I have worked at the University of Liverpool since September 1980, always teaching on Communication Studies programmes, but under a variety of different departmental names, as the University periodically restructured itself. The current Department goes by the name of Communication and Media Studies, the addition of 'Media' reflecting students' interest in studying the media (perhaps with a view to working in media industries in due course). The retention of 'Communication' preserved our strong and longstanding brand (since 1974), but also recognized the fact that not all of our research and teaching relates specifically to mass media, and the fact that the world of media has itself undergone radical change in the period under question, with Social Media in some ways more like face to face communication than it is like the Mass Communication of old.
I took a BA Honours degree from the University of East Anglia in 1977 (English and American Studies, majoring in Linguistics - in a department where Gunther Kress, Bob Hodge, Tony Trew and Roger Fowler were beginning to create what later became Critical Discourse Analysis. I then moved to the English Language Unit at Birmingham University where i took an MA by research in 1978 in English Linguistics (Spoken discourse analysis - in a department led by Professor John Sinclair). My PhD, also from Birmingham, on political discourse in the press with specific reference to the 1979 General Election was awarded in 1985. This was the election when Margaret Thatcher first came to power.
I was a Lecturer at this University between 1980 and 2000; then a Senior Lecturer until 2005; then a Reader until 2011, and a Professor since then.
I would be interested to hear from potential research students with interests in mediated political communication and political culture,or in dialogue in TV drama, or in political drama and film, especially where there is a focus on the UK.
Some specific topic areas that prospective PhD students might like to think about are as follows;
• Mediating Margaret – film and TV representations of Margaret Thatcher.
• Naturalistic and stylized forms of dialogue in movies and TV dramas.
• The BBC/British Library Listening Project – sociolinguistic aspectual studies of the British Library’s archive of Listening Project recordings
- A contemporary Comedy of Errors (Keynote Speech, University of Lincoln 2010)
- The comedies of politics in Britain 2010 (Invitation to Speak, de Montfort University 2010)
- Multimodality and Television Drama Dialogue (Keynote Speech, British Association of Applied Linguistics 2005)
- Head of Department, Acting Link Tutor XJTLU