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Dr Melani Schroeter – University of Reading

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Dr Melani Schroeter

Dr Melani Schroeter
Job Title:
Associate Professor



I teach mostly language and linguistics across the German Studies curriculum, and I also contribute to linguistics teaching and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students’ research beyond the German language. I teach and convene the Part 2 module “The World of Words: Lexicology and Word Formation” (for German and English Language students) and the Part 3 module “The German Language and National Identity”. I teach parts of Part 1 “Icons of Modern Germany”, “Texts and Genres” and Part 3 “Language and Power”.   I also teach as part of the MA Migration and Intercultural Studies.

I am the Department’s Director of Postgraduate Research.

Like many of my colleagues, I contribute to peer review for publishers, journals and research funding councils nationally and internationally, I supervise and examine PhD research students, organise or convene academic events, and present my research in talks and publications.

Areas of Interest

My interests in research and teaching are in the areas of political discourse analysis, (discourse) semantics, lexicology and word formation, pragmatics, (critical) discourse studies, sociolinguistics and cross-linguistic comparative language studies, as well as corpus-assisted methodologies.

I studied the use of silence as a means of communication, and how people make sense of silence and absence of communication especially in the public sphere. In 2013, I published a monograph “Silence and Concealment in Political Discourse” (John Benjamins) and in 2018 a co-edited volume “Exploring Silence and Absence in Discourse: Empirical Approaches” (Palgrave Macmillan).

I am also particularly interested in metalanguage and metadiscourse. Discourses about language use can help us explore language ideologies, i.e., people’s ideas about what language does and how it should (not) be used in various domains. These ideas need to be contextualised by asking whether and which agendas may be pushed when language is put out for debate. I am currently investigating the anti-political correctness discourse so tirelessly perpetuated by the German New Right. I look at the wider context of reasoning about public discourse as well as, within this context, the strategic aims of the New Right’s claims to be silenced and forbidden to speak out.   Beyond this, I am interested in the various forms that metadiscourse can take and the various language phenomena it might focus on across different domains. This interest also links with my Final Year module where we look at debates about the German language in relation to national identity over time.

I undertake corpus-assisted and comparative analyses of keywords in public and political discourse, and I investigate the semantics and pragmatic adaptation of loanwords in and across recipient languages. I am also interested in comparative studies of lexical innovation, i.e., the way in which new words are created. This research partly informs my Part 2 module Lexicology and Word Formation.


Postgraduate supervision:

I am happy to supervise research students in any of my areas of interest as mirrored in my teaching and research activities.

Current supervisions (project titles are provisional):

  • Mashael Althobiti (English Language and Applied Linguistics): A cross-linguistic corpus-based critical discourse study of the representation of Saudi women in British and Saudi newspapers
  • Manan Alkhuder (English Language and Applied Linguistics): A Corpus–based Study of Conjunctive Adjuncts in the Academic Writings of Native Speakers of English and Saudi Academic English Learners.
  • Fangying Jia (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Group discussion skills from EAP classrooms to academic seminars: a rhetorical discourse analysis
  • Yahya Alqhtani (PhD Translation Studies): Socio-cultural Perspectives on Translation Activities of Online Freelancing Translation Websites in the Arab World: A Bourdieusean Account
  • Reem Altoriqui (PhD Translation Studies): An investigation into the effects of Google Translate on creativity
  • Lebtsam Altheeb (PhD Translation Studies): The Perception of Translation in Disaster, Conflict and Crisis Situations: Covid-19 in the Arabic speaking world and Saudi Arabia as case study
  • Nada Alshahrani (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Conversational metaphorical speech acts in Saudi Arabic
  • Rasha Alkhrejah (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Exploring the inter-relationship between political discourse analysis and translation studies with reference to famous political speeches of Arabic Crises

Completed supervisions:

  • Badriyah Yusof (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Representing Power Shifts in Brunei-British Political Discourse 1847-1984 (2019)
  • Lubna Bahammam (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Gendered Discourses of Twitter-Hashtagged Debates about Saudi-Women’s Issues (2018)
  • Sophie Payne (Modern Languages): Representations of Contemporary Feminist Protest in Germany and the UK (2018)
  • Heike Krüsemann (Institute of Education): Language Learning Motivation and the Discursive Representations of German, the Germans, and Germany in UK School Settings and the Press (2018)


Research groups / Centres

1. Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism, University of Reading:

2. Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sprache in der Politik

3. Network for Silence Studies

4. Interdisciplinary Network Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change

5. Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relation

6. Forum for Germanic Language Studies 6. East German Studies Archive



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  • MA German, English & History (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • PhD German Linguistics (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • PG Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Reading)
About German Studies at the School of Languages and European Studies

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