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Patricia Canning

Lecturer/Researcher, Forensic Stylistics, Linguistics, and Rhetoric, Northumbria University, Newcastle

I am an applied linguist based at Northumbria University (UK). I research the relationships between language, power, persuasion, and blame. I examine the ways in which language is used by institutional agents such as the police, the prosecution service, and the government and how this language encodes and deflects blame. A large part of my work focuses on the evidence corpus of witness statements following the Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster (1989). I also research police-authored reports of domestic violence crimes and am working with Safe Lives, a national domestic abuse charity, to raise awareness of the role language plays in shaping narratives of domestic abuse.

I hold a First Class Honours (BA) English degree from Queen's University Belfast (QUB), a Masters (MA) with Distinction, and a PhD, both from QUB. I also hold the Dutch University Teaching Qualification (BKO).


  • –present
    Lecturer/Researcher, Utrecht University


  • 2009 
    Queen's University Belfast (N. Ireland), PhD / Linguistics & Literature