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Department of Linguistics and English Language

Professor David Barton (Co-Investigator)

I am Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Lancaster University and erstwhile Director of the Literacy Research Centre. My work is mainly concerned with rethinking the nature of language and literacy in the online world and developing appropriate methodologies for online research. Currently I am examining the dynamics of an online dispute. My most recent books are Language Online, (with Carmen Lee) 2013 and Researching Language and Social Media (with others) 2014, both published by Routledge. I am very excited about the new project and am especially interested in autoethnographic aspects and exploring academics’ techno-biographies.


Dr Karin Tusting (Principal Investigator)

I am Lecturer in Linguistics and Literacy Studies in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, and a long-time member of the Literacy Research Centre.  Previous research I have been involved with has explored paperwork in educational settings, the lives and practices of adult learners, literacy and identity in religious settings, theories of adult learning and communities of practices.  I draw on literacy studies, linguistic ethnography and critical discourse analysis.  I am slightly obsessed with the nature of ‘work’, what ‘work’ actually means to us and what the practices we call ‘work’ really entail, and I see the Dynamics of Knowledge Production project as contributing to a better understanding of this area in relation to academic life and in relation to knowledge work more generally.

Dr Sharon McCulloch (Senior Research Associate)

Before joining the ESRC-funded project The Dynamics of Knowledge Creation: Academics Writing Practices in the Contemporary University Workplace, I worked in Lancaster University Management School as a student learning advisor and in the Department of Linguistics and English Language, where I coordinated the university’s pre-sessional EAP course and taught Linguistics seminars. I have also worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and lecturer in Japan and the Czech Republic. My research interests include academic literacies, particularly reading to write, source use, intertextuality, and epistemological stance in writing.


Department of Educational Research

Professor Mary Hamilton (Co-Investigator)

I am Professor in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University and Associate Director of the Literacy Research Centre. My Interests are in informal adult learning in everyday social practice; academic literacies in digital environments; globalisation and educational policy; and multimodal discourse. In my research I draw on concepts from actor network theory, social semiotic theory, institutional ethnography and linguistic ethnography. My most recent books are Literacy as numbers: researching the politics and practices of international literacy assessment (with Bryan Maddox and Camilla Addey, published by Cambridge University Press) and  Negotiating spaces for literacy learning: multimodality and governmentality (with Rachel Heydon, Kathy Hibbert and Roz Stooke, published by Bloomsbury Academic.

I am interested in many aspects of this project but especially enjoy thinking about the socio-material aspects of academics’ writing work and how people use and move around in architectural spaces.


Dr. Ibrar Bhatt (Senior Research Associate)

My academic interests lie at the intersections of literacy studies, educational technologies, and digital learning. My PhD study (University of Leeds, and ESRC funded) investigates the impact of cyberspace and digital media on the literacy practices of adult learners during the writing of their course assignments, and draws from theories of sociomateriality and digital literacy. Before coming to Lancaster, I held appointments at the Universities of Bradford and Leeds, and began my career in adult and community education. I am also the co-convener for the Digital University Network of the Society for Research into Higher Education, and tweet at @ibrar_bhatt.