My undergraduate degree was a four-year MA in English Language and Literature from Edinburgh University; from there I went to St John’s College, Oxford, and completed a DPhil on William Faulkner’s style. Then for six years I taught at the National University of Singapore, followed by nine years, latterly with tenure, at the University of Washington, Seattle.
I came to the University of Birmingham English department in 1996, attracted by the lively community of English language researchers working here. I have long nurtured a secondary interest in law and the power of language in all kinds of legal proceedings, and this led me to complete the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies in 2000.
Since 2002 I have been editor of the Journal of Literary Semantics and am on the board of the International Association for Literary Semantics and current Chair of the Poetics and Linguistics Association. I am also quite involved in Integrational linguistics.