Stephen Pihlaja 
/'stiːvən 'pihlaija/

Hi there, my name is Stephen and I'm an author and academic researching and teaching at Newman University in Birmingham (UK). My first book, Antagonism on YouTube was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 and my second book, Religious Talk Online was published in 2018 with Cambridge University Press and my new book, Talk about Faith, will be released early in 2021. I've also edited special issues of Language and Literature and Metaphor and the Social World and co-edited the Routledge Handbook of English Language Studies. I also am Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Language and Discrimination. My new edited collection Contemporary Media Stylistics with Helen Ringrow came out in Spring 2020 with Bloomsbury. 

My own research focuses on the dynamics of discourse, or language in use, particularly in online interaction around religious issues. I analyse discourse to understand how people present themselves and their beliefs to diverse audiences, and how technology changes not just the presentation of belief, but how and what people believe. To do this, I employ different methods of discourse analysis to investigate metaphor, narrative, and antagonism in interaction.

Board of Governors

 26 November 2020

I've been elected Chair of the Board of Governor's at St Michael's primary school in Bartley Green (although my name is still badly misspelt on the site, I promise it's actually me!). It's a challenging role to be sure, but I've been learning quite a bit about primary education in England. Looking forward to being increasingly involved in local life in local community life in Bartley Green. 

Extract of new book

12 November 2020

CUP has posted a pdf of the first few pages of my new book if you're interested:

This is a link to order the book:

Cognitive Linguistics and Religious Language: An Introduction

2 October 2020

My book with colleagues in Japan is now available for pre-order, with a paperback version being published as well!


Religious Talk Online Paperback

 14 September 2020

The paperback version of Religious Talk Online has been published now. Use the code LIN3820 at checkout to get 20% off.