What we've been up to: Autumn 2014-Winter 2015

It felt so good to collect our collective accomplishments in a single blog post at the start of Autumn term that here we are doing it again (though the start of term was perhaps too busy a time to manage it--happy Reading Week!).

What have we been up to? Mostly teaching and marking and curriculum-building and admissions and all those sorts of things.But we've also been doing research, contributing to the wonderful research environment that put Sussex 9th in the country for English research in the most recent Research Excellent Framework Exercise (REF). Here's what has come of our research in the past term.

Charlotte Taylor and colleagues have published a festschrift for John Morley of the University of Siena: Gentle Obsessions: literature, linguistics and learning in honour of John Morley. She has a chapter in that book entitled Irony and sarcasm: British behaviours?

Roberta Piazza and her collaborator Alessandra Fasulo are celebrating (as are we) the publication of their edited collection Marked Identities: Narrating Lives between Social Labels and Individual Biographies (Palgrave, 2014), which was launched at Blackwell's bookshop in Portsmouth in February. Besides organising and editing the work, Roberta contributed two chapters: the single-authored  '… Since Big Fat Gypsy Weddings (…) Now [People] … Understand More 'cos of that Programme': Irish Travellers' Identity between Stigmatisation and Self-image and with Antonia Rubino 'The Racial Laws have Turned our Lives Positively': Agentivity and Chorality in the Identity of a Group of Italian Jewish Witnesses.

Lynne Cahill was part of the Traces Through Time Workshop at the Institute for Historical Research in January, where historians of different kinds were invited to try out the tools that Lynne and collaborators have been developing for identifying individuals and groups of people in collections of digitised historical documents. They included a family historian (genealogist), a social historian investigating working class employment in Northumbria in the 19th century, a history postgraduate researching an individual and all her known contacts and a retired publisher researching First World War stories.

Lynne Murphy's public engagement work on British and American English was featured as an 'impact case study' in the 2014 REF. You can read about that work here. In February she spoke at the Brighton Catalyst Club: In praise of little words. She has presented early results of her study Polite words in British and American English: please, thank you and sorry at the Survey of English Usage seminar at University College London in November and at University of Reading in February. Next: De Montfort University in April.

Justyna Robinson's latest edited book Corpus Methods for Semantics has been published by John Benjamins. This includes her chapter Quantifying polysemy in Cognitive Sociolinguistics. Justyna is also part of a newly AHRC-funded project Linguistic DNA of Modern Western Thought with colleagues at Sheffield. Congratulations to them on this exciting project! We look forward to welcoming Justyna back after her maternity leave.

Melanie Green has been made Review Editor for Journal of Linguistics and external examiner for the BA in English Language and Linguistics at Kent. With her collaborators Miriam Ayafor (Yaounde) and Gabriel Ozon (Sheffield) she's given a paper at the SOAS Linguistics Dept seminar called Rethinking the light verb category: evidence from Cameroon Pidgin English. They continue to work on their BA/Leverhulme-funded project ‘A spoken corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English’.

Three new books and two grants! We do keep busy.


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