ESSE Plenary Lecturers


Divided by a common language? A comparison of recent change in American and British English”
Paul Baker is Professor of English Language at the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, where he is a member of the Corpus Approaches to Social Sciences ESRC Research Centre. He specialises in corpus linguistics, particularly using and developing corpus methods to carry out discourse analysis, as well as being involved in research in media language, variation and change and social identities. He has written 13 books, including Using Corpora to Analyse Discourse (2006), Sexed Texts: Language, Gender and Sexuality (2008) and Discourse Analysis and Media Attitudes (2013). He is also commissioning editor of the journal Corpora (EUP). 




‘The biography of a book: Shakespeare’s First Folio’
Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, University of Oxford, and the author of Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book (2016). She has published widely on Shakespeare and his contemporaries, on book history, theories of reception, and theatrical production. She has lectured for theatre audiences at the Globe and the RSC, for teachers at the National Association for Teachers of English, for general readers at the Hay, Oxford and Edinburgh literary festivals, and to academic conferences in the UK and beyond. She is committed to teaching and to open access to resources: her Shakespeare podcasts on iTunesU are approaching a million downloads.




“As Things Fall Apart: The Response to Violence in the work of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce.”
Colm Toibin is the author of eight novels, including The Master, Brooklyn and Nora Webster, and two collections of stories. His play The Testament of Mary was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2013. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books and Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University.