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University of Oxford Faculty of English

Cameron, Deborah

Position: Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication; Fellow of Worcester College
College: Worcester
Period/Subject: Language


Email address:


Research Interests

Language, gender and sexuality; language attitudes/ideologies and 'verbal hygiene'; discourse analysis; language and globalization.


Teaching Areas

English language, linguistics and women's studies.


Academic biography

I came to 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). 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 have a blog called 'Language: a feminist guide', and occasionally I perform as a linguistic stand up comedian.


Selected Publications

Coming soon (March 2016)

Cameron, D and S Shaw, Gender, Power and Political Speech. Basingstoke: Palgrave


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 (also translated into Japanese)


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 and I Panović, Working with Written Discourse. London: Sage.

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.


Feminist books

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 (2013) 'The one, the many and the Other: representing mono- and multilingualism in post-9/11 verbal hygiene', Critical Multilingualism Studies 2.

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 (2011) "Evolution, Science and the Study of Literature: A Critical Response". Language and Literature 20.1 106-114

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

Holoshitz, T. and D. Cameron (2014) "The linguistic representation of sexual violence in conflict situations", Gender and Language, special issue on gender, language and the media.


College website

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