Centre for Research in Language and Heritage

Our Research

An inclusive approach to research

CREL members deploy a diverse range of rigorous qualitative, quantitative and creative methods and techniques in their interdisciplinary research. However, all our explorations into the way people communicate, build societies and shape landscapes over space and time is guided by the overarching theme of inclusivity: inclusivity in the academic community we create, inclusivity in how we identify new challenges and inclusivity in the ways we seek to address them.

Our research falls into three broad, cross-cutting themes:

  • Language
  • Narratives
  • Heritage


This theme focuses on research around language as the gateway to education and social wellbeing, its properties, its development across populations and its teaching. We also study how language interfaces with other areas, including social issues, cognition and artificial intelligence (AI), and efforts to address education, health and wellbeing and reduced inequalities challenges. Current work includes a project on how to encourage language assessment in children and adolescents prior to engagement with justice. We are also working to change the public’s perception on the nature of AI and its potential benefits and dangers for our future society.


This theme explores the role of narratives, arts and poetry in changing perceptions about critical issues, such as race, gender, climate, ecology and labour, and how creative writing can be a powerful tool for healing and rehabilitative methods and processes. Recent and ongoing activity includes the development of eco-poetry and eco-narratives, research on narratives about work amongst secondary-school pupils, and an investigation of neoslave narratives, encompassing politics, history and aesthetics.


Here, we explore heritage and how it connects with environmental, health and social issues. For instance, we are exploring the role of Punjabi soldiers in the First World War, and how thousands of Punjabi casualties are currently excluded from official records of Britain’s war dead. Another project involves partnerships with local small and medium-sized heritage organisations in Greenwich aiming to improve the visibility of the collections and activities of these sites, as well as to create new pathways for collaborations. An early output from this work is Ottoman Journeys, an exhibition highlighting fascinating connections between Greenwich and the Ottoman empire.


The Centre for Research in Language and Heritage produces a variety of published outputs, including articles, edited books and policy briefs.

A selection of recent outputs from CREL members (and *secondarily affiliated ILD members), is presented below:

Research Projects

COST Action - Justice to Youth Language Needs: human rights undermined by an invisible disadvantage

This COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology) Action Network with a value of €500k is an international network started in 2023, led by the University of Greenwich. The Action addresses the lack of consistent policies to establish the language abilities that children and adolescents need to possess in order to participate in justice proceedings effectively. The journey through criminal justice is based on highly verbal processes that require a level of verbal ability that is unlikely among young offenders for various reasons. Even where screening for language difficulties exists, no attention is paid to the needs of children from different education backgrounds, with disabilities, who are multilingual, or who are dead or hearing impaired. To ensure protection of human rights of this vulnerable population this Action will assess the situation at European transnational level and propose specific measures to identify language needs.

This project is led by Professor Maria Arche of the Centre for Research in Language and Heritage.

CREL Bites

CREL Bites is a video series featuring members introducing their research areas to provide insights on inter-disciplinary links to language. The videos aim to stimulate discussion, knowledge-exchange and provide potential collaborations in and around language.

What are the links to language you gather from the CREL Bites below?

Professor Andrew King

Andrew's research lies in Victorian print culture, particularly periodicals and popular fiction. Focusing on two areas of the 19th century; popular fiction and magazines, Andrew uses them both to find out how we’re different from the past and how the past constrains and enables how and what we communicate today.

Dr Neil Saunders - Syntax, Semantics and Mathematics

What does syntax and semantics mean to a mathematician? If you’re a linguist, syntax and semantics carry their own meaning, if you’re a mathematician they carry a different meaning. Even if you’re a computer programmer or a scholar in literature, they will have different meanings altogether.

Dr Justine Baillie - Language and Literature in a Postcolonial Context

Language and Literature in a Postcolonial Context - An overview of the connections between language and literary studies, specifically in the field of African American and postcolonial literatures. Justine discusses how language is acquired and deployed in creative and oppositional forms from within history of colonization, and the imposition of the colonizer’s language.

Filippo Beghelli - Senior Principal Engineer at ORACLE

Dr Filippo Beghelli shows us some of the things that artificial intelligence, that is computer programmes, can accomplish in terms of language understanding. Can machines understand language? Take a quick tour of the field of natural language processing or NLP. Some of the things you’ll see might surprise you.