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ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre

Mile End Road

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E1 4NS

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We are excited to announce Deborah Cameron, Professor of Language and Communication at Oxford University, is this year's speaker at the annual Jenny Cheshire lecture.

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Language and the problem of women's authority

The under-representation of women in public discourse and public life—in politics, in the corporate world, in the academy and in many parts of the media—is a significant real-world problem, which has persisted in spite of the removal of formal barriers to sex-equality in many societies around the world. While many factors contribute to it, one factor that is widely held to play an important role is language; but there is a division between the mainstream, common sense view that the problem lies in women’s own linguistic behaviour (their socialised tendency to speak in a way that ‘lacks authority’), and the alternative view (voiced by some, but not all, feminists) that the real problem is the public silencing of women, which results from a combination of overt misogyny and implicit sexist bias. In this lecture, I’ll consider what research on language and gender (including my own) has to contribute to this debate. How should we understand the problem, and is there a way to solve it?

Deborah Cameron is currently Professor of Language and Communication at Oxford University, and has previously taught English language and linguistics in London, Glasgow and Virginia, USA. Her research has focused mainly on language and gender and on the study of verbal hygiene practices. She also writes about language and gender for a non-specialist audience: her general interest book The Myth of Mars and Venus was published in 2007, and in 2015 she started the blog Language: a feminist guide. Her most recent academic book, co-authored with Sylvia Shaw, is Gender, Power and Political Speech: Women and Language in the 2015 UK General Election (Palgrave, 2016).

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You can also find this event on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar

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We are grateful to SAGE publishing, who kindly sponsored this event. Routledge have also kindly created a free-to-view collection of Prof Cameron's books for attendees - details to follow.

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Mile End Road

London

E1 4NS

United Kingdom

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