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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

Institutional Background

The new School of Language, Linguistics and Translation Studies (LLT) came into being on 1 August 1999. Created from European Studies by the transfer of political, historical, media and most literary studies, the strategy behind the new School is to concentrate in one place all UEA’s linguistics and language related activities to gain clarity and critical mass. This is a wonderful opportunity, since for the first time linguistics and language is the priority of a school of study here. With respect to our submission to U of A 56, it must be pointed out that although the School is not a traditional linguistics department, nine of the twelve current researchers consider themselves linguists or applied linguists. However, `the difficulty of fit’ will make referral to other panels desirable: French (51) for Baines and Short, and Scandinavian (52) for Garton. Our linguistic research output is strongly applied and interdisciplinary, in keeping with our history and the mission statement of the university. Besides research, the School performs the university’s language teaching function. With respect to language teaching, the School employs 10 lectors, lectrices and TAs. The diversity of languages is viewed as a research resource providing input to linguistic and translation research. We have depth of expertise in the languages of Scandinavia, financially supported by the Swedish and Danish governments, but also teach nine other languages, from French and German to Greek and Japanese.
Research Achievement by Research Group

There are two main research groupings:

1. Linguistics and Language
(Barbour, Chilton, Downes, Guillot, Kenning, Lodge, Mühlhaus, Rundblad)

2. Translation Studies and Literature
(Baines, Boase-Beier, Garton, Short)
By ‘Translation Studies’ is meant the theory of translation, for which the practical activity of translation provides research data. Harvey was active in both groups.

In the Linguistics and Language area, linguistics continued to develop established strengths in three main areas: first, in linguistics as a method for the study of language use in cultural, social and historical contexts (Barbour, Chilton, Downes, Harvey, Pipe-Fowler and Rundblad); second, applications of linguistics to language teaching and learning (Kenning, Guillot, Mühlhaus, Harvey); and, third, phonological theory (Lodge). Barbour has achieved an international reputation in the sociolinguistics of German, demonstrated by the positive reception in Germany of his co-authored book Variation im Deutschen: Soziolinguistische Perspektiven (de Gruyter, 1998). He has also contributed six chapters in books and published refereed journal articles in New German Studies, Language Learning Journal, Current Issues in Language and Society and Sociolinguistica. Chilton’s work, using cognitive semantics and pragmatics to analyze the discourse of politics and international relations, has resulted in a book, Security Metaphors: Cold War Discourse from Containment to Common House, published by Peter Lang (1996), the completion of another co-edited book with Jacob Mey and Mikhail Ilyin, Political Discourse in Transition in Europe, published by Benjamins in 1998, and in the context of international collaboration, articles with Christina Schäffner and George Lakoff, as well as numerous other articles. Downes has significantly revised his well-known book, Language and Society (CUP, second edition, 1998). He has also brought to completion long term work on the English gerund. Since then, he has been developing a project analyzing religious language, mainly using Relevance Theory. This project has so far resulted in supervised research and publication in the area of language, affectivity and religious experience. Pipe-Fowler sustained his international reputation in the area of critical linguistics, particularly as regards literary and newspaper texts, with books for Macmillan on The Language of George Orwell (1995) and Oxford University Press, Linguistic Criticism, second edition (1996). Harvey extended this discourse linguistics with research on gender identities and was primary co-editor, with C. Shalom, of a major 249 page study, Language and Desire: Encoding Sex, Romance and Intimacy (Routledge, 1997), to which he also contributed chapter 3 and co-authored the Introduction. A new appointment, Mühlhaus, researches the language varieties of the professions, in particular, medical and legal language using corpus linguistics and genre methods. Phonology research by Lodge continues. His non-segmental approach has been deployed in investigations into Kalenjin, German and English, including Norfolk accents. He also continues to develop a critique of standard assumptions; for example, in his review article on Goldsmith’s Handbook. Guillot and Kenning’s long-standing research in IT and foreign language teaching/learning has produced a range of publications and papers given at international conferences; for example, Guillot at the Sept. 2000 AFLS conference in Quebec City. Kenning’s on-going publications on the use of electronic resources in language teaching and learning, for example, concordancing, have grown out of international collaborative work with the University of Nancy, funded by the EU Lingua programme. Guillot’s investigations of the spoken language and the question of fluency has culminated in the publication of a book, Fluency and its Teaching (Multilingual Matters, 1999). With the appointment of Rundblad, the group gains an historical linguist, specialising in the theory of semantic/lexical change applied to English. Her research combines theoretical linguistics, mainly variationist/evolutionary linguistics and markedness theory with new empirical methods such as corpus linguistics.

In the Translation Studies and Literature area Boase-Beier and Harvey have both published in translation theory and have organised international conferences. Harvey’s outstanding article, ‘Translating camp talk’, was selected to feature in The Translation Reader, edited by Laurence Venuti and published by Routledge in 2000. He has also developed a reputation in `compensation in translation’ and has published on this topic in Target: International Journal of Translation Studies, Volume 9(3). Besides being very active giving papers and organising conferences, Boase-Beier has co-edited, with Michael Holman, The Practices of Literary Translation (St. Jerome, 1999), in which she co-wrote the introductory chapter. Finally, Barbour has written on the relevance of translation studies to sociolinguistics (see RA2). Turning to literature, in the Scandinavian area, Garton is editing the series `Women in Context’, to which she contributed a volume, as well as publishing a series of important essays on this subject. In the French area, the new appointment, Baines, has published his first book, on Pierre Mac Orlan, with Rodopi in their Faux Titre series. Short’s research into a whole spectrum of topics concerning surrealism has continued with numerous articles and chapters on Louis Aragon, André Breton, Bunuel, Renoir and British Surrealism, and a new edition of his well-known book, Dada and Surrealism (Lawrence King,1994).

Research Environment

Research in the School is managed by a Chair of Research (Downes) and a Deputy (Chilton), who report and are answerable to the Dean and Board. These are supported by the Humanities and Social Science Group (HSS) and the university’s Research and Business Development Office (RBDO). The latter is invaluable in assisting researchers with both information and the machinery for external funding. The former is developing long term research plans and expanding infrastructure (IT support, library) in humanities. Each researcher has a personal research allowance and the Chair of Research manages a research budget (£6,000 in 1999-2000) to support specific research proposals from faculty and research students. Research active faculty have study leave entitlement every seventh semester, conditional on precise plans and previous outcomes. Specific mechanisms and practices which support individual research work are itemised below.

The School promotes a dynamic research culture where knowledge generation and writing are given first priority. There is the LLT Research Seminar, which combines eminent visiting speakers such as Harald Clahsen, Peter Trudgill and Gunther Kress, with papers by faculty, research students and former students who are now researchers elsewhere. There are weekly LLT Translation Workshops, which provide practical input into translation theory research. These have included such major writers, researchers and translators as Michael Hamburger, David Constantine, Rainer Schulte and Andrew Motion, as well as local input; e.g. Lodge on ‘Translating Sound’. The whole of the infrastructure of UEA’s humanities schools are used by LLT researchers. For example, the internationally renowned British Centre for Literary Translation provides a further post-graduate research environment with weekly seminars by such figures as Carol Maier and Peter Clark, organized by Peter Bush, as well as being a resource for translation studies research. For both translation theory and linguistic stylistics the rich programmes of literary readings in the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts and The Arthur Miller Centre for American Studies are available, which has included visits by creative writers such as Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney and Arthur Miller. The School has been active as a host for conferences. For example, in September 1996, the Second Colloquium on Literary Translation, jointly organized by Boase-Beier, was held at UEA, with 250 international participants. From this emerged the volume co-edited by Boase-Beier and Holman (see below and RA2). In September 1998, we hosted the Association for French Language Studies (AFLS), organizers Kenning and Guillot. The volume on Changing Landscapes in Language and Language Pedagogy, edited by Guillot and Kenning, published by AFLS/CiLT, was an outcome. In December 1999, Harvey was part organiser of the International Symposium on Gender and Literary Translation. September 1997 saw the Nordic Letters 18701910 conference, with published proceedings (see RA2 Garton), while August 2000 saw the Biennial Conference of the International Association of Scandinavian Studies, organized by Garton, with 150 – 200 international visitors and proceedings to be published. With respect to collaboration within the university, Garton worked with Professor Michael Robinson (of the Drama sector, English and American Studies) in co-organizing the conference and co-editing the resulting volume, as well as in the Scandinavian publishing infrastructure listed below.

The School contains The James Platt Centre for Language Teaching and Learning (Director since August 1999, Mühlhaus) which has research relevant resources, CD ROMs, language learning software and corpora, the last to be further developed. There is a Phonetics Laboratory, with facilities for Lodge’s research and a Research Students’ Room providing desk space and IT facilities. There is The Centre for Modern Nordic Studies and the Norvik Press operating in the Scandinavian area. The journal Scandinavica, based at UEA, is the leading U.K. journal for Scandinavian literature, while the Press has published 27 volumes of Nordic literature in translation and 17 volumes of non-fiction, including 9 of original scholarship. Finally the School publishes an occasional journal, Norwich Papers, financially supported by our research fund. This is now devoted to and solely edited by enthusiastic postgraduates and research students, who thus gain experience of the editing and publishing process.

The School has multiple initiatives and practices to support researchers at all levels. The rolling programme of planned study leaves demands that individuals formulate precise research outcomes. These outcomes are monitored by the Chair of Research and his deputy. Staff are encouraged to apply for external funding (e.g. AHRB, Leverhulme, etc.) using the RBDO facilities. We timetable a weekly research day free of other obligations. Since 1998 there has been an annual LLT Staff Roundtable, in which each researcher reports on their current projects. There are resources files lodged in the Dean’s office itemising sources of funding and providing material on all the periodicals and editors with which staff are familiar, to aid networking. We have developed research related teaching, both undergraduate and postgraduate so that most researchers teach at least some units in their current research area. There is also a tradition of interdisciplinary and joint teaching, which facilitates interdisciplinary research. The university’s Centre for Staff and Educational Development includes sessions on research (e.g. ‘developing a research culture’). There is a collective on-going effort, led by the Chair of Research, to be conscious about the process of research itself, both in terms of new facilitating initiatives, but also on the individual level regarding such issues as organisation of time, and the actual processes of writing and revision. The School’s Research, Postgraduate and Teaching Chairs are involved in a year long postgraduate unit on Research Methods which is obligatory for research students. The current Chair of Research has been assembling material about the research process itself; for example, classics like C. Wright Mill’s ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’, and publications of the Society for Research into Higher Education on research issues. This aids a conscious focusing and the identification of problems that hinder research. It also feeds into the Research Seminar and the Methods unit.

Staffing Policy

As regards staffing, the School very sadly lost Professor Pipe-Fowler, who died suddenly in June 1999. Continuing commitment to research at the highest level was demonstrated by the appointment of Professor Chilton to the Chair of Linguistics from September 2000. In developing his role at UEA, he aims to enhance our reputation through conferences and edited volumes, to work towards increasing the number of research students and the amount of external research funding and to facilitate the development of new and younger researchers. The School also gained an experienced researcher in Stephen Barbour from the University of Oxford, with his strong profile in European sociolinguistics. There were four new appointments of younger research active staff in the reporting period (Baines, Harvey, Rundblad and Mühlhaus, although Harvey subsequently moved to UMIST, March 01). Each of these younger researchers has had a mentor drawn from more experienced staff. Four out of thirteen of our active researchers during the reporting period were thus in the process of doctoral research or achieved Ph.D.s. Where relevant, this is discussed in RA6 under individual conditions

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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