Language, gender and sexuality; language attitudes/ideologies and 'verbal hygiene'; discourse analysis; language and globalization.
English language, linguistics and women's studies.
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.
Worcester College website