• Research: Language and Discourse
  • Language and Discourse

    The Oxford Brookes Language and Discourse interdisciplinary group has a specific focus on the relation between forms discourse, ideology and society.

    Our interests range from the production, interpretation and comprehension of discourse; to its mediation through materials, media and technologies; to the role it plays in social issues of gender, class, race, identity, politics, culture, literacy, and beyond.

  • Academic staff with related research interests

    Dr Andrea Macrae

    Senior Lecturer in Stylistics

    Department of English and Modern Languages

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 484308

    Email: andrea.macrae@brookes.ac.uk


    I teach, research and publish in the areas of stylistics, narratology and cognitive poetics, with a specialism in deixis.

    I also research the language of charity fundraising, and am the project lead for 'The Use and Misuse of Language' project for the Commission on the Donor Experience. 

    Modules taught



    • World Literature
    • The Culture of Modernity
    • Advanced Stylistics
    • Narratological Stylistics
    • Work Placement Module
    • Twentieth Century Writing
    • Interpretation: Cognitive Poetics
    • Dissertation supervision
    • Previously: Skills and Creative Strategies for English Studies, Approaching Poetry, Narrative and Narratology


    • Twentieth Century Texts
    • MA Dissertation
    • Key Concepts and Methods for Research



    I have supervised MA dissertations in the fields of adaptation and performance poetry.

    I research stylistics, cognitive poetics and narratology, most recently focusing on deixis and deictic shifting in fiction. I have further particular interests and expertise in flash fiction, metafiction, and performance poetry.

    I also specialise in the language of charity fundraising, and am the project lead for 'The Use and Misuse of Language' project for the Commission on the Donor Experience. I lead workshops on topics such as persuasive language at national charity conventions and conferences. 

    I also research in the area of pedagogical stylistics, and co-lead the Integrating English project (www.integratingenglish.com), promoting stylistics and its place in English education. I have worked with the AQA in developing aspects of the Language and Literature A level specification, and producing teaching and learning resources for teachers and students. 

    I would particularly welcome prospective PhD students in the fields of cognitive poetics (especially deixis and deictic shifting), stylistics and narratalogy, and/or charity fundraising discourse.


    Research group membership


    Oxford Brookes Language and Discourse (OBLaDi) Research Cluster

    Stylistics Circle

    Further information





    Journal articles

    • Macrae A, 'You and I, Past and Present: Cognitive Processing of Perspective'
      DIEGESIS 5 (1) (2016) pp.64-80
      ISSN: 2195-2116 eISSN: 2195-2116
      Abstract Website
    • Clark B, Giovanelli M, Macrae A, 'English: Diverse but unified. Putting texts at the heart of the discipline.'
      Teaching English 6 (2014) pp.17-20
      ISSN: 2051-7971 eISSN: 2051-7971
    • Macrae A, 'Enhancing the critical apparatus for understanding metanarration: discourse deixis refined'
      Journal of Literary Semantics 39 (2) (2010) pp.119-142
      ISSN: 0341-7638 eISSN: 0341-7638
      Abstract Website

    Book chapters

    • Macrae A, 'Positioning the reading in Post-Apartheid literature of trauma: "I" and "you" in Zoe Wicomb's David's Story' in Gibbons, Alison and Macrae, Andrea (ed.), Pronouns in Literature: Perspectives and Positions in Language, Palgrave Macmillan (2018)
      ISBN: 9781349953165
    • Macrae, A, 'Stylistics' in Knowing about Language: Linguistics and the secondary English classroom, Routledge (2016)
      ISBN: 9781138856233
    • Macrae A, 'Literary narrative' in The Routledge Handbook of Language and Creativity, Routledge (2015)
      ISBN: 9780415839730
    • Macrae A, ''You' and 'I' in charity fundraising appeals' in The Pragmatics of Personal Pronouns, John Benjamins (2015)
      ISBN: 9789027259363
    • Macrae A, 'Stylistics, drama and performance' in The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics, Routledge (2014)
      ISBN: 9780415527903
    • Macrae A, 'Readerly deictic shifting to and through I and you: an updated hypothesis' in Texts and minds: papers in cognitive poetics and rhetoric, Peter Lang (2012)
      ISBN: 9783631622230

    Other publications

    • Macrae A, 'The Use and Misuse of Language'
      This is one of over twenty-five projects which was invited by and created as part of the Commission on the Donor Experience. It is a 12,000 word report summarising research and presenting recommendations on use of language to enhance the experiences of charity supporters. Leading Charity Consultant Chris Washington-Sare served as the project adviser. This a digital resource, available at the SOFII website (Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration) at http://sofii.org/article/cde-project-1-the-use-and-misuse-of-language
      ISSN: eISSN:

    Membership of professional bodies

    Poetics and Linguistics Association

    International Society for the Study of Narrative

    European Narratology Network (ENN)

    Previously, Expert Panel member for AQA English Language and Literature



    • ‘Sharing pedagogies’, English: Shared Futures conference, Newcastle, 5-7th July 2017

    • ‘What do we do when we analyse texts?’ English: Shared Futures conference, Newcastle, 5-7th July 2017

    • ‘Testing, testing … one, two, … see?’, Institute of Fundraising convention, London, 3th-5th July 2017

    • ‘Persuasive language: Writing words that work’, Psychology of Communications CharityComms conference, London, 29th May 2017

    • 'Empathetic / social / relational deixis: What does it do and how does it do it?' Aix-en-Provence, France (28 April 2017)

    • Guest lecture: 'Masterclass in Close Reading', University of Oxford Forum for English, Drama and Media, Oxford, UK (24 Aptil 2017)

    • 'Changing streets into stories: A MCDA analysis of the graffiti appeals of the homeless charity Depaul UK', International Association of Literary Semantics conference, University of Huddersfield, UK (10-12 April 2017)

    • Guest research paper: 'Positioning the Reader in Post-Apartheid Literature of Trauma: I and you in Zoë Wicomb's David's Story', University of Leicester, UK (7 March 2017) 
    • 'Integrating English: Two outreach case studies', Academics in the Classroom conference, Oxford University, UK (16 August 2016) 
    • 'Anxieties of inauthenticity in charity fundraising communciations', Poetics and Linguistics Association conference, Sardinia (July 2016)
    • Panel member for 'Commission on the Donor Experience' workshop, Institute of Fundraising convention, London, UK (6 July 2016)
    • Panel member for 'How do we create amazing supporter experiences?' workshop at Audience Strategy: Understanding and connecting with stakeholders, CharityComms conference (26 May 2016)
    • 'Teaching Language', New Aspects of A Level English, English Association conference, London, UK (3 Oct 2015)
    • 'Be a hero!' Givers vs. helpers in charity ads', Poetics and Linguistics Associaiton conference, University of Kent, UK (July 2015)
    • 'What do we do when we do close reading?', with Billy Clark (Middlesex University) and Marcello Giovanelli (Aston University), National Association for the Teaching of English conference, Newcastle, UK (June 2015) 
    • 'Rethinking English: Impact on A levels and teaching', with Billy Clark (Middlesex University) and Marcello Giovanelli (Aston University), iMean conference, University of Warwick (April 2015) 
    • Guest lecture, ‘Stepping into The Hundred Acre Wood: A deictic shift theory account of the opening of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.’ Middlesex University, London, UK (10 March 2015)
    • ‘Reading too much into it? Flash fiction and relevance theory.’ International Association of Literary Semantics bi-annual conference, University of Kent, UK (3-5 July 2014)
    • ‘Teaching narrative, genre and point of view.’ Integrating English 2014, University of Nottingham  (19 June 2014)
    • ‘Cognitive processing of perspective in fiction.’ Cognitive Futures in the Humanities annual conference, Durham University, UK, (24-26 April 2014)
    • ‘The ethics of ‘You’.’ International Society for the Study of Narrative, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK (27-29 June 2013)
    • Guest lecture, ‘Deictic shifting in literature: Experimental analysis.’ University of Westminster, London, UK (10 Oct 2012)
    • ‘Towards a stylistics of performance poetry’, Poetics and Linguistics Association annual conference, University of Malta (16-18 July 2012)
    • ‘Shifting through pronouns: An empirical investigation into deictic shifting in literature’, UK Cognitive Linguistics Association annual conference, Kings College, London, UK (10-12 July 2012)
    • ‘A pedagogical pitch for undergraduate interdisciplinary stylistics.’ Stylistics Across Disciplinesconference, Leiden University, Netherlands (15-17 June 2011)
    • ‘Flash fiction and textual intervention as narratological teaching tools.’ Teaching Narrative and Teaching Through Narrative conference, University of Tampere, Finland (26-28 May 2011)
    • ‘Pronouns and related deictic positioning in charity advertisements: A cognitive poetic account of rhetorical effects.’ Rhetoric in Society III conference, Lessuis University, Belgium (26-28 January 2011)
    • ‘Deictic shifting to and through Iyouhe and she: Priming, Prominence, and a pilot study.’ International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature conference, University of Utrecht, Netherlands (7-11 July 2010)
    • ‘Readerly deictic shifting to and through I and you: An updated hypothesis.’ Cognitive Poetics and Rhetoric conference, University of Lodz, Poland (18-22 January 2010)
    • ‘Enhancing the critical apparatus for understanding metanarration: Discourse deixis refined.’ International Society for the Study of Narrative annual conference, University of Birmingham, UK (4-6 June 2009)
    • ‘Constructing 1867 in 2008, through 1969 and with a little help from 1685: Reading The French Lieutenant’s Woman.’ Poetics and Linguistics Association annual conference, University of Sheffield, UK (23-26 July 2008)
    • ‘Writing Dulcie in the dawn of the New South Africa: Narrative dynamics and discursive responsibility in Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story.’ International Society for the Study of Narrative annual conference, University of Texas, Texas (1-4 May 2008)
    • ‘How far have we come? A cognitive poetic study of interdiegetic deixis in John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman.’ Society for the Study of Narrative Literature annual conference, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. (15-18 March 2007)
    • ‘Why cognitive poetics can’t do metafiction (yet).’ Poetics and Linguistics Association annual conference, University of Joensuu, Finland (26-29 July 2006)
    • ‘To paint a water lily.’ Constructing Worlds Through Language conference, University of Sfax, Tunisia (29-30 April 2005)


  • Postgraduate research students