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Professor Janet Holmes receives Hon DLitt


It gave us great pleasure that internationally acclaimed scholar, Professor Janet Holmes, was awarded an Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters) at yesterday’s graduation ceremony. Not only is Janet an outstanding scholar in the field of Sociolinguistics, she has also always been very generous in sharing both her expertise and her time with students and colleagues during her time as Honorary Professor in the Centre for Applied Linguistics (2010-2018). We were thrilled that she received her award at the same ceremony as our graduating students.

Janet Holmes Biography

Janet Holmes graduated from Leeds University after specialising in Linguistics. She moved to an academic position at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1970. After a long and varied career, including periods as Head of School, Dean of Languages and Literature, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, she is now Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University where she continues to undertake research on workplace discourse and language and gender. She is Associate Director of the Wellington Language in the Workplace project (see and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

She has written or edited more than twenty books including Gendered Talk at Work, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, now in its fifth edition, Research Methods in Sociolinguistics (co-edited with Kirk Hazen), and the Blackwell Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality (co-edited with Miriam Meyerhoff and Susan Ehrlich). With her colleagues in the Language in the Workplace project (LWP), she has also published on leadership discourse, humour, and the relevance of gender and ethnicity in the workplace. Together with Meredith Marra and Bernadette Vine, she has authored a book Leadership, Discourse and Ethnicity (OUP), which examines effective leadership in Māori and Pākehā organisations. With her research team, she is currently investigating the discourse of those involved in the tourism industry and analysing the language used in eldercare facilities in order to assist those seeking work in these areas.

Find out more about Professor Homes' career in this podcast 

Wed 17 Jul 2019, 16:29