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 including, The Language of Female Leadership (2010), with Palgrave Macmillan, well received by scholars and practitioners alike.

  • 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
  • Language and Gender
  • Leadership and Management Communication 1 and 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   


  • (2014) Double-Voicing: Power, gender and linguistic expertise. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • 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.  


  • ‘Your situation is critical…’: The discursive enactment of leadership by business women in Middle Eastern and Western European contexts.  Gender and Language, 8 (1), 2014.

  • ‘If you had listened carefully….’: The discursive construction of emerging leadership in a UK women-only business team. Discourse & Communication, 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, 231 -246, 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 (4): 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, Vol 1 (4):197-22, 2008 
  • 'Jokers in the Pack: why boys are more adept than girls at speaking in public.’ Language & Education , 16, 2, pp. 81-96, 2002 
  • Competing discourses in the classroom: a post-structuralist analysis of girls' and boys' speech in public contexts.’ Discourse & Society 13, 6, pp. 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 post-structuralist 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 research’. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.) The Encyclopaedia of Applied Linguistics: Qualitative Methods. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • ‘Gender’ in J. Simpson (ed.) The Handbook of Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge (2011)
  • ‘Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis in Language and Gender Research: Approaches in Dialogue.’ Co-authored with Ann Weatherall, Maria Stubbe and Jane Sunderland. In J. Holmes and M. Marra (eds.) Femininity, Feminism and Gendered Discourse. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
  • 'Discourse-analytic approaches to text and talk'. In L. Litosseliti (ed.) Research Methods in Linguistics. London: Continuum, 2010.
  • Feminist Post-structuralist 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
  • Post-structuralist 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
  • 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

  • Double-voiced Discourse: Gendered ways of enacting leadership discourse in UK business meetings.’ Research seminar held at the School of Education, University of Reading, July 2011.
  • ‘Survival or success? Gendered ways of enacting leadership discourse in UK business meetings.’ Research seminar held at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, February 2011.
  • ‘Emerging impact, emerging theory: an ESRC research study on gender and the language of leadership’. Research seminar held at the School of English, University of Birmingham, November 2010.
  • ‘Survival or success? Gendered ways of enacting leadership discourse in UK business meetings.’ Research seminar held at The University of West England, October 2010.
  • Global archetypes or local practices?: A study of the language of women business leaders in the UK. The British Association of Applied Linguists Annual Meeting, University of Aberdeen, September 2010.
  • ‘Women leaders as archetypes? Challenging the discursive boundaries’. Paper given on ‘Women in Leadership: A Discourse Perspective’. Event held at Aston University, June 2010.
  • ‘What can a sociolinguistic perspective contribute to an understanding of leadership discourse?’ Research seminar held in the Aston Business School, Aston University, May 2010.
  • 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 

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research