CV

 

STEPHEN PIHLAJA



EDUCATION
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (2014) 
University of Nottingham; Nottingham, UK

Doctor of Philosophy (2012)
The Open University; Milton Keynes, UK
Thesis title: The development of 'drama' in YouTube discourse

Master of Research Methods (Education) (2009)
The Open University; Milton Keynes, UK
Dissertation title: The Pope of YouTube: A case study of dynamic metaphor use in asynchronous Internet communication

Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics (2007)
University of Birmingham; Birmingham, UK
Dissertation title: 'but sorry about my blabbing': A case study in blog discourse

Bachelor of Arts (2003)
Knox College; Galesburg, IL, USA
Major: English–Creative Writing; Minor: Religious Studies
Cum Laude with College Honours

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT
Reader in English Language and Linguistics (Current from Aug 2017)
Previously: Lecturer in Stylistics (Jan 2014-Jul 2014) & Senior Lecturer in Stylistics (Aug 2014-Jul 2017)
Newman University; Birmingham, UK
I am Programme Leader for English and convene a suite of modules in the English subject group for a diverse group of undergraduate students, serving as module coordinator for all five modules in language and linguistics curriculum, including modules on Stylistics, Analysing Text and Talk, and Language, Society, and Power. I serve as lead for the English Language and Literature Unit of Assessment for the Research Excellence Framework. 
Teaching Fellow
University of Birmingham; Birmingham, UK (current from Oct 2008)

I tutor MA TESOL/Applied Linguistics students, giving feedback on essay drafts, marking essays, and providing pastoral support. 

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT
MA TESOL/Applied Linguistics Dissertation Supervision (Fixed terms, 2016-2021)
University of Liverpool; Liverpool, UK 

MA TESOL/Applied Linguistics Course Tutor (Sep 2015-Aug 2021)
University of Leicester; Leicester, UK 

Assistant Professor of Language and Literature (Jan 2013-Dec 2013)
University of Nottingham; Semenyih, Malaysia
    Visiting Lecturer & Module Co-ordinator (Sep 2009–Jan 2013)
    Middlesex University; London, UK
        Visiting Lecturer & Module Co-ordinator (Sep 2012–Jan 2013)
        The University of Westminster; London, UK

        ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
        Visiting Instructor (Apr 2008–Aug 2008)
        Keiwa Gakuen College; Shibata City, Japan

        Assistant Language Teacher (Sep 2005–Mar 2008)
        Niigata Meikun High School; Niigata City, Japan

        Assistant Language Teacher (Sep 2004–Aug 2005)
        Interac Co. Ltd.; Niigata City, Japan

        English Language Teacher (Oct 2003–Aug 2004)
        Imajuku English School; Fukuoka City, Japan

        PUBLICATIONS

        PRESENTATIONS

        GRANTS
        AHRC Leadership Fellowship (Principal Investigator)
        Language and Religion in the Superdiverse City project (£155,024). Investigates the relationship between language and religious identity in Birmingham, with a focus on community organising in partnership with Citizens UK Birmingham (2021-2022)

        Saltley Trust Small Grant (Co-Investigator)
        Support for Birmingham Anglican Schools as Diverse Communities Project (£2,238). Investigated religious diversity in Church of England Schools, looking particularly at how shared values are recognised and articulated (2018-2020)

        Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Research Collaborator & Consultant) 
        Religion and Danger: An Investigation into how Religious Believers Perceive and Respond to Danger within a Global Context (¥11,000,000/£86,842). Investigated dialogue among Christians and Muslims International students and Hokkaido University in Japan (2017-2018)

        HEFCE Social Innovation Pilot Project (Principal Investigator)
        Let's Talk about sex: Equipping student leaders to address sexual violence on campuses (£18,252); Project includes providing leadership and oversight on three research sites across the UK with 15 people working on the project (2016)

        Small Grant, Middlesex University (Co-Investigator and consultant) 
        Being a young Muslim in England today: a qualitative narrative study (£7,200); Project included providing leadership and oversight at the Birmingham site, leading focus groups, data analysis, and mentorship of young staff on research methods and discourse analysis (2016)

        Small Travel Grant, Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training (CREST) 
        For conference attendance (2015 & 2016)

        Research Network Seed Money, CREST
        For organising inter-disciplinary seminar focused on religious talk on social media (2015)

        Students as Academic Partners Grant, Newman University. 
        Support for student salaries to investigate Muslim student experience (2014–2015)

        Small Grant, International Association of Researching and Analysing Metaphor
        For research-related travel expenses (2011)

        EXTERNAL SERVICE
        • Chair: Poetics and Linguistics Association (from 2022)
        • Chair of the Board of Governors: St Michael's Primary School, Bartley Green (from 2020)
        • Book Reviews Editor: Journal of Language and Discrimination (from 2018)
        • Treasurer: Poetics and Linguistics Association (2020-2021)
        • Secretary: University Council of General and Applied Linguistics (2015 to 2019)
        • Membership Secretary: Poetics and Linguistics Association (2013 to 2019)
        • Co-Organiser: Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference and Summer School (Jul 2018)
        • Reviewer for:
          • Journal of Religion, Media & Digital Culture
          • Discourse, Media, & Context
          • Metaphor & the Social World
          • Language & Literature
          • Journal of Language & Discrimination
          • Lingua
          • Corpora
          • Bloomsbury and Routledge Book Proposals
          • John Templeton Foundation Grants
        • Panellist: Athena Swan Equality Charter Award Panel (2017, 2019)

        INTERNAL SERVICE
        • Chair: Humanities Research Centre, Newman University (2018-2020, 2022-Present)
        • Chair (formerly vice-chair): Minor Amendments Panel, Newman University (from 2015)
        • Unit of Assessment Lead: UoA27 REF2021, Newman University (from 2018)
        • Vice-Chair (formerly member): Research Ethics Committee, Newman University (from 2021)
        • Programme Leader: English Subject Area, Newman University (from 2020)
        • Member: Learning, Teaching and Academic Quality Committee, Newman University (from 2021)
        • Convenor: Impact Working Group, Newman University (from 2018)
        • Events Co-ordinator: Humanities Research Centre, Newman University (2016-2018)

        EXTERNAL EXAMINING
        • External Examiner: University of Glasgow, MSc Applied Linguistics (from May 2019)
        • London South Bank University, English Single Honours Revalidation (May 2016)
        • Critical Reader for Open University, E302 Language and Creativity (Jul 2014)

        DOCTORAL SUPERVISION
        Tayyiba Bruce. Thesis Title: A corpus-assisted discourse study of representations of Islam and Catholicism in two right-leaning British news websites (2018)

        Kulwant Singh (EdD), Ongoing. Thesis Title: The role of faith and spirituality in early years: a Sikh perspective

        PHD EXAMINATIONS
        Sarah Bennett, The Rhetoric of Conspiracy Theories University of Nottingham (2022)

        FELLOWSHIPS
        • Senior Fellow: Higher Education Academy (from 2015)
        • Visiting Research Fellow: Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies in Sweden (2018)
        • Visiting Research Fellow: Heythrop College; London, UK (Sept 2014-Aug 2016)


        MODULE LEADERSHIP
        • Communication Techniques; Middlesex University
        • Empirical Investigation of Language; Middlesex University
        • How Words Work (formerly Introduction to Language); Newman University
        • Introduction to Linguistics; University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
        • Investigating English Language: Stylistics; University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
        • Language and Media; Newman University
        • Language, Society, and Power; Newman University
        • Literary Linguistics; University of Westminster
        • Making Sense of Language (formerly Analysing Text & Talk); Newman University
        • Pedagogic Grammar; Middlesex University
        • Research Methods in TESOL and Applied Linguistics; Middlesex University
        • Style, Literature, and the Everyday Art of Language (formerly Stylistics); Newman University

        MEMBERSHIPS
        • British Association of Applied Linguistics
        • Poetics and Linguistics Association

        LANGUAGES
        • Japanese Language Proficiency, Second Level; Tokyo, Japan (Dec 2007)
        • Japanese Language Proficiency, Third Level; Tokyo, Japan (Dec 2005)

        SCHOLARSHIPS
        MRes and PhD Studentship, The Open University (UK) (2008)

        Hermann R. Muelder Scholarship, Social Concerns Scholarship, Creative Writing Scholarship; Knox College, Galesburg, IL (2000)

        AWARDS
        Content Award, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (USA)
        Awarded to editorial team Catch, Knox College’s literary magazine (2003)

        Pacemaker Award, Associated Collegiate Press (USA)
        Awarded to editorial team Catch, Knox College’s literary magazine (2003)

        Ford Fellowship & Richter Research Grant, Knox College (USA)
        Awarded to undertake research related to college honours project (2002)

        MEDIA
        BBC West Midlands. Interview on the school shooting in Texas. (25 May 2022)

        New Books in Language Podcast. Stephen Pihlaja, "Talk about Faith: How Debate and Conversation Shape Belief" (16 Mar 2021)

        BBC West Midlands. Follow-up interview on Covid Testing Availability. (22 Oct 2020)

        BBC West Midlands. Interview on Covid Testing Availablility. (16 Sep 2020)

        Interview for Marianne Eloise's I want my favourite pop star to run me over with their car. Dazed (22 May 2018)
         
        BFM Radio Interview. Night School: Finding Face in the Digital Age. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (27 Nov 2013)

        Quotation in Rabbi Joshua Stanton's post. YouTube Dialogue: Expanding the Scope of Inter-Religious Interchange. The Huffington Post. (25 May 2011)

        FAILURES