senior lecturer at The Open University, UK
Contributions to digital discourse analysis: the concept of ‘mobile resourcefulness’ as a way to understand how people adapt mobile technologies to suit their everyday situated purposes, and a ‘transhistorical’ approach to digital media that emphasizes continuity in practices between old and new technologies.
Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Discourse, Context & Media
Secretary of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL).
Publications: articles in Applied Linguistics, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Language and Society, Internet Pragmatics, and the International Journal of Multilingualism.
Recent, co-authored books: Mobile Messaging and Resourcefulness: a post-digital ethnography (with Agnieszka Lyons, Routledge 2022) & Message and Medium: English language practices across old and new media (with Mel Evans, de Gruyter Mouton, 2020).
Left unread and left on read: negotiating identities and relationalities through mobile conversations in context
Have you ever left a WhatsApp message unopened so its sender wouldn’t know you’d seen it, or agonised over why a friend had read your message but not replied? In this talk, I explore how mobile messaging interactions – private exchanges through apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger – have become sites for complex negotiations of identity and relationality. I explore how performances of identity and relationality are shaped by the multiple parallel contexts, activities and encounters in which individuals are simultaneously engaged, and how they are also caught up in people’s wider polymedia ideologies and their desire to control their mobile communication and reply in their own time. My analysis of mobile conversations in context shows how people’s attitudes towards the technology – and its place in their everyday lives – may have transformative yet unintended effects on their wider relationships. My call is for the development of approaches to digital discourse analysis that explore individuals’ communicative interactions across online and offline spaces in contemporary society.