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Mr James Puchowski
16-18 Gordon Square
Mr James Puchowski profile picture
  • Lecturer (Teaching) in Norwegian
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities

I live in Edinburgh and work part-time at University College London as Lecturer (Teaching) in Norwegian. I studied Scandinavian Studies and Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, and wrote a MSc by Research dissertation in 2017 examining the language activism of young Norwegian Nynorsk activists.

I have been the recipient of a doctoral scholarship and the Robertson Medal from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the University of Edinburgh's Arthur Kitchin Postgraduate Scholarship and Helen Philip Memorial Bursary, as well as mobility funding from the Norwegian Government.

Since 2017 I have delivered various courses as a postgraduate tutor at the University of Edinburgh. My specialism is in Norwegian Nynorsk and Norwegian dialectology, which I incorporate into my teaching of our undergraduate Norwegian courses. I am a Chartered Linguist and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists for Norwegian, and an Associate Member for Catalan.

Outside of linguistics and Scandinavian languages, I am the co-convenor of the Council of the Scottish Green Party. I am also a freelance translator, Norwegian-English.

Research Themes
Research Summary

I am currently finishing my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in Linguistics and English Language. My research concerns language activism, primarily on the activities of language activists in Norway, Catalonia and Scotland.

My work straddles sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and topics in the sociology of language, where the social discourses which surround language use and language debates are seen to contribute to processes in language variation, change and shift.

Most of my work so far has examined the work of young language activists in Norway who promote Nynorsk and dialects in the country, alongside other social justice issues. As a Catalan speaker and being someone who lives in Scotland, I have spent more recent time comparing and contrasting my Norwegian fieldwork with the situation amongst Scots and Catalan language activists.

I investigate these areas through linguistic ethnographic fieldwork, content and discourse analyses, and through non-exhaustive qualitative interviewing. My analysis looks more specifically at activist metalanguage in an attempt to understand language activism as a socially situated discourse-oriented performance.

My thesis is a compilation of articles. As of September 2021, I have written two which have been submitted to peer reviewed journals. The third and final paper is under preparation. I am also interested in language standardisation, the politics of language in the globalised west, and the history of linguistics as a social scientific discipline.

Teaching Summary
From September 2021, I am responsible for the teaching of Basic Norwegian (SCAN0005), Intermediate Norwegian (SCAN0019) and Advanced Norwegian (SCAN0032). Over time I will also give individual lectures and seminar talks on my sociolinguistic research and Nynorsk.
01-SEP-2021 Lecturer (Teaching) in Norwegian SELCS University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2018 – 31-AUG-2021 Tutor Linguistics and English Language University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2018 PhD candidate Linguistics and English Language University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2017 – 31-AUG-2020 Tutor Scandinavian Studies University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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