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Professor Lesley Jeffries

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Professor Lesley Jeffries

BA (Reading) PhD (Leeds) FHEA

Professor of English Language and Linguistics


My PhD (Leeds) was in stylistics of newspapers, and my first book (Jeffries 1993) was on the stylistics of poetry. I joined the University in 1990 and was Head of English before being appointed to the Research Coordinator post in 2005 and to the Chair of English Language in 2007. I am Chair of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) and was organiser of the 25th annual conference of Pala in 2005 editing the proceedings (Rodopi 2007) with two colleagues, Dan McIntyre and Derek Bousfield. We also organised a mini-Pala conference in 2007. I am the series editor of the Perspectives on the English Language series for Palgrave and a member of the editorial board of the journal Language and Literature (Sage). I review articles for Language and Literature, Applied Linguistics, and Poetics and have reviewed grant applications for the AHRC. I have supervised three PhD students to completion and have four further students I am currently supervising on topics ranging from the language of advertising to negation in discourse. I have also examined PhD candidates at three other Universities. I have been awarded University bursary funding for four PhD students and my last sabbatical in 2005-6 was extended by a match-funded grant from the AHRC. I am the Director of the Stylistics Research Centre.

Research and Scholarship

I have published four books and a number of articles and book chapters based on my research into the style of contemporary poetry and ideology in news reporting and political discourse. I am currently engaged in two collaborative projects, one with colleagues at Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire (Literary Interpretation) and the other with colleagues at Huddersfield (Language in Conflict). I regularly present at international conferences and give invited talks to research groups at other Universities, most recently at Swansea, Leeds Metropolitan, Sheffield and Lancaster Universities. I am currently finishing the revisions to a book on constructed opposition, and beginning a new corpus study of poetic language.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Jeffries, L (2016) ‘“When did you decide to tell the truth?” Negotiating truth in rape trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’ Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict , 4 (2), pp. 151-177. ISSN 2213-1272

Jeffries, L. and Walker, B. (2016) Keywords in the press: the New Labour years . Corpus and Discourse. London: Bloomsbury.


Jeffries, L. and Evans, M. (2015) ‘The rise of choice as an absolute ‘good’: A study of British manifestos, (1900-2010)’ Journal of Language and Politics , 14 (6), pp. 751-777. ISSN 1569-2159

Jeffries, L (2015) ‘Critical Stylistics’. In: The Bloomsbury Caompanion to Stylistics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 157-176. ISBN 9781441160058

Jeffries, L (2015) ‘Language and Ideology’. In: Exploring Language and Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 379-405. ISBN 9781107035461

Jeffries, L (2015) ‘Textual meaning and its place in a theory of language’ Topics in Linguistics , 15 (1), pp. 1-10. ISSN 1337-7590


Jeffries, L (2014) ‘Interpretation’. In: The Handbook of Stylistics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 469-486. ISBN 9781107028876

Jeffries, L (2014) ‘Critical Stylistics’. In: The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 408-420. ISBN 978-0-415-52790-3


Jeffries, L. and Walker, B. (2012) ‘Key words in the press: A critical corpus-driven analysis of ideology in the Blair years (1998- 2007)’ English Text Construction , 5 (2), pp. 208-229. ISSN 1874-8767


Jeffries, L. and McIntyre, D. (2011) ‘Introduction to Teaching Stylistics’. In: Teaching Stylistics. Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. 1-5. ISBN 9780230235878

Short, M., McIntyre, D., Jeffries, L. and Bousfield, D. (2011) ‘Processes of interpretation: using meta-analysis to inform pedagogic practice’.In: Teaching Stylistics. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. pp. 69-94. ISBN 9780230235878

Jeffries, L (2011) ‘‘Radicalisation’ and ‘democracy’ - a linguistic analysis of rhetorical change’. In: Redefining social justice: New Labour, rhetoric and reality. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. pp. 37-56. ISBN 9780719082214

Jeffries, L. and McIntyre, D. (2011) Teaching Stylistics . Teaching the New English. Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 9780230235878


Jeffries, L. and McIntyre, D. (2010) Stylistics . Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. : Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521728690

Jeffries, L (2010) Opposition In Discourse: The Construction of Oppositional Meaning . Advances in Stylistics. London: Continuum. ISBN 9781847065124


Jeffries, L (2009) Critical Stylistics: the Power of English . Perspectives on the English Language. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333964484

Jeffries, L (2009) ‘The Language of Poems for Children: A Stylistic Case Study’. In: Children's Literature. Approaches and Territories. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 218-235. ISBN 9780230227132


Jeffries, L (2008) ‘The role of style in reader-involvement: Deictic shifting in contemporary poems’ Journal of Literary Semantics , 37 (1), pp. 69-85. ISSN 03417638

Jeffries, L (2008) ‘Grammatical iconicty in poetry: information structure in English clauses and its signifying potential’. In: First Triennial Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), 8 - 11 October 2008, University of Freiburg, Germany


Jeffries, L (2007) ‘Journalistic Constructions of Blair's 'Apology' for the Intelligence Leading to the Iraq War’. In: Language in the Media: Representations, Identities, Ideologies. London: Continuum. pp. 48-69. ISBN 9780826495488

Jeffries, L (2007) ‘What makes English into Art?’. In: Redesigning English. London: Routledge. pp. 5-33. ISBN 978-0-415-37688-4

Jeffries, L., McIntyre, D. and Bousfield, D. (2007) Stylistics and social cognition . PALA Papers. Amsterdam: Rodopi. ISBN 9789042023123

Bousfield, D., Jeffries, L., McIntyre, D. and Short, M. (2007) ‘Reader responses to interpreting poetry’. In: 27th Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association, 31st July - 4th August 2007, Kansai-Gaidai University, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan , p. 9

Jeffries, L (2007) Textual Construction of the Female Body A Critical Discourse Approach . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333914519


Jeffries, L (2006) Discovering language: the structure of modern English . New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-1261-0

Short, M., McIntyre, D., Bousfield, D. and Jeffries, L. (2006) ‘Interpretation’. In: 26th Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association, 26th - 29th July 2006, University of Joensuu, Finland

Jeffries, L (2006) ‘Poetry: Stylistic Aspects’. In: Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 645-651. ISBN 0-08-044299-4


Jeffries, L (2004) ‘Silent game: the stylistic 'shadow' of a poem and readers' meanings’. In: PALA Annual Conference 2004, 25 - 28 July 2004, New York University


Jeffries, L (2003) ‘Setting the scene, setting up the tension: the creation of opposition in the openings of novels’. In: PALA Annual Conference 2003, 23 - 26 June 2003, Bogazici University, Istanbul

Jeffries, L (2003) ‘Not a drop to drink: Emerging meanings in local newspaper reporting of the 1995 water crisis in Yorkshire’ Text - Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse , 23 (4), pp. 513-538. ISSN 1613-4117

Jeffries, L (2003) ‘Analogy and Multi-modal Exploration in the Teaching of Language Theory’ Style , 37 (1), pp. 67-85.


Jeffries, L (2002) ‘When words aren’t enough. Writers respond to the WTC attack of 11th September 2001’. In: PALA Annual Conference 2002, 4 - 6 April 2002, University of Birmingham


Jeffries, L (2001) ‘Schema affirmation and White Asparagus: cultural multilingualism among readers of texts’ Language and Literature , 10 (4), pp. 325-343. ISSN 09639470


Jeffries, L. and Sansom, P. (2000) Contemporary poems: some critical approaches . Huddersfield: Smith Doorstop Books. ISBN 9781902382265

Jeffries, L (2000) ‘Constructing the adolescent female body: a critical discourse analysis approach’. In: International Pragmatics Association Annual Conference 2000, 9 - 14 July, Budapest Technical University, Hungary

Jeffries, L (2000) Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater: in defence of theoretical eclecticism in stylistics Poetics and Linguistics Association

Jeffries, L (2000) ‘Point of view and the reader in the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy’. In: Contemporary poems: some critical approaches. Huddersfield: Smith/Doorstep Books. pp. 54-68. ISBN 1902382269


Jeffries, L (1998) Meaning in english: an introduction to language study . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333739464


Jeffries, L (1996) ‘What makes language into art?’. In: Using English : from conversation to canon. London: Routledge. pp. 162-184. ISBN 9780415131209


Jeffries, L (1993) The language of twentieth century poetry . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333459379


Research degree supervision

  • Critical discourse analysis

  • Feminist linguistics

  • Language in conflict

  • Stylistics of poetry