23 episodes

Professor Michaela Mahlberg chats with her guests about life and why language matters.
Michaela is Professor of Corpus Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK.
For more see https://michaelamahlberg.com

Life and Language Professor Michaela Mahlberg

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Professor Michaela Mahlberg chats with her guests about life and why language matters.
Michaela is Professor of Corpus Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK.
For more see https://michaelamahlberg.com

    Pete Orford - Dickens the Author

    Pete Orford - Dickens the Author

    Charles Dickens has captured the public imagination like no other. What always fascinates me about him and his work is how fiction and reality intersect. In this episode, I talk to Pete Orford to get his take on the relationship between lived experience and literary examples in the world of Charles Dickens. Pete has recently published the book The Life of the Author: Charles Dickens, which gives us plenty of fascinating examples to talk about.

    Pete Orford is the Course Director of the MA in Charles Dickens Studies run by the University of Buckingham and the Charles Dickens Museum in London. He is the author of The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Charles Dickens’ Unfinished Novel & Our Endless Attempts to End It, and the editor of Pictures from Italy for the Oxford Dickens.





     




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    • 58 min
    Chris Laoutaris – Shakespeare’s First Folio

    Chris Laoutaris – Shakespeare’s First Folio

    What makes the First Folio so important and unique? 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of the first published collection of Shakespeare’s
    plays. In this episode, I talk to Chris Laoutaris, author of Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio. Chris gives us fascinating insights into the human story of this book that was produced seven
    years after Shakespeare’s death. The story of the people, places, and contexts that were all part of the creation of this work still have their effect on what
    Shakespeare means to us today.

    Chris Laoutaris is associate professor at The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham. He is a biographer, historian & a poet. Shakespeare's
    Book has been selected as a BBC History Magazine Book of the Year (selected by Tracy Borman). It was also a Financial Times Best Summer Book.









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    • 59 min
    Hannah Gold - Writing Bear

    Hannah Gold - Writing Bear

    How do you become a successful children’s author? I invited the brilliant Hannah Gold so I could learn
    her secret. What I really liked was Hannah’s insights into the value of a holistic career including a range of professions as well as life experience before becoming an award-winning author of fiction for children. In Hannah’s books, friendships between children and animals play an important role. Making these friendships come alive requires descriptions of how people and animals communicate – Hannah
    shares some the techniques she has developed to show this kind of communication. In this episode, Hannah tells us about her research into polar bears and her passion for the natural world. She also explains how thinking about the climate crisis is a necessary part of writing a modern day story.

    And guess what song Hannah likes to start events with?  Well, I do like Katy Perry, too!

     

    Hannah Gold’s first book, The Last Bear – won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2022 and the same year also the Blue Peter Book Award. Her second book The Lost Whale was the Winner of the Edward Stanford Children's Book of the Year 2023.




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    • 58 min
    Karen McAuliffe - Multilingual Law

    Karen McAuliffe - Multilingual Law

    Can the law be the same if the language is different? I invited Karen McAuliffe, an expert in multilingual law, to shed some light on this question. Different languages represent reality in different ways. This has an impact on the legal system,
    too. So how can law be created that will have the same effect across multiple jurisdictions? Especially in the context of the European Court of Justice this is a critical question. Language and storytelling play an important role for law – from the pricing of football jerseys to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.


    Karen McAuliffe is Professor of Law and Language at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on the relationship between law, language and translation in multilingual legal orders, particularly the European Union. She has run a number of large, funded, research projects in the field of law and language, including the Law and Language at the European Court of Justice project and The EU Case Law Corpus project. You can find out more about Karen’s research on her website: www.karenmcauliffe.com

    Here are some links to the things mentioned in this episode:

    Jessica Whyte (2014) The Fortunes of Natural Man:
    Robinson Crusoe, Political Economy, and the Universal Declaration of Human
    Rights, Humanity Vol 5(3), p. 301-321

     

    Karen McAuliffe (2013), The Limitations of a
    Multilingual Legal System, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
    Vol 26(4)

     

    Legal Recognition of Sign Languages Project



























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    • 58 min
    Jack Grieve - Fake News

    Jack Grieve - Fake News

    Are you be able to spot fake news? Can you even define what fake news is? According to Jack Grieve, ‘fake news’ is deceptive, it is intentionally trying to misinform its audience. Fake news is not the same as news that is untrue or false. But what exactly makes news fake? Are there any linguistic clues? Anything that gives away the intention to deceive? Can linguistic methods help us to find out? Surely there is lots of fake news out there that can serve as a data set for
    computational analysis? But not so fast! A key challenge is to find ‘real’ news that you can usefully compare to fake news in order to see what the difference is. Listen to Jack Grieve explain his linguistic methodology for such a comparison. Hear about an intriguing case study that looks at a journalist who used to work for the New York Times. This journalist, Jason Blair, would sometimes produce real and fake news on the same day! Now, that’s an exciting data set for linguists to work with!

    Jack Grieve is a Professor of Corpus Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on the quantitative analysis of language variation and change.
    He also conducts applied research in authorship analysis. Together with Helena Woodfield he has written the book The Language of Fake News.




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    • 1 hr 3 min
    Paul Baker - The Story of Camp

    Paul Baker - The Story of Camp

    What is the link between Oscar Wilde, Judy Garland and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Find out in this episode, where I talk to
    Paul Baker about his new book Camp! The Story of the Attitude that Conquered the World. Paul looks at the history of camp - a phenomenon that went from marginal to mainstream. He explains why laughter is so important in today’s world and how popular culture can help to ground us. The book is full of incredibly fabulous examples, and in this episode we get a selection of these camp confections.

    In the show, Paul reads a passage from the book. He tells us what it is like to record an audiobook, and he shares brilliant tips for writers!

    If you want to recognise the camp in yourself, this is the episode for you!

    Also check out Paul’s Instagram account @campthebook.

    Paul Baker is a Professor of English Language at Lancaster University. He has written numerous books for academic and popular
    audiences. These include Fabulosa: The Story of Polari, and Outrageous! The Story of Section 28 and the Battle for LGBT Education. Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.




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    • 59 min

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