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Dr Jane Sunderland


Jane Sunderland

County South Lancaster University Bailrigg Lancaster LA1 4YL


United Kingdom

Research overview

I am interested primarily in gender in relation to language and discourse, with a focus on education (in particular the foreign language classroom, and boys' literacies in relation to Harry Potter), children's fiction (in particular picturebooks featuring two-Mum and two-Dad families), and Africa. I am also interested in stage adaptations of novels and in academic discourse.

Research Interests

Gender, language and discourse; Harry Potter and children's (especially boys') literacies; language and gender in African contexts; the representation of gender and sexuality in children's picturebooks and in language textbooks; gender and sexuality in the language classroom.

Rather differently: (a) doctoral co-supervision practices, (b) stage adaptations of novels.


Jane was the Director of Studies of the PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework programme 2000-2012. Her main research interest is discourse, language and gender. From 1988 until 1991 Jane was a tutor in the Institute for English Language Education, Lancaster University.

Jane’s most recent books are the research monographs Language, Gender and Children's Fiction (2011, Continuum), Gendered Discourses (2004, Palgrave Macmillan), and the advanced coursebook Gender and Language: an Advanced Resourcebook (2006, Routledge). She is currently working on a monograph for Routledge entitled Harry Potter and Young Muggles’ Reading (with Steven Dempster and Joanne Thistlethwaite). She is also co-editor (with Lilian Atanga, Sibonile Ellece and Lia Litosseliti) of Gender and Language in Sub-Saharan Africa: Tradition, Struggle and Change (John Benjamins, 2013), co-editor (with Lia Litosseliti, Kate Harrington and Helen Sauntson) of Gender and Language Research Methodologies (Palgrave, 2008) and (with Lia Litosseliti) of Gender Identity and Discourse Analysis (John Benjamins, 2002). Her PhD was entitled 'Gendered discourse in the foreign language classroom: teacher-student and student teacher talk, and the social construction of children's femininities and masculinities'.

Jane has published articles in Visual Communication, Language and Literature, Journal of Pragmatics, Gender and Education, ELT Journal, System, Language Teaching Research, Discourse and Society, Language Teaching, Language and Education, Linguistics and Education and Gender and Language.


Authored books

2011 Language, Gender and Children's Fiction. London: Continuum.

2006 Gender and Language: an Advanced Resourcebook. London: Routledge.

2004 Gendered Discourses. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited collection

1994 Exploring Gender: Questions and Implications for Language Education, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall

Co-edited books

2012 Gender and Language in Sub-Saharan Africa: Tradition, Struggle and Change (co-edited with Lilian Atanga, Sibonile Ellece and Lia Litosseliti). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

2008 Language and Gender Research Methodologies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) (edited with Kate Harrington, Lia Litosseliti and Helen Sauntson)

2002 Gender Identity and Discourse Analysis, Amsterdam: John Benjamins (with Lia Litosseliti).

1993 Research Processes in Applied Linguistics: Proceedings of the Research Students' Forum 1992. Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University, UK (with Telma Gimenez).

Journal articles

2014 (in press) ‘Harry Potter and the transfiguration of boys’ and girls’ literacies.New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship (with Steve Dempster and Joanne Thistlethwaite)

2014   ‘Issues of power in relation to gender and sexuality in the EFL classroom - An overview’. Journal of Gender and Power 1/1 (with Joanna Pawelczyk and Łukasz Pakuła)

2013*              ‘Stage adaptations of novels: ‘Affordances’ of theatre in two stage adaptations of Kafka’s Metamorphosis’’. Ekphrasis: Images, cinema, theatre, media 10/2: 140-157.

2013 'Looking at picturebook covers multimodally: the case of two-Mum and two- Dad picturebooks'. Visual Communication 12/4 (first author, with Mark McGlashan)

2012 ‘The linguistic and visual representation of two-Mum and two-Dad families in children's picturebooks'. Language and Literature 21/2: 189-210 (first author, with Mark McGlashan)

2012 ' "Brown Sugar": tiny texts and globalisation'. Gender and Language 6/1: 103 - 127.

2007 'Contradictions in gendered discourses: feminist readings of sexist jokes?' In Gender and Language 1/2: 207 - 228.

2006 'Parenting' or 'mothering': the case of modern childcare magazines'. Discourse and Society 17/4: 503 - 527.

2004 'Why these data? rationales for data selection in doctoral student presentations' Language and Education 18/5: 435 - 455.

2002 'Focus on 'Gender and Language' special issue: Introduction'. South African Linguistics and Applied Language Study 20: 127 - 134.

2002 'New communication practices and the psychological and affective function of e-mail on a 'distance', partly-taught PhD programme.' Studies in Higher Education 27/2: 233 - 246.

2000 'From bias "in the text" to "teacher talk around the text": an exploration of teacher discourse and gendered foreign language textbook texts'. Linguistics and Education 11/3: 251 - 286 (first author, with Fauziah Abdul Rahim, Maire Cowley, Christina Leontzakou and Julie Shattuck).

2000 'State of the art review article: Gender, language and language education.' Language Teaching 33/4: 203 - 223.

2000 'Research into gender in language education: lingering problems and new directions.' The Language Teacher 27/7: 8-10.

2000 'New understandings of gender and language classroom research: texts, teacher talk and student talk.' Language Teaching Research 4/2: 149 - 173.

2000 'Baby entertainer, bumbling assistant and line manager: discourses of fatherhood in parentcraft texts.' Discourse and Society 11/2: 249 - 274.

1998 'Girls being quiet: A problem for foreign language classrooms?' Language Teaching Research 2/1: 48 - 62.

1997 'Who learns what from John and Sally?: discourse roles and gender in language textbook dialogues' Gender and Education 8/4: 469 - 490 (main author; with Martha Jones and Catherine Kitetu).

1996 'Gender representation in EFL materials: suggestions for teacher development'. Teacher Development 32: 21 - 23.

1995 'Learner gender and language testing'. Language Testing Update 17: 24 -

1992 'Gender in the EFL classroom'. ELT Journal 46/1: 81 - 91 (special IATEFL 25th anniversary issue).

1992 'Teaching materials and teaching/learning processes'. Working Papers in Language, Gender and Sexism 4: 15 - 26.

1991 'The decline of man'. Journal of Pragmatics 16: 505 - 522.

1991 'The value of project Work in INSET'. System 19/4: 309 - 319 (joint author, with Elizabeth Toncheva).

Book chapters

2012 'Language, gender and age(ism) in Setswana' (with Mompoloki Bagwasi). In Atanga, L., Ellece, S., Litosseliti, L. and Sunderland, J. (eds.) Gender and Language in Sub-Saharan Africa: Tradition, Struggle and Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

2012 'Teaching gender and language'. In Ferrebe, Alice and Tolan, Fiona (eds.) Teaching Gender. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 102 - 121.

2009 'Theorising gender perspectives in second and foreign language learning'. In Jimenez Catalan, Rosa Maria (ed.) Gender Perspectives on Vocabulary in Foreign and Second Languages. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

2009 'Researching language and gender'. In Paltridge, B. and Phakiti, A. (eds.) Companion to Research Methods in Applied Linguistics Sydney: Continuum.

2009 'Research questions'. In Litosseliti, L. (ed.) Research Methods in Linguistics. London: Continuum.

2009 'Gender and Language'. In Culpeper, J.; Katamba, F., Kerswill, P.; McEnery, T.; Wodak, R. (eds.) English Language and Linguistics Dept. of Linguisticsand English Language, Lancaster University.

2008 'Current research methodologies in gender and language studies: key issues', in Harrington, K., Litosseliti, L., Sauntson, H. andSunderland, J., (eds) Language and Gender Research Methodologies.London: Palgrave Macmillan (with Lia Litosseliti)

2003 ' "What it's like to get paid to have sex": Representation of a male prostitute'. In Benwell, B. (ed.). Men's Lifestyle Magazines, Edinburgh: Edinburgh U. P., pp. 169 - 187 (Joint author with Yolande Taylor)

2003 'Gender and language learning.' In Norton, B. and Toohey, K. (eds.). Critical Pedagogies and Language Learning, Cambridge : CUP, pp. 222 - 241.

2002 'Gender identity and discourse analysis: theoretical and empirical considerations.' In Litosseliti. L. and Sunderland , J. (eds.), Gender Identity and Discourse Analysis, Amsterdam : John Benjamins, pp. 1 - 39.

2002 'From representation towards discursive practices: gender in the foreign language textbook revisited' In Litosseliti. L. and Sunderland , J. (eds.) Gender Identity and Discourse Analysis. Amsterdam : John Benjamins, pp. 233 - 255. (Main author, with Maire Cowley, Fauziah Abdul Rahim, Christina Leontzakou and Julie Shattuck).

2002 'Baby entertainer, bumbling assistant and line manager: discourses of paternal identity in parentcraft texts'. In Litosseliti. L. and Sunderland , J. (eds.) Gender Identity and Discourse Analysis, Amsterdam : John Benjamins, pp. 293 - 324.

2000 'Gender and classroom research: what's special about the language classroom?' In Cochran, E. and Yepez. M. (eds.) Issues in Gender, Language and Classroom Pedagogy New Jersey : TESOL/BE and BASTOS Educational Books, pp. 93 - 120.

1996 'Gender in the EFL classroom'. In Hedge, T and Whitney, N. (eds.) Power, Pedagogy and Practice, Oxford : OUP, pp. ADD.

1995 ' "We're boys, miss!": getting learners to reflect on their own classroom behaviour.' In Mills, S. (ed.) Language and Gender: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, London: Longman, pp. 160 - 178.

1994 'Pedagogical and other filters: the representation of non-sexist language change in British pedagogical grammars'. In Sunderland , J. (ed.) Exploring Gender: Questions and Implications for English Language Education, Hemel Hempstead : Prentice Hall, pp. 92 - 103.

1994 'Differential teacher-treatment-by-gender in the EFL classroom: using ex-participants' perspectives'. In Sunderland , J. (ed.) Exploring Gender: Questions and Implications for English Language Education, Prentice Hall, pp. 148 - 155.

Publications in Conference Proceedings and Encyclopaedia Entries

2014   ‘The how and why of co-supervision of PhD students: reported understandings of supervisors and supervisees’. InOpening New Lines of Communication in Applied Linguistics Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics 5-7 September 2013, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. pp. 381 – 392. (with Barbara-Pamela Lopez-Olmos)

2010 'Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis in language and gender' (with Ann Weatherall, Judith Baxter and Maria Stubbe). In Janet Holmes and Meredith Marra (eds.) Femininity, Feminism and Gendered Discourse. Selected and edited collection of papers from IGALA5, VictoriaUniversity of Wellington. Cambridge Scholars.

2000 'Gender and language'. In Byram, M. (ed.) Routledge Encyclopaedia of Language Teaching and Learning.

2000 'Gender issues'. In Byram, M. (ed.) Routledge Encyclopaedia of Language Teaching and Learning.

1996 'Focusing, sacrificing, refining.' In Kryatsis, S. and Tzanne, A. (eds.) Muddy Fields: Doing Research in Linguistics - Proceedings of the 1995 Research Students' Forum, Dept. of Linguistics and Modern English Language.

1993 'Technology and classroom research'. In Gimenez, T. and Sunderland , J. (eds.) Research Processes in Applied Linguistics: Proceedings of the Research Students' Forum 1992, Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, pp. 63 - 74.

'Gender and language'. In Strazney, P. (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Linguistics. Chicago : Fitzroy Dearborn

Working Papers

2002 'Gender and Genre Bibliography' (second edition) Centre for Language in Social Life Working Paper 113, Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University (with Paul Baker and Ren-Feng Duann).

2001 'Student initiation, teacher response, student follow-up: towards an appreciation of student-initiated IRFs in the language classroom. Centre for Research in Language Education Working Paper 54, Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University .

2000 'Gendered discourses in the classroom: the importance of cultural diversity'. In Yamashiro, A. (ed.)Temple University of Japan Working Papers, pp. 26 - 40 (main author, with Catherine Kitetu).

Book Reviews

2007 Review of Lia Litosseliti, 'Language and Gender: Theory and Practice' (2006). In European Journal of Women's Studies.


2005 Review of Baxter, J. Positioning Gender in Discourse: a Feminist Methodology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) for Linguistics and Education 15: 295 - 301.

2003 Review of Norton, B. Identity and Language Learning: Gender, Ethnicity and Educational Change (Longman, 2000), for Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

1998 Review of Bergvall, V, Bing, J. and Freed, A. (eds.) Rethinking Language and Gender Research (Longman, 1996), for Sociological Research Online, 1998. http://www.socresonline.org.uk/


2003 'Academic Speaking Bibliography' http://www.lsa.umich.edu/eli/micase/Biblio_AcademicSpeaking.htm

1996 Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language Code of Practice for Non-discriminatory Communication. Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University (main author, with members of Language and Gender in the Classroom (LAGIC) research group).

Past-President of IGALA

I was President of the International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) (2006 - 2008). http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/organisations/igala/index.html . As part of my Presidency I aimed to get IGALA 'talking to the world'. As Past-President, I am still serving on the IGALA Executive Committee.

National Teaching Fellow

In June 2007 I was awarded a 'National Teaching Fellowship' for my work in initiating developing and running the PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework and New Route PhD in Applied Linguistics programmes.


With this Fellowship, I developed my understanding of issues of language and gender in African contexts. To this end, I sponsored a BAAL seminars on the topic (jointly run by the BAAL Language and Gender and Language in Africa SiGs) in Leeds, November 2007, and London, November 2008 http://www.baal.org.uk/sigs_gender.htm I have links with colleagues in Botswana and Cameroon and have co-run, with Dr. Sibonile Ellece, a seminar on the topic in May 2008 in Gaborone, Botswana, and in April 2009 in Cameroon with Dr Lilian Atanga (University of Dschang). The final event of the programme was a longer, international seminar at the University of Obafemi Awolowo, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, April 13-15 2010, hosted by Professor Yisa Yusuf.

Gender and Language in African Contexts Working Bibliography (PDF)

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