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Research Our research Sector Plan Social Sciences and Humanities TaalX


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Merel Keijzer (TaalX Leader)

Merel Keijzer is Full Professor of English Linguistics and English as a second language at the University of Groningen, where she also holds a position as Rosalind Franklin Fellow. She is the PI and founder of the Bilingualism and Aging Lab (BALAB) in Groningen. She held earlier (board) positions at the Young Academy Groningen (YAG) and KNAW’s National Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie). Merel is the academic lead of the sectoral plan theme of language in socio-political contexts in Groningen. Her research focuses on the intricate interplay between language and engaging with and in multiple languages on the one hand and cognitive and mental health across the lifespan on the other, with a particular interest in the older adult life stage.

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Joanna Chojnicka (TaalX Coordinator)

Joanna is an Assistant Professor in Linguistics and English as a Second Language, a founding member of the Gender, Diversity and Inequalities research group within the Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development (Democracy & Governance theme), a member of the RESPONSUS (Responsibility, Language, and Communication) group at Agricola, and an affiliate member of the Centre for Gender Studies. Previously, she was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Cardiff University in Wales, as well as a postdoctoral fellow in Poznań, Bremen and Konstanz (Germany). Her research interests include gender, sexuality and discourse studies, multilingualism, translation and minority languages, as well as postcolonial, queer and eco approaches to linguistics.

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Morana Lukač

Morana Lukač is a Sociolinguist and an Assistant Professor at the Department of European Languages and Cultures at the University of Groningen (RUG). Within her role, she is actively engaged as a lecturer within the Gender Minor program, holds the position of Treasurer on the Board of the Centre for Gender Studies, and is a Board Member of the Dutch Journal of Gender Studies. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Rostock and Greifswald, and a doctoral researcher and lecturer in Leiden.

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Anastasia Pattemore

Anastasia Pattemore is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer specialising in Second Language Acquisition at the Department of European Languages and Cultures. Currently, she serves as a member of the Faculty of Arts Research Ethics Review Committee (CETO) and as treasurer for the upcoming Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) 2025 conference. Her research primarily focuses on uncovering optimal conditions for second/foreign language acquisition through audiovisual input such as films and TV series. This includes investigating the impact of different types of subtitling, textual enhancement, viewing time distribution, and cognitive individual differences. Her work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals, has received both internal and external funding, and has been recognized with several awards. Previously, she held a postdoctoral position at UNED in Madrid, where she explored the cognitive advantages of bilingual primary education. Anastasia completed her PhD in 2022 at the University of Barcelona, and her thesis was awarded the Extraordinary PhD Thesis Award in the Cognitive Science and Language programme.

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Seyed Hadi Mirvahedi

Seyed Hadi Mirvahedi is an Assistant Professor of Language & Society at the Department of European Languages and Cultures, University of Groningen (RUG). Since his PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 2014, he has researched in the interdisciplinary field of critical sociolinguistics in multilingual settings, exploring attitudinal, emotional, ideological, political and pedagogical aspects of multilingualism with a focus on how human action, including use or non-use of language in different spaces, is informed by several processes, synchronically and diachronically, at various scales and levels. Working within the intersections of multilingualism, globalization, transnationalism, and policy and practice both at national, institutional and grassroots levels, he has integrated multiple sources of evidence as well as theoretical frameworks in his research to demonstrate how such phenomena are informed by discursive practices operating at various levels of social organization (e.g., the family, school, media, and government policy).

From 2017-2019, Mirvahedi was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he examined language ideologies and practices among Tamil and Malay families. In his second postdoctoral project from 2020 to 2023 at Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing), University of Oslo, he examined Afghan refugee families' lived raciolinguistic experiences and identity (trans)formation across generations.

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T.D. Mecsnóber

Tekla Mecsnóber teaches modern and contemporary anglophone fiction and book history at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Her research interests include intersections of literature with political and language ideological discourses and practices, material and sociological approaches to literature, and more recently, mass creative authorship in the global digital literary ecosystem. She is the author of a monograph entitled Rewriting Joyce’s Europe: The Politics of Language and Visual Design in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake and co-editor of two volumes of European Joyce Studies.

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Alexandra Lorson

Alex is an Assistant Professor in Linguistics as well as Communication and Information Studies; a member of the Semantics and Cognition Group and the Young Arts Network (YARN) at the University of Groningen. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Birmingham where she worked on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded project “Making Numbers Meaningful”. Alex did her PhD at the University of Edinburgh where she received the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences research award and a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership. Her research interests include epistemicity, the impact of co-speech gestures on language comprehension, communicative strategies (e.g., in interrogation), and the representation of cognitive biases in language.  

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Steven Gilbers

Steven Gilbers is an assistant professor in the field of hip-hop linguistics within the chair group of English Linguistics & English as a Second Language at the University of Groningen. He specializes in the connection between language and music in a hip hop context as well as regional variation in African-American English and rap flows from the American West Coast and East Coast. In 2021, he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on 2Pac's changing accent and flow. Gilbers is a former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles where he worked with Renée Blake and H. Samy Alim. Currently, Gilbers is engaged in studying the language-music connection in a variety of contexts (e.g., African-American hip-hop, Faroese singing) and from different perspectives (e.g., from the perspective of second dialect acquisition, second language acquisition, and sarcastic versus non-layered speech and music). He is also investigating the artistry and practice of hip-hop lyricism from a linguistic, musical, and anthropological angle together with Dastan Abdali. Aside from his academic endeavors, Gilbers is also active as a rapper and producer, and is involved with Dutch hip hop platform Homebase. LinkedIn:

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Leanne Jansen

Leanne Jansen specializes in ancient rhetoric and historiographical narrative, preferably in combination with each other. She studies the Roman discourse of exemplarity and the monumental place of heroic figures from the past in the literary tradition and in the cityscape of Rome. More specifically, she looks at the portrayal of the political culture of the Roman Republic in imperial Greek historiography and oratory, and the manner in which these texts use the concept of exemplary leadership to articulate views on Roman civic identity. She has a special interest in the imperial memory of Cicero, and in post-republican images of Cicero as politician. As a side project, she studies the academic work of Angelo Poliziano (1454-1494) and his influence on the recovery and transmission of Greek letters (in particular the rhetorical tradition).

see also

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Renata (de Figueiredo) Summa

Renata Summa is an Assistant Professor in International Relations International Organizations at the University of Groningen. She is a founding member of two research groups: International Political Sociology Brazil Network and Eastern Europe in Movement (LEEM). Currently, she acts as senior organizer for the Dutch IPS doctoral workshop series and she is Co-Section Chair of Doing International Political Sociology at the European International Studies Association. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Studies (France) as well as a postdoctoral researcher at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). She had visiting fellowships at the University of Graz (Austria) and the Open University (UK), and has conducted fieldwork in Bosnia-Herzegovina, France and Rio de Janeiro. She is the author of the monograph ‘Everyday Boundaries, Borders and Post-conflict societies (Palgrave, 2021).  Her research interests include displacement, boundaries, political use of languages, spatial and everyday approaches in IR and homing/evictions.

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Dimitris Serafis

Dimitris Serafis is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. His research interests lie at the intersection of critical discourse studies, social semiotics and multimodality, and argumentation studies, with his current focus being on topics such as racism, hate speech, populism and authoritarianism. He has published internationally on these topics in journals such as Discourse & Communication, Critical Discourse Studies, Journal of Language and Politics, Topoi, Social Semiotics. His recent publications include the monograph Authoritarianism on the front page: Multimodal discourse and argumentation in times of multiple crises in Greece (John Benjamins, 2023) and the thematic section Critical perspectives on migration in discourse and communication (Studies in Communication Sciences, 2021; co-edited with Jolanta Drzewiecka & Sara Greco). Before joining the University of Groningen, Dimitris was a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) postdoctoral researcher (project: “Un.H.A.T.E. - Unveiling Hatred discourses and Argumentation in The European public sphere”; 2020-2023).

Massih Zekavat

Massih Zekavat is researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen, Faculty of Arts, The University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and former Alexander von Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany. He is the author of Satire, Humor and the Construction of Identities (John Benjamins, 2017), Satire, Humor, and Environmental Crises (Routledge, 2023), and is currently writing another monograph on Leveraging Satire for Environmental Advocacy: Creative Arts in the Chthulucene for Palgrave Macmillan.

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Josh Prada

Dr. Josh Prada is an Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at the University of Groningen’s Centre for Language and Cognition, and a faculty member of the Language Learning and Second Language Acquisition Chair Group. Before his tenure at Groningen, from 2018 to 2023, he was Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Indiana University (Indianapolis), overseeing the Spanish Program for Heritage Speakers and establishing the Applied Linguistics Network. Earlier, Josh worked as an instructor and coordinator for the Spanish as Heritage Language Program, concurrently earning his PhD in Heritage Speaker Bilingualism and Education at Texas Texas University (2014-2018) as a Hellen DeVitt Jones Fellow. Josh Prada’s expertise is in multilingualism, focusing on the experiences of minoritized multilingual individuals in educational settings and broader society, with an emphasis on minority/heritage language contexts and translanguaging. His research program has been supported by over €3 million in grants, as principal investigator (PI), co-PI, and partner. His publications span various aspects of heritage language education, including teacher training, curriculum development, pedagogical approaches, and the socio-emotional aspects of learning. In addition to his research, Josh is the Reviews Editor for the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism and an Associate Editor for the journal Spanish as a Heritage Language. He has delivered keynotes, workshops, and lectures globally in countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States.

Last modified:09 April 2024 2.52 p.m.