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International MOU signed to collaborate on corpus linguistics research

29 January 2020
New partnership with the University of Lancaster
The Sydney Corpus Lab and the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science have started a new partnership to work on collaborative research in corpus linguistics.

The University of Sydney and the University of Lancaster have signed a memorandum of understanding which will enable the Sydney Corpus Lab to collaborate with Lancaster's Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) on joint research projects.

This new partnership builds on existing connections between the newly established Sydney Corpus Lab and CASS, which was founded in 2013.

"This MOU formalises our collaborations with CASS and will allow us to continue to strengthen our existing research links," said Director of the Sydney Corpus Lab and SOAR fellow, Associate Professor Monika Bednarek.  

In the immediate future, CASS will build a corpus of Australian news items about obesity, and will advise on the analysis, based on a current project on representations of obesity in the UK Press. The Sydney Corpus Lab will analyse the Australian corpus, with the help of a new postgraduate research scholarship funded by the Charles Perkins Centre and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

The project will explore:

  • existing media guidelines around the reporting of obesity
  • the use of the words obesity and obese in the Australian news media
  • the impact of the Obesity Collective’s campaign to shift the narrative away from stigma and blame
  • how obesity is represented more generally in the Australian news media, over time and across newspapers.

Researchers from the Sydney Corpus Lab and CASS will collaborate on the dissemination of findings, including engagement with research users. They will work with the Obesity Collective and health journalism expert and educator Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli from UTS to help steer their analytical focus and for successful impact outside academia.

The MOU includes mutual visits, with CASS Senior Research Associate Gavin Brookes planning to visit Sydney in July 2020 for research meetings and to present a talk at the Corpus Linguistics Down Under symposium.

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