Since joining Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005 I have taught courses which explore the ways in which language and culture are understood to intertwine to define who we are, how we understand the world and how we relate to each other. More recently these have been extended to include the study of new media technologies from a communication perspective as well as the preparation of future communication professionals for a rapidly changing workplace.

Courses (date indicates last academic year the course was taught)

Language: An Introduction to Linguistics (2006/07)

In recent decades the humanities and social sciences have witnessed increasing interest in the ways that language impacts on such issues as identity, social and professional relationships, institutional and social control, ideology, power, culture, freedom and pleasure. Through a mix of grammatical description and analytical techniques this unit shows how a knowledge and understanding of language can be applied in useful and practical ways to such issues. (Lectures|Tutorials|WebCT)

Language, Thought & Representation (2006/07)

This unit examines the inter-relationships between communication, language and thought and considers these in relation to the cultural processes and practices involved in the construction and representation of meanings. It aims to place the study of human behaviour and experience within the context of linguistic, semiotic, discursive and social constructionist approaches to meaning. (Seminar)

Communicating Culture (2007/08)

This unit begins by examining the crisis in cultural representation that has been significant in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. We look at the responses to that crisis in order to formulate our own research methods and textual practices in (re)presenting cultures. The unit then focuses on analysing the presentation of culture in a variety of forms and public settings. We examine the ritual features of museums and art galleries and explore the poetics and politics of museum display. We also examine the presentation of history, heritage and identity in touristic settings, such as performances, festivals and themed sites. In all these settings we will examine how culture is communicated and how we can communicate culture through our own work. (Lectures|Tutorials|Wiki)

Cultural Identities (2007/08)

This unit explores the concept of cultural identity, at the individual, the social, the national and the international level. This key concept is approached from a variety of disciplinary perspectives to investigate how national, ethnic, cultural, social, linguistic, sexual and gender identities are constructed, challenged, upheld and negotiated. Case studies are used to explore the construction and performance of identities. These case studies will be situated within a framework that acknowledges the crucial role of power relations in society and of ideologies of marginal and hegemonic identities in the performance and perception of identity. (Seminar|Class Portal)

Research Methods for Independent Study (2007/08)

This unit supports students in completing their independent study project at Level 3. As a platform for examining generic research methods it aims to consolidate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired on the programme to a research project reflecting students’ personal interests. (Seminar|Blog)

The Internet, Communication & Social Change (2007/08)

This unit is concerned with the ways in which people make use of, and issues related to, the considerable capabilities of the Internet and Web with a particular focus on ‘social software’. Such software, designed to facilitate communication and collaboration, radically alters the potential for personal and social change. The unit provides an overview of such technologies and the concepts underlying them together with the analytical tools necessary for a critical appraisal and practical understanding of the opportunities they afford. (Workshops|Class Portal)

Theories & Meanings in Communication Studies (2008/09)

This unit develops an awareness, understanding and appreciation of communication theory as a field of study together with an ability to use theories creatively as resources for thinking and talking about practical communication problems. (Lectures| WebCT)

Language & Society (2008/09)

The unit introduces concepts and terminology fundamental to the study of language variation and change. The contrasting linguistic theories of prescriptivism and descriptivism are discussed as well as the development and maintenance of standard languages. Students develop the ability to describe language difference in terms of grammatical, lexical and phonological variation and by doing so are encouraged to assess the formulation of concepts such as social class, gender, age, style and identity. It is designed for students whose effectiveness in their intended careers will be enhanced by a sensitivity to language variation in communication resulting from sociological factors.

Mass Communication & Media Literacy (2010/11)

This unit develops students’ critical media skills to examine, analyse and understand their own and others’ experiences of the media.

Contemporary Issues for Communications Professionals (2010/11)

This unit examines those critical understandings of contemporary issues underpinning effective practice for professionals working in the field of communication.