We study languages, cultures, and the uses of language, to deliver cutting-edge research into literatures, histories, linguistics and literacies.
The multidisciplinary work of the Modern Languages and Linguistics Research Division offers field-leading insight into transcultural perspectives – including analysis of bilingualism and second-language acquisition – and spans everything from medieval to post-colonial literature.
With the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies specialising in French, Italian, German and Spanish, and English acquisition and the development of world English a focus of the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics, our research is inter-disciplinary and exceptionally diverse.
This expertise is evident in our editing of and contributions to numerous peer-reviewed journals, such as The Italianist and e-France, and our leading innovative archive-based research in literary and film studies.
The Modern Languages and Linguistics Research Division is in constant communication with a range of non-academic communities and actively contributes to international debates.
Our projects include the language issues faced by non-governmental organisations and aid agencies operating in crisis zones, challenging media representations of migration, and – from an historical perspective – informing perceptions of intellectual networks and the experience of conflict.
- Prof Hilary Footitt has a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded grant for research on languages and NGOs.
- Dr Parvathi Kumaraswami has a two-year Leverhulme Project relating to books and literacy in contemporary Cuba.
- Dr Daniela La Penna is currently completing work on an AHRC-funded study of publishing networks in 20th Century Italy.
- Dr Lisa Sampson’s AHRC-funded project (with the British Library) on the early modern Italian Academies has been extended with a one-year British Academy mid-career fellowship.
- Dr Parvaneh Tavakoli was funded to continue her work on the acquisition of English in the Saudi teaching classroom.
- Dr Ute Wolfel’s work on the University of Reading’s unique archive of East German film and media was supported by a British Academy grant on "Children in German War (Con-)Texts 1945-1949".
- Dr Jacqueline Laws has won funding for a study of word choice in the Oxford English Dictionary.