Home > Research > Researchers > Karin Tusting

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Karin Tusting supervises 10 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

Show all »

View graph of relations

Dr Karin Tusting

Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language

Karin Tusting

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 510825

Research overview

Engagement with material texts, including digital texts, is one of the central ways in which the social world is co-ordinated, shaping people's identities and experiences as well as the social relations within which they are situated.  I am interested in developing better understandings of these processes through detailed local studies of people's engagements with texts in specific settings, situating myself within literacy studies and linguistic ethnography.  Most recently, these interests have led me to study workplace paperwork and vernacular learning online.  Previously I have analysed the role of literacy practices in identity construction in a parish community, and worked in adult literacy research as part of a team exploring relationships between lives and learning.

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral students working in literacy studies, including workplace literacies, academic literacies, audit cultures and accountability, digital literacy practices, literacy practices in religious communities, and adult literacy; linguistic ethnography; communities of practice and situated learning; institutional ethnography; and discourse analysis.

Current Teaching

I teach courses on research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and contribute to Ling437 'Learning and Teaching in Digitally Mediated Spaces', Ling307 'Language and Identies: Gender, Ethnicity and Class', and Ling209 'Literacy and Education'.

Research Interests

I am interested in the way contemporary social practices are almost always mediated in some way through interaction with written texts of many kinds, including electronic texts. My work studies various aspects of this textual mediation process, drawing on linguistic ethnographic methodologies to study literacy practices. At the moment I have a particular interest in workplace practices, paperwork demands, and the impact of these on people's lives and identities. My previous ESRC-funded research has explored the impact of centralised paperwork demands in two educational workplaces: an adult education college and a nursery.  I will shortly be beginning another ESRC-funded project, working with Professor David Barton and Professor Mary Hamilton, researching academics' writing practices in contemporary higher education workplaces.

Previously, I was a member of research teams working on the Adult Learners' Lives project, an ethnographic study of the relationship between learning and other aspects of people's lives; the Kendal project, a study using multiple qualitative methods to explore trends and shifts in religious and spiritual belief and practice in the town of Kendal in the Lake District; and the Interculture Project, a study of undergraduates' intercultural experiences during their period of residence abroad. My doctoral research examined the role of written text in constructing and maintaining community identity in a Catholic parish.

I have published on accountability paperwork, extending the concept of communities of practice, models of adult learning, creativity in everyday literacy practices, community-based local literacies research, time and the new literacy studies, the legitimation of cultural generalisations through appeal to personal experience, and French text analysis.  I am currently convenor of the UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum.

View all (48) »