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Dr Darren Paffey PhD, BA

Lecturer in Spanish and Linguistics, Director of UG Admissions

Dr Darren Paffey's photo

Dr Darren Paffey is a Lecturer in Spanish and Linguistics in Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton.

I hold a BA (Hons) in French & Spanish Linguistics and a PhD in Spanish Sociolinguistics, both from the University of Southampton. I have lived in Santiago, Chile where I also taught English and researched bilingual education policy.

As well as my current teaching and research responsibilities, I lead on Undergraduate Recruitment, Admissions and Outreach for Modern Languages and Linguistics. Outside of the university, I have served on the Executive Committee of the Association for the Study of Spanish in Society, was previously an External Examiner for the University of Surrey, and have co-organised conferences including the International Sociolinguistics Symposium in 2010, and the Spanish in Society conferences in London, Edinburgh, and Southampton.

Research interests

My research interests focus on language ideologies, the politics of language and (critical) discourse analysis as a method of investigating these, as well as issues of political and media discourse, language planning, language policy and migration within the Spanish-speaking world (see list of publications).

My PhD thesis investigated the ideologies, policies and agencies involved in language standardisation and other contemporary language debates in Spain, focusing particularly on the Real Academia Española.

I have given conference presentations that consider the recent educational protests and reforms in Chile, and the relationship between the social media discourse of the protestors and the political discourse of the President. I investigate how issues of power, authority and voice are constructed and expressed in elite and grassroots contexts.

My latest project considers the various Spanish language practices amongst migrant communities in London, both in terms of where Spanish is present in the visual environment (linguistic landscapes) and also how Spanish-speakers reflect on the values and ideologies underpinning their use of the language in this multilingual global city.

Previous projects that I have worked on include:

  • LINEE, a European Commission-funded project in which he investigated the practices and ideologies underlying the acquisition by migrants of official languages in the UK and Spain;
  • Volver a México, in which Darren carried out fieldwork in Mexico (as part of the MEXSU research team) to explore the return of Mexican migrants from the USA, and their accounts of the flows of linguistic capital in such transnational migratory movements;
  • Tales of Return, an investigation into the memories and experiences of Spanish returnee migrants from France and Great Britain in the 20th century;
  • and Testing Regimes, which focused on language, migration and citizenship policies across Europe.

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Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching
I teach on a number of modules in Spanish sociolinguistics, as well as teaching Stage 6 Spanish-English Translation seminars. I convene 'An Introduction to Languages of the Spanish-Speaking World', and 'Power and Discourse in Spanish-Speaking Societies', and also teach on 'Barrios and Borders: Language and Identity among US Latinos', 'Reading the City', 'Applications of Linguistics', and 'Research Skills’.

Postgraduate supervision
I welcome proposals for doctoral research in a range of sociolinguistic areas, particularly on topics relating to the politics of language in Spain and Latin America.

My particular interests include:

  • Political discourse
  • Media discourse
  • Language ideologies
  • Language policy
  • Language and globalisation
  • Language and migration
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Chile, Mexico, Colombia
Dr Darren Paffey
Building 65 Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/3047

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