Professor Judith Baxter

Head of English Language / Professor of Applied Linguistics 

Judith Baxter

I am Professor of Applied Linguistics and currently Head of English Language in the School of Languages and Social Sciences. I am also  Assistant Director of Aston’s Research Centre for Interdisciplinary research in Language and Diversity (InterLAND), which brings together colleagues in applied linguistics, social sciences and business studies.

My current research focus is on the relationship between language, gender and leadership in educational, business and professional contexts. My recent research has been based on an ESRC research project entitled ‘Leadership Talk and Gender in Senior Management Business Meetings in the UK’, which ran from January 2010 until May 2012.  I have published three monographs: Double-Voicing at Work (2014); The Language of Female Leadership (2010), and Positioning Gender in Discourse (2003), all with Palgrave Macmillan and well received by scholars and practitioners alike. My research regularly features in the media including the BBC2 series, Women at the Top and BBC Radio programmes such as Woman’s Hour and Business Daily.

  • BA (Hons) English and History, University of East Anglia,
  • M.Sc. Educational Studies, University of Surrey
  • PhD Applied Linguistics, University of Reading
  • PGCE in Secondary English, University of Cambridge
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • LE3024 Leadership and Management Communication 1
  • LE3025 Leadership and Management Communication 2
  • Head of English Language
  • Convenor of the Business Communication strand on the BA International Business and Management programme
  • Assistant Director Interland
  • LSS Equality and Diversity Representative

I welcome research and PhD students in the following areas:

  • Language and gender
  • Post-structuralist discourse analysis
  • Language of the workplace
  • Leadership language in business contexts
  • Classroom language
  • Semiotic and media language   


  • Double-Voicing: Power, gender and linguistic expertise. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • The Language of Female Leadership. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
  • Speaking Out: The Female Voice in Public Contexts.(ed)Palgrave: Macmillan, 2006
  • Positioning Gender in Discourse: A feminist methodology. Basingstoke: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2003
  • Making Gender Work. The University of Reading: The National Centre for Language and Literacy, 2001.  

Journal Articles

  • ‘Your situation is critical…’: The discursive enactment of leadership by business women in Middle Eastern and Western European contexts.  Gender and Language, 8 (1), pp. 91 -116; 2014.
  • ‘If you had listened carefully….’: The discursive construction of emerging leadership in a UK women-only business team. Discourse & Communication, 8, (1) pp. 23 - 29, 2014.
  • 'Who wants to be the leader? The linguistic construction of emerging leadership in differently gendered teams.' Journal of Business Communication, 2014.  
  • ‘Women of the Corporation: a sociolinguistic perspective of senior women’s leadership language in the UK.’ Journal of Sociolinguistics, 16 (1): 81- 107, 2012.
  • ‘Survival or success?: A critical exploration of the use of ‘double-voiced discourse’ by women business leaders in the UK.’ Discourse and Communication, 5 (3): 231 – 245, 2011.
  • ‘‘I’m not going to talk to whatever her name is’: Constructing professional identities through male solidarity and female exclusion in builders’ discourse.’ (with K. Wallace) Discourse & Society 20 (2): 411-29, 2009.
  • ‘Constructions of active womanhood and new femininities: From a feminist linguistic perspective, is Sex and the City a modernist or a post-modernist TV text?’ Women and Language, 30 (2): 91-7, 2009.
  • ‘Is it all tough talking at the top? A post-structuralist analysis of the construction of gendered speaker identities of British business leaders within interview narratives.’ Gender and Language, 1 (4):197-22, 2008
  • ‘Jokers in the Pack: why boys are more adept than girls at speaking in public.’ Language & Education , 16 (2): 81-96, 2002
  • Competing discourses in the classroom: a poststructuralist analysis of girls' and boys' speech in public contexts.’ Discourse & Society 13, (6): 827-842, 2002
  • ‘Is PDA really an alternative? A reply to West.’ Discourse & Society 13 (6), pp. 853-859, 2002
  • ‘A Juggling Act: a feminist poststructuralist analysis of girls' and boys' talk in the secondary classroom.’ Gender & Education 14 (1): 5-19, 2002
  • ‘Going Public: teaching students to speak out in public contexts.’ NATE: English in Education 34 (2), pp. 26-34, 2002


  • ‘Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis’ in Cornelie Ilie (ed.) The Encyclopaedia of Language and Social Interaction, London: Routledge (fc; 2015)
  • ‘Heteroglossia’ in Cornelie Ilie (ed.) The Encyclopaedia of Language and Social Interaction, London: Routledge (fc; 2015)
  • ‘Leadership Discourse’ in Cornelie Ilie (ed.) The Encyclopaedia of Language and Social Interaction, London: Routledge (fc; 2015)
  • ‘Feminist research.’ In C.A. Chapelle (ed.) The Encyclopaedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2013.
  • 'Discourse-analytic approaches to text and talk'. In L. Litosseliti (ed.) Research Methods in Linguistics. London: Continuum, 2009.
  • Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis: a new theoretical and methodological approach? In J. Sunderland et al, Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to Gender and Language Study. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 243-55, 2008
  • Poststructuralist analysis of classroom discourse. In M. Martin-Jones & A.M. de Mejia, Encyclopaedia of Language and Education: Discourse and Education, Vol 3. New York: Springer, 2007
  • 'Do we have to agree with her?' How high school girls negotiate leadership in public contexts. In J. Baxter (ed.) Speaking Out: The Female Voice in Public Contexts. Palgrave: Macmillan, pp. 159-178, 2006 ‘Language and Gender’ in J. Simpson (ed.) The Handbook of Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Putting gender in its place: constructing speaker identities in management meetings. In M. Barrett & M.J. Davidson (eds) Gender and Communications at Work. Aldershot : Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2005

Magazine articles and reports

  • ‘Undergraduate English Language: a subject in search of an identity? Liaison 2: January 2009.
  • ‘The Language of Female Leadership’. Research Review, Issue 7, Winter 2008-9.
  • 'English Language at undergraduate level: its place within UK Higher Education in the 21st century'. (with Denise Santos) Southampton University: LLAS, 2008  

Recent conference and seminar papers

  • 'Containing femininity: reading against sexualised constructions of leading women in the news media'. Invited talk for Gender, Language and Leadership,  7th BAAL Gender and Language Special Interest Group Event (GaLSig); The British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), April 2014.
  • ‘Gender, leadership and language: As seen on TV.’ Inaugural lecture at The University of Aston, March 11th 2014.
  • ‘Gender and leadership discourse: the role of single and double-voicing.’ Research seminar given at The University of Warwick for the Centre of Academic and Professional Discourse in February 2014.
  • ‘Theory into Practice: Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis’. Keynote speech given to  The Eighth Nordic Conference on Language and Gender Södertörn University, Stockholm, 10-11 October 2013.
  • ‘Gender and the language of leadership’: Invited speaker at The Women in Business Network, Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Monday 16th March 2015.
  • ‘Balancing the Boardroom: Gender in the Workplace’. Talk to 40 members of the Industry and Parliamentary Trust on Monday 27th October 2014 at The House of Commons. Members of Parliament and executives from business and industry.
  • ‘Talking your way to the top: Myths and Tips’: Talk to 50 women at North Highland, a global consulting firm based in Covent Garden, London, to launch their Women in North Highland network on Wednesday 17th  September 2014. 
  • ‘Breaking Myths: Gendered Talk in the Boardroom.’: Invited speaker by the Business Partnership Unit and the consultancy company, Harvey Nash, to a group of 40 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from the Birmingham region on September 23rd  2014. 
  • ‘Your situation is critical: the discursive enactment of leadership by business women in Middle Eastern and Western European contexts’. Research paper presented at the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) on Friday 5th September 2014.
  • ‘Containing Femininity?: Reading against sexualised constructions of women leaders in the news media.’ Invited guest speaker at the British Association of Applied Linguists (BAAL) Gender and Language conference at Middlesex University on Wednesday April 30th 2014, attended by 80 people. 
  • ‘Gender and Leadership Language: As Seen on TV’. Inaugural lecture at The University of Aston, Tuesday 11th March 2014.
  • Gender and Leadership Discourse: The role of single and double-voicing’. Research seminar paper presented at The University of Warwick, Thursday 27th February 2014.
  • ‘Theory into Practice: Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis.’ Keynote speaker at The Eighth Nordic Conference on Language and Gender Södertörn University, Stockholm, 10-11 October 2013.


  • The Gender and Language Association (IGALA)
  • British Association of Applied Linguists (BAAL)
  • The ESRC Peer Review College
Room: MB733A 
Phone: 0121 204 3399  
Email: j.a.baxter@aston.ac.uk 
Fax: 0121 204 3766 

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