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Dr Carolin Debray

Job Title
Senior Teaching Fellow
Department of Applied Linguistics
Research Interests

I am interested in the way language is used to build and manage relationships. I am particularly interested in the ongoing management of more enduring relationships and in relationships where interlocutors have little choice over entering and maintaining them, such as with their co-workers, especially where groups are diverse and might not ordinarily interact. Thus my research is mostly situated in the area of workplace communication and team communication, where I have explored 'troubles talk' in depth and analysed how it is used as a relational strategy that promotes support and solidarity while also building common ground amongst very divers sets of people. My research sits at the interface of sociopragmatics, interpersonal pragmatics and communication studies, mostly using qualitative methods.


Languages and cultures have always fascinated me. After learning several and living abroad for a while including in Brazil and Syria, I started my academic journey in Area Studies with a specialisation in South Asia. I gradually moved more and more into the communication aspects of this subject, in part by studying hate speech in Islamophobic online groups, and finally found my element in Linguistics and in particular Pragmatics. I am still fascinated by exploring the experience of otherness in social encounters and have shifted my focus to exploring how this otherness is bridged in interactions. I received my PhD at the University of Warwick, and am delighted to join the department in a full-time capacity as Senior Teaching Fellow. I am a council member of IACCM (International Association of Cross-Cultural Management) and winner of Warwick's Teaching Excellence Award for Postgraduates who Teach in the 2017/2018 academic year.