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Carolin Debray


I am a doctoral researcher in Applied Linguistics. My main resarch interests are in intercultural communication, politeness and relating. I have previously completed a Masters of Science in Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions at the University of Warwick and a Bachelor of Arts in Area Studies Asia/Africa with a focus on South Asia at the Humboldt University Berlin. During the course of my bachelors degree I also studied a semester at the University of Damascus. In addition to my academic background I have also worked in businesses and NGO's in several different countries including Brazil, Palestine and Germany. I am a member of the council of IACCM (International Association of Cross-Cultural Management). In addition, I am a member of the Working and Communicating across Cultures (WACC) research group and the Professional and Academic Discourse (PAD) research group, both hosted in the Centre for Applied Linguistics.


I am researching interactions in intercultural teams with a focus on the relational work done. The focus of my doctoral dissertation is on troubles talk as a distinct and recognisable interactional activity that team members routinely engage in, that seems to fulfill a number of relational functions for the team. In addition, I am investigating the relational aspects of participation in team interactions and the interrelationship between transactional and relational aspects of communication in a task focused environment. In order to explore these issues I am conducting a longitudinal case study of teamwork, drawing on a range of different data sets with a focus on analysing authentic team interactions.

This project is supervised by Prof. Helen Spencer-Oatey and Dr. Daniel Dauber.

My PhD is funded by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) and by the Doctoral Training Centre of the ESRC at the University of Warwick.


Debray, C. & Reissner-Roubicek, S. (fc). Closeness at a distance: Positioning in Brazilian workplace emails. In K. Beeching, C. Ghezzi & P. Molinelli (Eds.), Positioning the self and others: Identity construction and social indexicality (Pragmatics and Beyond New Series). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Schnurr, Stephanie, Wharton, Sue, Alansari, Suha, Angouri, Jo, Chimbwete Phiri, Rachel, Chiriatti, Teresa, Debray, Carolin, Efthymiadou, Christina, Hah, Sixian, Harrison, Tilly, Kedveš, Ana, Khamkhien, Attapol, Kim, Kyoung-mi, Mohd Omar, Nor Azikin, Nguyen, Thi Hong Nhung, Reissner-Roubicek, Sophie. 2016. Not so 'innocent' after all? : exploring corporate identity construction online. Discourse and Communication, 10 (3), pp. 291-313, View.

Debray, C, Greenaway, T. & Kim, K. (2016). Exploring the interconnections between culture and behaviour: An interdisciplinary conference at the University of Warwick. Exchanges: The Warwick Research Journal, 3(2), 262-272, View.

Conference Presentations


4th ESTIDIA conference (European Society for Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Dialogue), University of Sofia, 29th-30th September. Strategies and challenges of positioning the self during ‘troubles talk’ in a multinational team, presented by Carolin Debray.

15th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA), Ulster University, 16th-21st July. Doing taskwork and managing rapport: Challenges for team member interactions in intercultural teams, with Helen Spencer-Oatey & Daniel Dauber, presented by Carolin Debray.

9th International Conference on Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise (DICOEN) , Aston University, 22nd-24th June. “I wish we had argued more”: The impact of conflict avoidance on task and relationships in multinational teamwork, contribution to the Panel: “Conflict and Teamwork”, presented by Carolin Debray.

9th International Conference on Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise (DICOEN) , Aston University, 22nd-24th June. Language diversity in multinational teamwork: Implications for power, perception of competence, performance and well-being, contribution to the Panel: LIBRI Business Discourse and Professional Communication: From Theory to Practice, presented by Carolin Debray.

20th Warwick International Conference in Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, 27th-29th June. Working and relating in multinational and multidisciplinary teams, presented by Carolin Debray.


LIAR IV (Linguistic Im/Politeness Agression and Rudeness Conference), Manchester Metropolitan University, 12th-14th July. Discordo Completamente - Im/Politeness in Brazilian workplace email, presented by Carolin Debray & Sophie Reissner-Roubicek.

19th Warwick International Conference in Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, 28th-30th June. "I wish we had argued more" - Relationship Management and Communication Strategies in Intercultural Teamwork, presented by Carolin Debray.

21st Sociolinguistics Symposium, Universidad de Murcia, 15th-18th July. Relating and relationship management in diverse teams: The case of language proficiency, presented by Carolin Debray.


14th International Pragmatics Association Conference (IPrA), University of Antwerp, 26th-31st July. Reconsidering culture in Brazilian workplace communication: An analysis of face and politeness in Portuguese and English emails, contribution to the panel: "Positioning the self and others: Linguistic traces", presented by Carolin Debray & Sophie Reissner-Roubicek.

4th iMean Conference, University of Warwick, 9th-11th April. Implementing speech act research skills with co-national sojourner cohorts, contribution to the colloquium: "Sociopragmatics and Language and Teaching and Learning: Impact and Interfaces", presented by Sophie Reissner-Roubicek, Lynette Richards & Carolin Debray.

18th Warwick International Conference in Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, 23rd-25th June. Intercultural Teamwork at University: Blessing or Curse for Social Integration?, presented by Carolin Debray.


Nordic Intercultural Communications Conference 2014 (NIC), University of Iceland, 26th-28th November. Brazilian Culture in Workplace Emails: The co-existence of opposites?, presented by Carolin Debray.

Conference and Event Organisations

I have co-organised a one day conference titled "Interconnections between Culture and Behaviour: Interdisciplinary Perspectives", for which we were awarded with a Doctoral Event Grant of the ESRC DTC at the University of Warwick. The event featured several renown keynote-speakers and a special issue is currently in preparation to report the results.

I have also co-organised the 18th CAL Posgraduate Conference, for which me and a colleague were awarded with funds from the RSSP (Research Students Skills Programme).

During the 4th iMean conference I have organised and chaired a pre-conference workshop for early career researchers titled: "What, where, when and how to publish: all you wanted to know and were afraid to ask".


My teaching exerience includes both academic teaching as well as working as a trainer for intercultural communication workshops.

I am currently co-teaching the module "Laughter: A transdisciplinary approach" (with Nick Monch). The module is hostet by the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) at the University of Warwick. I have previously convened the interdisciplinary module on "Global Connections - Understanding Cultural Literacy" for IATL in the academic years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.

I have also co-tought the 'Leadership, Culture and Communication' course at the Warwick in London Summer School (2017) a three weeks intensive course for students from all over the world.

In addition, I have given methodology seminars supporting postgraduate students in their dissertation writing and am giving intercultural skills workshops for students going abroad on behalf of the Office of Global Engagement at the University of Warwick, as well as holding lectures on intercultural competence and induction sessions for international students arriving at the University of Warwick.

Previous to my time in Warwick, I have taught intercultural communication and interreligious dialogue in the apprenticeship programme of the Fazenda da Esperança, a large international NGO with its headquarters in Brazil and have worked as a substitute teacher for German (and almost anything else when the need arose) in a Norwegian Highschool. During a 6 months long internship at the training academy of the BMW Group, I have also been responsible for evaluations and conceptualisations of intercultural trainings.


Best Paper Award for Early Career Researchers at the 9th International Conference on Discourse, Communication and the Enterprise (DICOEN) , Aston University, 22nd-24th June. For the contribution: “I wish we had argued more”: The impact of conflict avoidance on task and relationships in multinational teamwork, contribution to the Panel: “Conflict and Teamwork”.

Further Interests

In addition to my current resarch I am also very interested in politics and political discourses especially concerning intercultural issues and have been for a very long time. I wrote my Bachelors dissertation about anti-Islamic hatespeech in online-communities in Germany and I am very keen to continue with projects in this area, especially considering the current political climate.


For more information check out my LinkedIn, or just follow me on Twitter.

pictureCarolin Debray

C dot Debray at warwick dot ac dot uk