Department of English Workshop: Modern Stylistics: Three Workshops in Method and Technique



  • Date: 23-24 June, 2019
  • Time: 9:30am (Morning Workshop), 2:00pm (Afternoon Workshop)
  • Venue: HS436 (South Campus, XJTLU)
  • Speaker: Prof. Paul Simpson (Head of the Department of English, University of Liverpool)


Stylistic analysis traditionally explores literary discourse by matching a text to a suitable model of analysis from language and linguistics. Thus, a sequence of drama dialogue framework might merit exploration within the terms of politeness theory while a piece of prose fiction might be approached from the perspective of systemic-functional grammar. While this method yields interesting insights into the literary work under scrutiny, it often tends to mask the many other compatible, complementary or even conflicting frameworks of analysis that could have been brought into play for the study of the same text.

Prompted by this concern, this series of workshops proposes, adopts and elaborates a ‘polymodal’ approach to stylistic analysis. It develops a number of analytic frameworks, which are then applied, in parallel and in complementary ways, to a variety of texts from poetry, prose and drama. The workshops will appeal particularly to beginning and intermediate researchers and to participants who want to extend the tools and materials they use in their own stylistic work.


  • Session 1, Afternoon of 23rd June: Introduction, Overview and Practical
  • Session 2, Morning of 24th June: Capturing Experience in Literary Discourse
  • Session 3, Afternoon of 24th June: Aspects of Narrative, and Beyond


Professor Paul Simpson is Professor of English Language and Head of the Department of English at the University of Liverpool. Prof. Simpson teaches and researches in a number of areas of English language and linguistics, and is well-known for his work in Stylistics, Pragmatics, Critical Linguistics and English Language Pedagogy. He has published on the sociolinguistic features of pop singing styles, the pragmatics of advertising discourse and the linguistic patterns of verbal humour. His books include 'Language, Ideology and Point of View', 'Language through Literature' and 'On the Discourse of Satire', and he is co-editor of the collection 'Language, Discourse and Literature' and co-author of 'Language and Power' (Routledge, 2009). Prof. Simpson has served as the Editor of the leading Stylistics journal 'Language and Literature', and was Chair of the international Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) from 2013 to 2015. His textbook, 'Stylistics', was published in a second edition by Routledge in 2014, and his co-authored textbook, 'Language and Power', appeared in a second edition in January 2019.