Research News from the School of Humanities Professors: December 2016

Professor Hilary Nesi presented at the International Workshop on Corpus Linguistics and L2 Teaching, held at Università degli Studi RomaTre in Rome, October 20-21 2016. This was designed primarily for teachers and researchers interested in the teaching of English and Chinese as foreign languages. Hilary presented alongside Professor Hongyin Tao from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Professors Adriano Ferraresi and Silvia Bernardini from the University of Bologna (in the photograph with Associate Professor Lucilla Lopriore from Università RomaTre).

Professor Sheena Gardner was an invited speaker at a symposium on “Academic writing across languages: multilingual and contrastive approaches in higher education” which took place in December 2016 at the trilingual University of Luxembourg.

Hilary and Sheena also delivered a series of lectures on their research on the BAWE (British Academic Written English) corpus of assessed student writing to students of the BA English course at the University of Luxembourg. This university has just become a new Erasmus partner of Coventry University.

In October Hilary also visited the National Agricultural University in Nanjing (NAU) to meet Professor Fanxia Kong and her staff in the ESP Teaching and Research Centre, many of whom had attended the first ESP summer school for teachers in Coventry in July 2016, and other English language teachers at the university (Xing Hu, Zhihua Shi, Yuanyan Hu and Fengying Wang, amongst others). Hilary gave talks on university student writing and the creation of teaching materials for EAP/ESP writing classes, and also initiated discussions to enrol NAU English staff on the CU doctoral programme. Hilary also visited the Department of English Language Education at the Education University of Hong Kong. She presented papers on corpus-based approaches to language analysis, took part in Conceptualizing Research, the Department’s weekend programme for doctoral students, and discussed research opportunities with Education University staff. Whilst in Hong Kong, Hilary also met with English Department staff from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University.

Professor Bruce Baker presented to the Senior Security Advisers of the British Government’s Stabilisation Unit on complexity theory and its significance for international policing programmes designed and implemented by DFID, MoD and FCO.

Bruce is also developing an MPA in international policing (with Dr Simon Massey and Pertemps policing and security specialist unit), to reach out globally to senior police officers, senior managers of security NGOs and security advisers, with a unique course. It will fill the gap left by the proposed withdrawal of HMG’s International Police Academy from international policing programmes.

Under a collaborative corpus linguistics research project at Coventry University devoted to translations of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange (led by Dr Jim Clarke and Dr Benet Vincent), visiting Professor Patrick Corness is conducting an investigation into two Polish translations and has presented on this at various international conferences.


Patrick is also collaborating with the History of Music Division of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, presently working on a study of English and German translations of vocal works by Antonín Dvořák for a book chapter. Patrick is also collaborated with Professor Barbara Judkowiak and Dr Ewa Rajewska for an award-wining publication: Franciszka Urszula Radziwiłłowa. Selected Drama and verse (see also:


Professor Neil Renwick organised a Confucius Institute “Brexit and China” Business Roundtable in collaboration with the CI Deputy Director Dr Matthew Beedham. Eminent guests from business and academia were invited to talk about what effect Brexit might have on the relationship between the UK and China. 130 people signed up to attend. Each presenter gave short position statements and then the floor was opened up to the audience for discussion. There was a lively discussion and, according to the informal feedback received, everyone involved found it a helpful and interesting session.

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