I joined the University of Westminster in February 2016 as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities. I am also Professor of Language, History and Society.
My first degree (at Emmanuel College, Cambridge where I was organ scholar) was in English, followed by a Master's degree in General Linguistics and a PhD in the History of Linguistics.
From 2003 I was Professor of the History of Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. In my time at Sheffield I was successively Head of English Language and Linguistics and Director of Research in the Arts and Humanities. I spent the academic year 2007-2008 working at the University of Bergen on a Leverhulme Fellowship, and in 2012 I was visiting professor at the University of Paris 7-Diderot.
I am a Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi) and of the Agder Vitenskapsakademi, a strategic reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council and President of the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas.
My current research involves projects and publications on language policy-making in Uzbekistan and the history of applied linguistics.
Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters