I am the Deputy Director of Digital Humanities at the University of Southampton. Whilst my primary disciplinary background is in linguistics, my work is more comfortably positioned at the interdisciplinary intersection(s) of (digital) media, communication, gender and sexuality studies.
I am also an Associate Editor of both Cambridge Elements in Cognitive Linguistics (Cambridge University Press) and the International Social Science Journal (Wiley), a member of the UKRI Talent Peer Review College and the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Review College, and am recognised as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE).
- corpus-based critical discourse studies
- social media and communication
- gender, sexuality and power
- (socio)cognitive linguistics
My research has primarily focused on the application of corpus linguistics and critical discourse studies to understanding, exploring and examining antagonistic communication in online contexts. My doctoral and subsequent research has explored the role of social media communication in manifesting and mitigating inequalities for transgender individuals and communities. In so doing, I consider the role of (inter)national structures of inequality in the socio-legal recognition of transgender identities, the impact of the attention economy on transgender discourses online and the subsequent socio-political effects that discursive manifestations of inequality have in both online and offline spaces. I have since begun to extend this research by exploring discourses of multiple marginalization and inequality (e.g. in healthcare, education and employment), with a focus on identifying feasible opportunities for engendering meaningful – and lasting – social change.
I am also developing a project that focuses on the relationship between popular culture and social, political and historical contexts of inequality. In this research, I refer to (sub)cultural artefacts – including fan practices and journalism in relation to music, film, television and gaming – as manifestations of culture that have a significant impact on the interpretation, realisation and reproduction of (sub)cultural inequalities. With a specific focus on the late 20th century onwards, I contend that we can learn many lessons from recent popular culture history that provide significant insights into current ways of thinking culturally and politically about social inequalities.
Outwith the social application of my research and its findings, I am working on projects focusing on methodological innovations. Specifically, I explore how corpus methods and (socio)cognitive linguistics can be combined together and with other – interdisciplinary – methodologies to generate both questions and answers for the ever-growing complexities of humanity.