Research

At the moment, I mainly do research in the fields of Media Linguistics and Audiovisual Translation. My further research interests include areas such as Phraseology and Verbal Humour.

Popularisation of Knowledge: My habilitation project deals with the language of TV documentaries, primarly with historical documentaries that are broadcast in series like Timewatch (BBC). Such programmes have to be entertaining to be successful, but try to convey knowledge to the audience at the same time. In order to do so, they employ various linguistic and non-linguistic strategies that pertain to emotionalisation, dramatisation and personalisation. The aim of this project is a thorough description of these strategies in history and science documentaries, ranging from striking linguistic characteristics to  multimodal analysis. In this context, I held a conference with Prof. Dr Annette Sabban at Hildesheim University in October 2015. Conference proceedings were published at the end of 2016; you can download the volume here. I will also be directing the research network MWissFo (Mulitmodalität in Wissensformaten) funded by DFG. Together with 14 other researchers, I will be discussing the multimodality of science communication for non-academic audiences in six meetings between March 2020 and February 2023.

Hate Speech: In cooperation with Tom De Smedt from the University of Antwerp, I have been working on various small projects on the analysis and automatic detection of hate speech online, such as politically motivated hate speech on Twitter or misogynist hate speech (see list of publications). Together with several other partners, we are currently collaborating in the EU project DeTACT (Detect Then ACT: Taking Direct Action against Online Hate Speech by Turning Bystanders into Upstanders).

Phraseology: For more information about my completed PhD thesis on phraseological substitutions in newspaper headlines, please refer to the publisher’s website or the book review.