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 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 Parvaneh Tavakoli and Dr Tony Capstick have been sponsored by the British Council in two separate projects on the L2 acquisition of English. Tavakoli works on language testing. Capstick works with language tutors in refugee camps.
- 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 was awarded a British Academy grant to support her research into derivational morphology, with a focus on the Oxford English Dictionary. This includes the million-token database MorphoQuantics (a website used by researchers world-wide).