Katie Blair

Katie Blair

Department of Modern Languages
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD Title: Linguistic Landscapes, Sanctuary and Integration: The Riace Model
Supervisors: Dr Alice Corr and Professor Nando Sigona
PhD Modern Languages


• MA with Distinction in Translation Studies (University of Birmingham)
• MA in Literature (Open University)
• BA (Hons) Italian (University of Reading)


I have a degree in Italian from the University of Reading, an MA in Literature from the Open University, and more recently an MA with Distinction in Translation Studies from the University of Birmingham. My academic interests include community and asylum translation, the translation of humour, linguistic human rights, multilingualism and Italian postcolonial literature.


My research is the first empirical, qualitative study of hospitality and integration in the southern Italian town of Riace through linguistic landscape analysis. Riace has a distinctive multi-modal linguistic landscape, comprised of public art and murals created through community and civic participation, which I call the “hospitality-scape”. This hospitality-scape expresses the town’s ideologies of solidarity and refugee welcome, and has formed a particular geographical imagination used in the media and as a back-drop to local and online activism. Having developed an innovative “pandemic-proof” digital linguistic landscapes methodology for data collection and analysis, my aim is to understand the interrelationships between community/civic participation and the social bonds and links that enable refugee integration, and how the hospitality-scape has been employed in pro-immigration activism locally and online. 

Other activities

  • Research paper presented at “Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday” (Virtual Conference), 21-23 April 2021, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Research paper presented at “Approaches to Migration, Languages and Identity”, University of Sussex, UK (virtual) 9-11 June 2021
  • Research paper accepted to present at “The Political Economy of Language and Space/Place” – the 12th Annual Linguistic Landscapes Workshop, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, (virtual) 1-3 September 2021