David Adger is Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London, and President of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain. He works on the syntax of human language and how syntax links to other aspects of language, including sociolinguistics, prosody, word-structure, semantics and pragmatics. His most recent book is Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power (OUP, 2019).
Barbara Bleiman is one of the most deeply-informed, thoughtful and influential commentators on teaching English in the country. She was Co-Director of the English and Media Centre, and continues to work there as an Education Consultant and Co-Editor of emagazine. She was previously Head of English in an inner-city sixth form college and has nearly 40 years of experience of teaching English, providing CPD for teachers, publishing and contributing to educational developments and debates, including acting as a consultant to QCA and Awarding Bodies. She was the recipient of the NATE Award for Outstanding Contribution to English Teaching 2019. In addition to her work for teachers and students, her widely-read blogs and pieces in the national media, she’s also published two novels. She will be interviewed by Rachel Roberts who teaches Secondary English Education at the University of Reading and is former lead English Teacher. She is also NATE’s Initial Teacher Education Committee Chair.
Kate Clanchy’s most recent books are the much acclaimed Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, a memoir of 30 years of teaching in state schools, and England: Poems from a School, an anthology of her migrant students’ poems. Grow Your Own Poem: A How to Book will be published in September. She also runs the popular twitter account @KateClanchy1. Kate teaches at Reading University and EMBS College, an alternative provision sixth form unit. She was made MBE for Services to Poetry in 2018.
David Crystal, OBE, FBA, is one of the best known and most significant linguists in the UK, author of over 100 books, ranging widely over the field and for many different audiences. He is a frequent media presenter, commentator and contributor, a consultant to many national and international bodies and a globally respected scholar. We’ve all read some of his work. He will be interviewed by Rebecca Woods, lecturer in Language and Cognition at Newcastle University and external Relations Officer for The Linguistics Association of Great Britain: she writes that she is “primarily interested in questions, both main and embedded, and their syntax, semantics and acquisition”, which makes her an ideal interlocutor for David Crystal.
Bart van Es works on Renaissance drama by Shakespeare and his contemporaries and on ideas of history in the Renaissance and teaches at the University of Oxford. He is also the author of a prize-winning non-fiction book, The Cut Out Girl (2018), which explores his own family history and the concealment of a Jewish girl during the occupation of Holland. He will be interviewed by Tim Robertson, Chief Executive of The Anne Frank Trust UK and formerly Director of the Royal Society of Literature.
Priyamvada Gopal is a public intellectual and teaches colonial and postcolonial literature and theory at the University of Cambridge. Her most recent book is Insurgent Empire (2019) and she publishes and presents widely in the national and international media. She has taken part in a number of national and academic debates in public, over the legacy of Empire, decolonising the curriculum and on issues of race and racism. Her twitter handle is @PriyamvadaGopal. She will be interviewed by researcher and writer Sauleha Kamal, who is currently a PhD candidate working on a project on the post-9/11 South Asian novel in the context of human rights and politics and tweets at @Sauliloquy1.
Sandeep Parmar is a prize-winning poet: her work includes The Marble Orchard (2012) and Eidolon (2014), both published by Shearsman. Based at the University of Liverpool where she teaches English Literature, she is also a critic of contemporary poetry and scholar of modernist literature, author of Reading Mina Loy’s Autobiographies: Myth of the Modern Woman (2013) and editions of poems by Nancy Cunard and by Hope Mirrlees. She is an AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, has published essays and reviews internationally and is the co-director of the University of Liverpool’s Centre for New and International Writing. She will be will be interviewed by novelist Nadifa Mohamed FRSL, author of Black Mamba Boy (2009) and The Orchard of Lost Souls (2013). She is one of Granta’s 2013 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ and on the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature. She teaches creative writing at Royal Holloway, University of London and writes and presents frequently for the national media.
Devyani Sharma is Professor of Sociolinguistics at Queen Mary University of London. Her research is on new English dialects, inter-ethnic contact, bilingualism, accent variation, and language change. Her edited works include The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes, Research Methods in Linguistics, and English in the Indian Diaspora. She directs the online public resources Teach Real English! and Multilingual Capital.
Jennifer Smith is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow. She works on language variation and change, with a specific focus on how sociolinguistic norms are acquired in childhood and how they develop in later life. She is director of the Scots Syntax Atlas, an online resource for the study of Scots.
Lyndsey Stonebridge is Interdisciplinary Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her recent books include Placeless People: Rights, Writing, and Refugees (OUP, 2018), winner of the Modernist Studies Association Best Book Prize, 2019, The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (EUP, 2011), winner of the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. Her other books include The Destructive Element (1998), Reading Melanie Klein (with John Phillips, 1998), The Writing of Anxiety (2007), and British Fiction after Modernism (with Marina MacKay, 2007). Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights, is out with Oxford University Press later this year. She is currently writing a book on the relevance of Hannah Arendt for our times, Thinking Like Hannah Arendt, which will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2022, and collaborating two interdisciplinary projects Refugee Hosts and Rights4Time.