Professor Angela Creese – Co-Investigator

I am Professor of Linguistic Ethnography in the Faculty of Social Sciences. I gained my PhD in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, a programme which combined sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, classroom discourse, second language acquisition and language policy/planning. These areas continue to shape my study of language in social life. I started my academic career as a research assistant working on others’ funded projects. This trajectory has created a commitment to collaborative research, particularly in large diverse, interdisciplinary research teams.

Over the last four years I have served as the principal investigator on two research projects. The first, ‘Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities’ (TLANG) (https://tlang.org.uk/), was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This project involved 6 collaborating universities and eight non- academic stakeholders, comprising 33 team members. The project’s overarching question was: ‘How do people communicate in contexts of linguistic and social diversity?’. The second project, also funded by the AHRC through its Global Challenges Research Fund, investigated the potential of translanguaging as a decolonizing pedagogy in South African university classrooms. The project was a collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cape Town (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qzLD1s6Bes&feature=youtu.be)

I am interested in recruiting doctoral students in the following areas: multilingualism, every day interactions in social life, language and ideology.

Seminar Two Digital Provocation Abstract

The Drama of Encountering the Other

Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese

This presentation focuses on ethnographic research in an advice service in a Chinese community centre. Over four months interactions between advice workers and their clients were documented as field notes and audio-recordings. Advice workers moved in and out of translation zones, mediating for whoever came through the office door, not only translating between languages, but also interpreting the bureaucratic discourse of institutions, regulations, systems, and processes. Their role as translators stretched far beyond the transfer of meanings from one language to another. They were legal advisors, counsellors, advocates, mediators, and much more. In addition, interactions between advisors were recorded in the cracks and seams of everyday life, including during tea breaks, and in quiet moments at work.

Rather than representing the advice session through conventional academic writing, we create the scene in dramatic dialogue in which translation, interpretation, and mediation are at the forefront of the encounter. Advice workers are revealed as anonymous heroes of communication, making sense of the world for their clients, and keeping the superdiverse city moving.

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