Professor Robert Blackwood is a specialist in French sociolinguistics with research and teaching interests within the broad field of linguistics and language studies. Professor Blackwood's primary research interest is the linguistic landscape, and in particular regional languages of France in the linguistic landscape. He is the Editor of the journal 'Linguistic Landscape' alongside Professor Elana Shohamy (Tel Aviv University), and co-organised the Eighth Linguistic Landscape Workshop which took place in Liverpool in 2016. Professor Blackwood has published widely on Corsican sociolinguistics, which was the subject of his first monograph. His second book, co-authored with Dr Stefania Tufi from the Italian subject area, investigated the linguistic landscapes of French and Italian Mediterranean coastal cities. Professor Blackwood also publishes on language and new media (including social media) from the perspective of the French language, and he also undertakes research into questions of language policy.
Professor Blackwood supervises doctoral research in the area of sociolinguistics, with specific interests in the Linguistic Landscape, language policy, and digital discourse, In addition to his work in francophone contexts, Professor Blackwood has supervised PhDs looking at sociolinguistic questions in the Middle East, including Jordan, Algeria, and Kuwait.
Professor Blackwood is currently primary supervisor for two research students: Jasem Eidan, writing a PhD on sacred and secular linguistic landscapes in Kuwait; and Imene Bensalem, who is exploring the sociolinguistics of the workplace in Algeria.
Professor Blackwood was primary supervisor to Michelle Harrison (PhD 2013), who now holds a permanent post in the French Department at the University of Leicester; to Will Amos (PhD 2017), Assistant Professor in French & Translation Studies at the University of Warwick; and to Lucia Brandi (PhD 2018). In addition, he was a supervisor for Omar Almoush (PhD 2015) and Ghazi Al-Naimat (PhD 2015).
- National Teaching Fellowship (Higher Education Academy 2011)
- Sir Alastair Pilkington Award (University of Liverpool 2010)
- Plenary lecture (Invitation to Speak, University of Vienna 2011)
- Research Seminar for Modern Languages Research Forum (Invitation to Speak, National University of Ireland Maynooth 2010)
- Research Seminar for the French Linguistics Research Seminar (Invitation to Speak, University of Cambridge 2010)
- Research Seminar for Languages Across Borders Research Cluster (Invitation to Speak, University of Portsmouth 2009)
- Research Seminar for le Groupe d'Étude sur le Plurilinguisme Européen (Invitation to Speak, University Marc Bloch, Strasbourg 2008)
- Research and Unit of Assessment Lead for Modern Languages & Cultures
- Member of the University of Liverpool Exiting the EU Working Group