Joe Spencer-Bennett


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am keen to supervise postgraduate research on relations between language, politics and society, especially (but not exclusively) in recent British history.


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on relations between language and politics. I am especially interested in the ways in which particular ways of using language have been conceived as rhetorical resources for political communicators.

My current research investigates attempts by British political communicators since WWII to informalise or vernacularise their language. I ask why it is that speaking like 'the man or woman on the street' has held such an appeal for so many. To address this question, and in my research more generally, I draw on frameworks from discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and I engage with the work of political scientists and historians. 


I have worked as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham since 2011. Before that I taught part-time at the university, and at York, Aston and Wolverhampton.


  • BA (Hons) Linguistics, Edinburgh
  • MA Critical Discourse, Culture and Communication, Birmingham
  • PhD English, Birmingham
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Birmingham


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