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Rachel Lewis

Thanks for finding your way to my e-portfolio. I’m a final year ESRC-funded PhD researcher, based in the Centre for Applied Linguistics (CAL) at Warwick University, with second supervision in the Sociology Department.

Research Interests

My research interests include:

  • discourse theory and discourse analytical approaches
  • articulations of citizenship (as policy, as lived experience)
  • theories of the border and (everyday) bordering practices
  • discursive constructions of 'multiculturalism' in contemporary Europe

PhD research

My PhD research investigates the contemporary UK citizenship regime as discursive practice. Drawing on theorisations of the border as a geopolitical and a biopolitical phenomenon, I conceptualise the citizenship regime as part of an assemblage of bordering practices within the securitised state, and from there look to the manifold ways in which citizenship practices (policy documents, testing materials and practices, ceremonial rituals) may work to produce the Good Citizen. In order to grasp the nuances and textures of these practices, I focus specifically on a number of actors directly involved in the production of the citizenship regime, exploring the ways in which this heterogeneous group - both citizenship officials, and recent and prospective citizens - themselves orientate to these practices, reproducing +/or contesting hegemonic discourses.

In my previous research I have focused principally on political discourses surrounding 'cultural pluralism' in the UK post-2001, in particular drawing on Ruth Wodak’s Discourse Historical Approach to Critical Discourse Analysis to investigate the means through which discrimination and exclusion are legitimated through discursive strategies. The dissertation I conducted in 2012 focused on Merkel, Cameron and Sarkozy’s ‘death of multiculturalism’ speeches, examining evidence of con/divergence between the three texts, and investigating the degree to which the discursive strategies employed were reflected +/or contradicted in a corpus of UK policy documents produced since 2010.

Papers and presentations


(2014) ESRC-funded internship with the Department for Communities and Local Government.
During the internship, I produced an evidence review on the subject of anti-Muslim prejudice in the contemporary UK context. The central aim of the project was to strengthen the evidence base on the phenomenon of anti-Muslim prejudice by drawing together existing research into both the scale of, and the drivers behind, negativity and hostility towards Muslims and/or Islam.

(2012-2017) ESRC PhD studentship

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Contact info:

r dot lewis dot 3 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Centre for Applied Linguistics

University of Warwick
Gibbet Hill Road

1st Supervisor

Dr. Malcolm MacDonald (CAL)

M dot N dot MacDonald at warwick dot ac dot uk

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Hannah Jones (Sociology)

H dot Jones dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk