Cameron, Professor Deborah
Job Title: Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication
Period/ Subject: Language
Email address: Deborah.Cameron@ell.ox.ac.uk
Language, gender and sexuality; language attitudes/ideologies and 'verbal hygiene'; discourse analysis; language and globalization.
I contribute to the undergraduate English degree, but I mainly teach and supervise graduate students in English Language, Linguistics and Women’s Studies. I teach both core courses and options (in sociolinguistics and language and gender) on the M.St in English Language. You can download a podcast relating to the M.St course here, and check out the details by going to the Prospective Graduates/Masters Programmes section of the English website.
I welcome inquiries from graduates wishing to undertake research in any of the areas I am interested in (see above). Among the research topics I have supervised (at doctoral, Masters or advanced undergraduate level) are: the linguistic behaviour of women MPs in debates in the House of Commons, gender and culture as influences on call centre agents’ speech styles, sexism in pedagogical dictionaries, the spellings used in Black Country dialect poetry, the representation of the phone-hacking scandal in British newspapers and the media representation of sexual violence in conflict situations. I am currently supervising projects on young adults' speech in Vilnius, Lithuania and the use of English on gay dating websites in Serbia.
I joined the English Faculty at Oxford as Professor of Language and Communication in January 2004. Before that I spent 20 years working in other universities in the UK and elsewhere: Roehampton University in London, Strathclyde University in Glasgow, the Institute of Education in London and the College of William and Mary in Virginia, USA. I have held visiting professorships and fellowships at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, New York University and the University of Technology Sydney.
Outreach and 'impact'
Since coming to Oxford I have become increasingly involved in communicating with a wider audience about language and linguistic research. In 2007 I published The Myth of Mars and Venus, a general-interest book about language and gender differences, parts of which were serialized in The Guardian newspaper. I have contributed to numerous BBC radio programmes, including Woman’s Hour, Word of Mouth, Thinking Allowed and Fry’s English Delight (you can download Stephen Fry's interview with me here). In November 2010 I took part in a public debate about science and gendered behaviour, which you can download as an audio file here. The non-academic groups I have been invited to talk to or write for on language-related subjects include school teachers and A level students, architects, experts in health and social care, market researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and the cast of an RSC production of The Taming of the Shrew. I blog about linguistic issues for Berfrois and Language On The Move. I've also performed--though so far only once--a linguistic stand up comedy routine.
In May 2013 I'll be taking part in a debate at the Philosophy Festival How The Light Gets In in Hay-on-Wye, about whether language and thought are 'inherently male', and in October I'll be speaking at the Royal Institution, London, on science and sexism.
For many years I was involved in producing and writing the feminist magazine Trouble & Strife, and in 2009 I co-edited (with Joan Scanlon) The Trouble & Strife Reader, a selection of classic articles from the magazine’s 20-year output. I continue to contribute to the Trouble & Strife website and blog, and to give talks about feminism to student and community groups.
Books about language, gender and sexuality
Cameron, D (2007) The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages? Oxford: OUP.
Cameron, D (2006) On Language and Sexual Politics. London : Routledge.
Cameron, D and D Kulick (eds.) (2006) The Language and Sexuality Reader. London : Routledge.
Cameron, D. and D. Kulick (2003) Language and Sexuality. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
Other language/linguistics books
Cameron, D. (2000) Good To Talk: Living and Working in a Communication Culture. London: Sage
Cameron, D. (2001) Working with Spoken Discourse. London: Sage (also translated into Japanese)
Cameron, D. (1995) Verbal Hygiene. Milton Park: Routledge (new 'Classics in Linguistics' edition published 2012)
Block, D. and D. Cameron (eds.) (2002) Globalization and Language Teaching. London : Routledge (also translated into Arabic)
Cameron, D., E. Frazer, P. Harvey, B. Rampton and K. Richardson (1992) Researching Language: Issues of Power and Method. London: Routledge.
Markus, T. and D. Cameron (2002) The Words Between the Spaces: Buildings and Language. London : Routledge.
Cameron, D and J Scanlon (eds.) (2010) The Trouble & Strife Reader. London: Bloomsbury Academic. [This title can be downloaded FREE: click on the link for details]
Cameron, D and E Frazer (1987) The Lust To Kill: A Feminist Perspective on Sexual Murder. Cambridge: Polity.
Some recent shorter publications
Cameron, D (2012) "More heat than light: sex difference science and the study of language". The 2012 Sedgewick Memorial Lecture. Vancouver: Ronsdale Press.
Cameron, D (2010) "Sex/gender, language and the new biologism". Applied Linguistics 31.2: 173-92
Cameron, D. (2009) "The virtues of good prose: verbal hygiene and the Movement", in The Movement Reconsidered, ed. Zachary Leader. Oxford: OUP
'The one, the many and the Other: representing mono- and multilingualism in post-9/11 verbal hygiene', Critical Multilingualism Studies Vol 2, 2013. (This forthcoming article is based on my presentation at the conference 'Multilingualism 2.0' at the University of Arizona, Tucson in April 2012, which is available to watch here.)
Other publications currently in preparation include an article on the media representation of sexual violence in conflict settings, written with former women's studies student Tamar Holoshitz.
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