I am always interested in hearing from undergraduate and postgraduate students wanting to conduct independent research in the following areas:
Language and new media (digital discourse); language and global mobility (tourism discourse); language and the workplace (professional discourse); language and class inequality (elite discourse); language and young people; language and sex/uality. Preferred methods: critical discourse analysis (written and spoken language) and social semiotics (visual communication, multimodal discourse). I favour interdisciplinary projects and innovative (i.e. non-conventional) "writing" that engages questions of social difference and power/privilege.
Doctoral research in Switzerland, like in much of Europe, is thesis-driven and relies on students being mature, self-motivating, and well organized. Working under my supervision, students are expected to participate fully in the research culture of the Department of English at the University of Bern and in the Center for the Study of Language and Society. Doctoral researchers in this system find themselves with a lot of freedom, independence, and collegiality, quickly becoming valuable members of the department’s academic staff (aka faculty). For more logistical information about doctoral studies here at the University of Bern please see this departmental webpage
. If you would like help with developing a research proposal, send me an email to request a set of guidelines.
Current doctoral students:
- Maida Balkic (MA Linguistics, University of Zadar, Croatia; BA English, University of Bihać, Bosnia & Herzegovina).
Thesis title: A critical discourse study of 'linguistic violence' and post-warist discourses in Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Vanessa Jaroski (MA Linguistics, Northeastern Illinois University, USA; BA English/Spanish, University of Lausanne, Switzerland).
Thesis title: The cultural discourses and social meanings of mobile communication(SNF-funded project)
- Joseph Comer (MSocSc International Development, RMIT University, Australia; BA Linguistics, La Trobe University, Australia).
Thesis title: Consuming and queering the margins: A critical discourse ethnography of normativity/dissidence in LGBT advocacy and tourism
- Gwynne Mapes (MA Linguistics, Georgetown University, USA; BA English, University of Mary Washington, USA).
Thesis title: Normalizing status and privilege in food discourse
Previous doctoral students (selection):
- Giorgia Aiello, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, University of Leeds, UK
- Kate Bell, Assistant Professor, California State University, East Bay, USA
- Calla Chancellor, Instructional Consultant, University of Washington, USA
- Irina Gendelman, Associate Professor, Saint Martin's University, USA
- Jamie Moshin, Senior Research Analyst, National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan, USA
- Tyler Perry, Assistant Professor, California State University, Sacramento, USA
- Elizabeth Sherman, Assistant Professor, Bates College, USA
In spite of this list, I'm always keen to let students know from the outset that I am not in the business of reproducing my own kind. The academic life is not for everyone and it is certainly not the be-all-and-end-all of life. Education and advanced learning are both a necessity and a privilege. There are so many reasons why people might choose to pursue a PhD, just as there are many career paths and life possibilities beyond its completion. My objectives in supervising doctoral students are pedagogical and practical: to support their intellectual and creative discoveries, to help them complete the thesis/dissertation on time, and to position them for an academic career should they want one. The rest really is up to them.