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Senior Lecturer in Interpersonal Communication, Ulster University

Karyn Stapleton is a Senior Lecturer in Interpersonal Communication at Ulster University, Northern Ireland (UK). She holds the degrees of BSc Hons Communication (1st class) and D.Phil. in Communication & Psychology, both from Ulster University. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015).

Karyn’s core research interests are in swearing, interpersonal communication, discourse analysis, social psychology, pragmatics, and identity. She has published widely in these areas, including in Lingua, Discourse & Society, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Pragmatics, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Identities, Organization, and Language in Society. She has contributed entries to the Handbook of Pragmatics (de Gruyter, 2010, eds. Miriam Locher and Sage Graham), the Handbook of Communication Skills (Routledge, 2018, ed. Owen Hargie) and the Handbook of Pragmatics Online (Benjamin, forthcoming, chapter co-authored with Kristy Beers Fägersten). She has co-edited Devolution and Identity (Ashgate/Routledge, 2006/2017, with John Wilson) and Advances in Swearing Research (Benjamins, 2017, with Kristy Beers Fägersten).

From 2018-2020, Karyn was joint Vice-Chair of the Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction (ICSI) section of the European Communication Research and Education Association. She is currently an Associate Editor of Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. She is a member of the research networks Swearing in Scandinavia and Consortium for Research About Profanity. She also holds professional membership of the British Psychological Society, the International Pragmatics Association, the International Communication Association, and the International Association of Language and Social Psychology. From 2014-17, Karyn was a member of a Royal Irish Academy multidisciplinary committee. She was on the Organising Committees for the 15th International Pragmatics Association Conference (Belfast, 2017); and the ECREA Sectional ICSI conferences (2011, Belfast, Northern Ireland; 2019, Tilburg, Netherlands). In 2017, she was the Keynote Speaker at the 5th Swearing in Scandinavia Symposium, Helsinki, Finland.


  • 2001–present
    Senior Lecturer, Ulster University


  • 2015 
    Higher Education Academy, Fellow
  • 2002 
    Ulster University, D.Phil. Communication and Psychology
  • 1997 
    Ulster University, BSc Hons (First Class) Communication Studies