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Dr Sally Hunt

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Staff Tutor and Lecturer in WELS: Languages and Applied Linguistics, where I'm involved in four applied linguistics modules: L101, L201, L301 and E302. From January 2024 I've been covering for a central academic colleague which means I've had opportunities to be more involved in the academic side of running the modules. I am academic lead for Applied Linguistics and English Language.

In terms of research and supervision, I specialise in discourse analysis and sociolinguistics, with a preference for the methodological combination of Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics. I am particularly interested in how identity and language intersect - both in terms of how we express our identities in the ways in which we use language, and especially in how aspects of identity are constructed through patterns of choices in language. I investigate these patterns of meaning in a variety of text types, especially print media and fiction for younger readers.

I joined the OU in September 2020, having spent a year at the University of Reading, teaching discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. Before that I was at Rhodes University in South Africa for many years. I act as a reviewer or board member for several journals, including Gender and Language, and Corpora.


Research interests

I am an active researcher focussing on language and identity, combining discourse analysis and corpus linguistics methods.

Selected presentations and publications:

Sarah Jane Muhkerjee, Sally Hunt & Maria Leedham (forthcoming) Gendered characters and gendered words in best-selling contemporary young adult fiction. 7th Corpora and Discourse International conference, Innsbruck, July 2024.

Hunt, Sally (2024) Investigating social actions (transitivity) with corpora, in Heritage, Frazer and Taylor, Charlotte (Eds). Analysing Representation: A Corpus and Discourse Textbook, Routledge, pp. 115-133.

Leedham, Maria, Hunt, Sally and Mukherjee, Sarah Jane (2023) Mirrors and windows in Young Adult fiction. The twelfth international Corpus Linguistics conference (CL2023) (3-6 Jul 2023, Lancaster, UK)

Hunt, Sally (2021) The South African news media and representations of gender and sexuality, in Baxter, Judith and Angouri, Jo (Eds). Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality. Routledge.

Hunt, Sally (2021) Book Review: McIntyre, D. & Walker, B. (2019) Corpus Stylistics: Theory and Practice. Edinburgh University Press.. Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies, 4(1)

Hunt, Sally (2021) The Thuma Mina moment has arrived: Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s President, or father? Discourse, Context and Media Special Issue: COVID & Political Leadership.

Hunt, Sally (2020) “You can tell he’s a baddy just by looking at him!” Appearance and identity in children’s literature. Corpora and Discourse International conference, 17 – 19 June 2020. University of West Sussex (online).

Hunt, Sally (2019) Sugar and spice or snails and tails: the gendered representation of emotion in children’s fiction. 10th International Corpus Linguistics Conference. Cardiff, UK. 22 - 26 July 2019.

Hunt, Sally and Jaworska, Sylvia (2019) Intersections of nationality, gender, race and crime in online news: the case of Oscar Pistorius: Olympian and murderer. Discourse, Context & Media, special issue on “Mediatizing Intersectionality". Marie Maegaard, Kristine Mortensen and Tommaso Milani (Eds). Vol 30 pp. 100299-100306.

Hunt, Sally, De Vos, Mark, Motinyane, Mantoa and Mesthrie, Rajend (2018) Language Studies In Times Of Transformation: Multiple Perspectives Plenary panel speaker at International Congress of Linguists 20 Cape Town, July 2018.

Mesthrie, Rajend, De Vos, Mark, Hunt, Sally, and Motinyane, Mantoa (2018) Language Studies In Times Of Transformation: Multiple Perspectives in Raj Mesthrie and Bradley, D. (Ed.) The Dynamics of Language, UCT Press. isbn 9781775822363 pp. 280-297.

Jaworska, Sylvia and Hunt, Sally (2017) Differentiations and Intersections: a corpus-assisted discourse study of gender representations in the British press before, during and after the London Olympics 2012. In Gender and Language 11(3) pp. 336-364.

Hunt, Sally (2017) Boast and bellow, giggle or chatter: gender and verbs of speech in children's fiction. Corpus Linguistics Conference, Birmingham, UK July 2017

Hunt, Sally and De Vos, Mark (2016) (convenors and presenters) Linguistics in a transforming South Africa: perspectives on curriculum, research and disciplinary practice. First Summit on Transformation in Linguistics in South Africa. Rhodes University. Grahamstown, SA. January 2016.

Hunt, S.A. (2015) “Mother of the Nation”:  representations of womanhood in South African media in Dedaic, Mirjana (Ed) Singing, Speaking and Writing Politics: South African Political Discourses . John Benjamins Ltd.  Pp. 169 – 199.

Hunt, Sally (2015) Representations of gender and agency in the Harry Potter series. In Baker, Paul and McEnery, Tony (ed.) Corpora and Discourse Studies: Integrating Discourse and Corpora. Palgrave Advances in Language and Linguistics Series, pp. 266-284.

Hunt, S.A. and Hubbard, B.E. (2015) Sex work in the South African media: representations of 'deviant' sexualitySPIL Plus (Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics) Vol. 46.  pp 19-43.

Bock, Zannie and Hunt, Sally (2015) “It’s just taking our souls back”:discourses of apartheid and race. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 33(2) 141-158 DOI:10.2989/16073614.2015.1056196


COVID and the South African Family: Cyril Ramaphosa, President or father? (2021-12)
Hunt, Sally
Discourse, Context & Media, 44, Article 100541

The South African news media and representations of sexuality (2021-04)
Hunt, Sally
In: Angouri, Jo and Baxter, Judith eds. The Routledge Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality. Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics (pp. 587-601)
ISBN : 9781138200265, 9781315514857 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Mirrors and windows in Young Adult fiction (2023-07)
Leedham, Maria; Hunt, Sally and Mukherjee, Sarah Jane
In : The twelfth international Corpus Linguistics conference (CL2023) (3-6 Jul 2023, Lancaster, UK)