connor Long Johnson published his short story, ‘Completion’ in The Hollow Vol 6 (Pompona Beach, FL: Breaking Rules Publishing, 2020) and won the award for best debut conference presentation at Children of the Night: International Dracula Congress, hosted by Transilvania University of Brașov, Romania and Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland in April 2021.

24 March 2021 - Attitudes to accent in Britain: Variation in strength of bias by context

Professor Devyani Sharma & Dr Yang Ye

Abstract: Accent is one of the most salient signals of social background in Britain, yet its role in unequal professional outcomes remains under-examined, with no large-scale survey of British attitudes using audio stimuli. We present results from a set of recent studies (www.accentbiasbritain.org): attitudes to accent labels, attitudes to accented voices, attitudes among legal professionals, and perceived opportunities for success in relation to different professional sectors. Together the studies show continuing bias in Britain, particularly against working-class accents, but also incremental attenuation of bias by context. Drawing on psychological and sociolinguistic models, we interpret this not as a reduction of biased attitudes themselves but rather an effect of context on the extent to which individuals permit attitudes to influence their behavioural outcomes.

Professor Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University of London)  is a world renowned expert in Sociolinguistics. Her research focuses on how languages and dialects vary, and what that variation can tell us about cognitive and social systems.

Dr Yang Ye is a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich. His research focuses on topics in the area of social psychology such as automatic and implicit forms of attitudes, stereotypes and bias.

10 March 2021 - Maths & Linguistics Puzzles

Tony Mann & Katie Steckles

Tony Mann, University of Greenwich - ‘What is the point of this puzzle?’

Mathematical puzzles have been a source of fascination to many over the centuries. But what is the point of a puzzle? Is it just about an elegant piece of mathematics, or to find out what would happen in a real-world situation, or is it really about something else entirely? Does the enjoyment come from solving, or from understanding the solution? This informal talk will look at examples, simple and difficult, abstract or “real-world”, going back to the first printed mathematics book in English (1536) and up to puzzles presented to the public during lockdown in 2020.

Tony is Director of the Greenwich Maths Centre. His research interests lie in the history of mathematics with particular interest in the uses of mathematics in fiction. He was President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics from 2009 to 2011 and editor for the Newsletter of the London Mathematical Society from 2007 to 2017.

Katie Steckles -  ‘Logic puzzles: ambiguity and language’

Many popular recreational maths puzzles involve logic - liars and truth-tellers, known and unknown facts and deduction from given statements. However, these types of puzzles can offer opportunities for ambiguity, especially given the precise nature of mathematical thinking and the frustratingly inexact English language. I’ve collected some examples of such puzzles and the traps you can fall into while writing them, and offer some general advice to improve wording and close any logical loopholes.

Katie studied maths at the University of Manchester, completing a PhD in 2011 and has since worked in public engagement with mathematics — giving talks and workshops, writing about maths, delivering events at science festivals, talking about maths on YouTube, TV and radio.

05 March 2021 - What can we learn from cross-syndrome comparisons? Grammar comprehension in children with ASD, Developmental Language Disorder and Williams syndrome

Dr Alexandra Perovic, Associate Professor in Linguistics, UCL

Alexandra is an expert on the development of different aspects of language in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and Specific Language Impairment, in English and cross-linguistically. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Greenwich, did a PhD in Linguistics at UCL and later on obtained a postdoctoral position at the department of Brain and Cognitive Science of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alexandra teaches clinical linguistics on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences, a professional degree leading to a qualification in speech and language therapy at UCL.

Abstract: Cross-syndrome comparisons between populations that share some general characteristics such as language or intellectual impairments are particularly valuable in revealing the extent to which these characteristics may affect the course of language acquisition. In this talk, I will present experimental studies investigating linguistic constraints governing the comprehension of personal vs. reflexive pronouns (‘principles of binding’), in children with three distinct developmental disorders: Williams syndrome (WS), known for reasonably spared grammar but significant intellectual limitations, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), known for pragmatic, as opposed to grammatical deficits, in the presence of heterogeneous language and cognitive abilities, and DLD, known for primarily grammatical deficits. The results will reveal important differences in the linguistic profiles of these populations, which cannot be attributed to the presence of cognitive impairments or an overall language delay.

03 March 2021 -  Poetry, Narratives & Creative Translation

Four global experts explore the issues at stake in the developing narratives of poetry in translation. Leo Boix, Edward Doegar, Jèssica Pujol Duran, Richard Parker

10 February 2021 - Gender Politics in Writing Shame: an evening with Kaye Mitchell & Nuar Alsadir

Senior academic and feminist scholar, Dr. Kaye Mitchell, will be discussing her book Writing Shame: Contemporary Literature, Gender and Negative Affect (EUP, 2020) in conversation with poet and psychoanalyst, Nuar Alsadir, author of (among other works) Fourth Person Singular (Liverpool University Press, 2017) and Dr. Emily Critchley, poet and senior lecturer. This seminar will take shame as its object of investigation – a condition at once private and social, inhibiting as well as productive, ‘narrative’ as well as ‘disjunctive’ - and seek to understand ‘the peculiar, ineluctable, persistent entanglement of femininity and shame’ (Mitchell).

09 December 2020 - What the linguistics of “if” could teach social psychology, health psychology, and the study of rationality.

Dr Peter Collins, Lecturer in Psychology, School of Human Sciences

Presentation Slides

Abstract: We are famously prone to framing effects: we tend, for example, to make difference choices when a treatment is described in terms of lives saved rather than lives lost. On the dominant view, these effects are irrational but effective ways to persuade, but this view largely neglects language. I argue that, to understand or predict such effects, we should investigate their linguistic content. I focus on the goal-framing effect: the alleged persuasive difference between messages such as “If you give up smoking, you’ll reduce your risk of lung cancer” and “If you don’t… you won’t”. I will show how a large literature in social and health psychology neglects the meaning of “if”, contributing to inconsistent findings, and will sketch the basis of an alternative account.

25 November 2020 - How (and why) to research multilingually? Challenges and opportunities.

Dr Erika Kalocsanyiova, Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences

Presentation Slides

Abstract: An important part of mainstream research is currently being conducted in more than one language, especially where marginalised and disadvantaged communities are concerned. The role and impact of interpreters and translators on knowledge generation, as well as issues of access, power, and language bias, require an active and careful consideration from planning, through implementation to dissemination of research findings.

In this talk, I will introduce the concept of "researching multilingually" (Holmes et al. 2013) as an emerging dimension of research training and practice. Drawing on examples from a linguistic ethnographic research conducted with refugees in Luxembourg, I will discuss ways of engaging with multilingual research data and outputs.

The focus will be on two common aspects of qualitative research: interviewing and transcription. Through the microanalysis of an interpreter-mediated research interview, I will first show how to tackle some of the complexities of cross-language interviewing and meaning construction. The second part of the talk will focus on the processes and politics of multilingual transcription. I will explore transcripts that capture mixed language practices and/or the voices of refugees who are striving to be themselves in a foreign language to shed light on the analytical and ethical consequences of transcription decisions.

11 November 2020 - Jumping the Creative Fence? From Lit. Crit. to Historical Murder Mysteries

Professor David Fairer, University of Leeds

Abstract: After more than four decades working in the field of criticism and scholarship, I recently jumped to the other side of the fence to begin writing historical murder mysteries set in the early eighteenth century - the period I had taught for so long. After writing critical studies of many authors, how big a leap was this move into my own fiction? Making the break into the "creative" has brought several challenges to the fore: how to build a narrative; how to embody and animate the characters; how to enter a historical period and bring it alive for the reader; how in dialogue to avoid writing a kind of 'parody' language; how to convey the historical context to the reader ...

30 September 2020 - Arts-based Research and a Novel about Celtic London

Professor Susan Rowland, Pacifica Graduate Institute, California

Presentation Slides

19 May 2020 - Defining the Field: Category Problems in Research. The example of the Trade and Professional Press 1845-1900.

Professor Andrew King, Professor of English Literature and Literary Studies

Abstract: Whenever we do research we need to be clear about our research questions. To do that also means being clear about our analytic and descriptive categories. This paper considers those problems when faced with mapping a previously uncharted area of media and literary history, the Victorian trade and professional press, and also why that area remains unknown when all readers of this abstract will have been heavily influenced by such periodicals either directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, whether the THE, the TLS, the Grocer, the Builder, the British Underwriter, the Engineer, the Law Magazine or the Journal for Advances in Manufacturing. What academic discipline would such a study fit into and what methodologies would therefore be used to pursue it? What might be the advantages and disadvantages of each methodology? At a fundamental level, what can be considered a "trade" and "professional" periodical and how is the field to be defined and subdivided into domains of knowledge, morphologies, genetics, development characteristics, environment, function?  Crucially, who is to define these categories and how? Only having considered these pre-questions can we begin to forward our research, thereby gaining greater clarity of the history, practices, limits and possibilities of our own fields and, indeed, of our lives more generally.

26 February 2020 - Syntax and Semantics in Mathematics and Mathematics Education

Dr Neil Saunders, Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences

Abstract: This will be an expository talk into what language, syntax and semantics mean to a research mathematician, and will also explore these concepts from an educational point of view. Following Easdown (2006), we will provide a variety of examples of 'enlightening errors' in mathematical/logical reasoning, committed by students and seasoned researchers alike that reveal the perennial tension between syntax and semantics in mathematics. As Easdown argues, a heightened awareness of this tension and its possible resolution in certain scenarios may lead to better student experiences in their mathematical learning, enabling more robust and creative thinking. No prior mathematical knowledge will be required for this talk, which is aimed to promote interdisciplinary discussion and possible research collaborations in the CREL spirit.

22 January 2020 - What can "semantic" associations tell us about sexism?

Dr Yang Ye, School of Human Sciences

Abstract: In the last few decades, one of the most significant developments in social psychology is the emergence and popularization of so-called "implicit" measures (e.g., the implicit association test, the evaluative priming task). Such measures provide indirect assessment of psychological constructs such as attitudes and stereotypes, using tasks (e.g., reaction-time based) that seem to be irrelevant to the construct assessed. They are in sharp contrast to traditional self-report measures, which are often criticized to be prone to the influence of respondent's self-presentational motivation. In this talk, Dr Yang Ye will present research on the semantic misattribution procedure and talk about what it is, where it comes from, and how to apply this procedure to the assessment of implicit gender stereotyping at the individual level. He will present empirical evidence on the psychometrics properties and construct validity for this measure.

11 December 2019 - Miscommunications and the Language of New Media

Dr Maria KorolkovaProf Stephen Kennedy, School of Design

At this CREL talk, Dr Maria Korolkova and Prof Steve Kennedy from the School of Design will share their research on miscommunications as an emerging field in media theory. They will be discussing their chapters from the forthcoming book Miscommunications: Errors, Mistakes and the Media (edited by Maria Korolkova and Timothy Barker, under contract with Bloomsbury Academics).

The Force of Falsity, Maria Korolkova

What happens when communication breaks down? How can we understand our place in a world that seems dominated by misleading information? Is it the condition for miscommunication, mistakes and errors that is characteristic of digital culture in general? And if mistakes and errors have a certain power, what stands behind it? To address these questions, my talk will be focusing on some philosophical, linguistic and media theoretical inquiries that address contemporary culture as a terrain of miscommunication.

The Guardians of the Possible, Steve Kennedy

In his book Rome: The First Book of Foundations, Michel Serres describes the fervent activity of termites as they construct their improbable towers. Whilst this activity demonstrates a degree of order, Serres also postulates an element of deviance and anomie. The intention of this talk is to argue for an approach that designs complexity back into the system. It will challenge the received wisdom, prevalent in western thought, that reason serves to bring a coherent and universal order to chaos when in effect it imposes certain very specific patterns on a world no longer conducive to such an ordering.

20 November 2019 - Spelling as statistical learning: evidence from learning experiments with 7-year-old children 

Dr Anna Samara, Faculty of Education and Health

Abstract: Learning to spell is a vital yet understudied part of literacy development. It is also a challenging task: In inconsistent orthographies such as English and French, only few words can be spelled accurately by mapping phonemes (sounds) to their highest frequency graphemes (letters); most vowel sounds have, in fact, multiple spellings. In English, for example, /ε/ is most commonly spelled with the letter e (as in bed), but it can also be spelled with the letters ai (said), ea (head), ie (friend), and eo (leopard). How do children learn such inconsistent sound-letter correspondences? In this talk, I will present data from typically developing children that suggest that learners use the same domain-general statistical learning device believed to operate in spoken language (Saffran et al. 1996) to extract some untaught probabilistic spelling 'rules'
. Five learning experiments with artificial lexicons probe precisely what patterns young spellers can learn, and under what circumstances, to shed light on underlying learning mechanisms. Implications for theories of literacy development and broad educational implications are discussed.

22 October 2019 - CPD Workshop 'Exploratory Practice: Teachers and learners working together to understand their classroom lives


  • Inés Kayon de Miller (PUC-Rio, Brazil)
  • Adriana N. Nóbrega (PUC-Rio, Brazil)
  • Isabel Cristina R. Moraes Bezerra (UERJ, Brazil)
  • Assia Slimani-Rolls (Regent's University London)
  • Anna Costantino (University of Greenwich)

This workshop will offer combined 'practical' and 'theoretical' opportunities for understanding the underlying rationale of Exploratory Practice (EP), developed in collaboration with Dick Allwright (Lancaster, UK) and the Rio de Janeiro Exploratory Practice Group. Starting from reflection on their own and their learners' classroom puzzles, participants will be guided to understand how teachers and learners can work jointly for enhanced understandings of what happens in their classroom lives. There will also be opportunities for participants to create and discuss possible adaptations of their regular activities into Potentially Exploitable Pedagogic Activities. Such notions as 'Planning for understanding', 'Quality of classroom life', and 'Sustain ability of EP', among others that characterize the theoretical foundations of the EP framework, will be discussed on the basis of our long-term experience with EP and our involvement with the recent international research project with Brazilian teachers sponsored by the British Council.

02 October 2019 - Grit Lit in the American South as a Class Counter-Discourse

Professor Li Yang Research Paper Talk

Since the 1980s, with the rise of Grit Lit, a counter-discourse to the Southern Renaissance, the trend in southern literature has changed dramatically from aristocratic tradition to poor-folk perspective. Poor-white writers Harry Crews, Larry Brown, Dorothy Allison and Lee Smith (to name only a few) tell the stories of their families and class as insiders with unparalleled authenticity. They claim and defend their humble pedigree, articulate their survival- first creed, write about their miserable rural past, redefine poor-white social and cultural identity and dismantle their stereotypic single-dimensioned image. Their works have met with considerable critical and public claim and even become a marketable "brand" (Scott Romine) in the south and even the United States. Obviously as an important genre in southern literature it has brought about the most significant changes in it in the 20th century.

Li Yang is Professor of English at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. His academic interests have been class, gender and place in American fictions for two decades starting from his visit to University of Florida as a Fulbright research scholar from 1998 to 1999 and he has been publishing articles and books on these motifs since then. This year Tongji University provided Professor Li Yang with funding of 60,000 Chinese yuan (approximately £6,700) for research abroad, with the possibility of funded staff exchange. Having read Dr. Justine Baillie's publications on English and American fictions, Professor Li Yang applied to visit University of Greenwich as part of an exchange of research on the issues of gender and class in literary studies.