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Language text and power about us

peopleWords hardly ever are 'mere words'. Words convey connotations, notions, ideas, values, attitudes, and they frequently encapsulate allusions to complex relationships between individuals and groups.

Words are parts of speech acts, and speech acts are an integral part of human actions and human behaviour. Verbal behaviour, as everyday experience easily demonstrates, can be just as powerful (and hurtful) as physical confrontation.

The relationship between language in its oral and written manifestations on the one hand and power-relationships on the other hand, opens an exciting field for research in the Arts and Humanities (and beyond).

Under the umbrella of the Language, Text, and Power theme, we aim

  • to bring together researchers from all areas at Reading who share research interests in the role and development of languages in human societies
  • to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in multidisciplinary language research
  • to attract research funding for our new and exciting, visionary projects
  • to make a visible impact on the public discourse of language use and abuse.

Where are we coming from?

Language, Text, and Power, established as a research initiative of the Classics Department in 2009, was adopted and institutionalised as a Faculty Research Theme of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Reading in 2010.

In its new and larger role, the Research Theme functions as a platform for cutting-edge individual and group research, providing an inspirational and creative environment for researchers from all disciplines, united by their mutual interest in the uses and abuses of languages within and between societies.

Who are we?

The Language, Text, and Power Faculty Research Theme is an open and transparent platform for researchers with an interest in themes and issues that revolve language, language use, manifestations of language, and the complex power-relationships that arise from the use and abuse of the above within human communities and societies. The theme is inclusive, not exclusive - thus providing an opportunity to make new connections and to engage in collaborative and competitive research.

  • For a list of core members of the Language, Text, and Power theme, please follow this link: Core Staff
  • For a list of current associate members and friends of the Language, Text, and Power theme (as well as a list of their relevant research interests), please follow this link: Members of Language, Text, and Power