LINGUIST List 29.853

Thu Feb 22 2018

Support: Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; General Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics: PhD, University of Birmingham

Editor for this issue: Clare Harshey <>

Date: 19-Feb-2018
From: Alice Corr <>
Subject: Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; General Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics: PhD, University of Birmingham, UK
E-mail this message to a friend

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: University of Birmingham

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; General Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Required Language(s): Portuguese (por)


Forest Edge Doctoral Scholarships Programme (Leverhulme Trust and University of Birmingham): interdisciplinary literature/linguistics/digital humanities project.

Within the cultural logic of the capitalist world system, the idea of economic development usually comes at the expense of forest preservation. Located at the peripheries of this economic system, the forests found within the the transnational space of the Portuguese-speaking world, in countries such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique, have been historically targeted in this developmental process whose importance to capitalism is reified by social pacts which are deeply rooted in the collective cultural unconscious of these societies.

Departing from the intrinsic role of language and culture in formation, maintenance and change of social values, this project will study the tree-like linguistic structures within which ideas of ‘forest’ appear in cultural artefacts of the Portuguese-speaking world in search for distinctive patterns and their correlations with deforestation and preservation. Through the compilation and contrastive analysis of data regarding the position of the many nouns denoting the space of the forest in works of prose-fiction at selected parts of this transnational area at key points in the industrial development of these societies, eventual patterns found will increase our comprehension of the role of fiction in the process of destruction and preservation of forests.

The project will combine comparative critical methods with insight from the field of linguistics in order to develop an innovative, interdisciplinary methodology according to the specialism of the successful candidate, which will additionally draw from the experience of the supervisory team and contributions from the project’s external and international partners. Close textual analysis, informed by structural linguistics, discourse analysis and ecolinguistics, will be contextualised within colonial and postcolonial histories and critical approaches, including world-systems theory. Hypotheses formulated on the basis of the textual analysis will then be tested through distant reading (Moretti 2013), employing methods from the digital humanities.

Funding Notes:
Full payment of tuition fees at Research Councils UK fee level (£4,270 in 2018/19), to be paid by the University;
An annual maintenance grant at current UK Research Councils rates (2018/19 is £14,764), to be paid in monthly installments to the Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholar by the University.

All studentships come with a minimum of £3,000 Research Training Support Grant. This can be increased, if there are justified project costs, up to a maximum of £12,000.

Funding is available for UK or EU students only. The tenure of the award can be for up to 3.5 years (42 months).

Applications Deadline: 16-Mar-2018

Web Address for Applications:

Contact Information:
        Dr Alice Corr

Page Updated: 22-Feb-2018