International Society For The Linguistics Of English Summer School 2019, University of Glasgow, 24-28 June 2019

Published: 26 March 2019

The Present & The Past In Dialogue

Summer School

This year's ISLE Summer School for Early Career Researchers is hosted by English Language and Linguistics at the University of Glasgow. The programme is primarily directed at doctoral students, but research masters’-level and postdoctoral researchers are also very welcome.

The School will run between 24-28 June 2019, and will consist of a series of masterclasses and supervised workshops on the overall theme: The Present and the Past in Dialogue. A special focus will be on evidence for past states of English and Scots, with reference to the functioning of writing systems in manuscript and printed contexts. The School will include sessions held in the University Library's Special Collections department, with its exceptional collection of medieval English manuscripts and printed books, and on the use of electronic resources in historical study; Glasgow is a world-leading centre of excellence for digital humanities applied to linguistic material, as witnessed by the award-winning Historical Thesaurus of English. Workshops will be held on participants’ own projects, leading to feedback from experienced supervisors, and there will also be sessions on academic development/career planning.

The School is facilitated by ISLE's current president, Jeremy Smith, for whom see

Other contributors to the School will include Kristin Bech (University of Oslo), ISLE’s Vice-President (Teaching) and an authority on English historical linguistics, Older English, and corpus research; Joanna Kopaczyk (University of Glasgow), known especially for her work on the history of Scots and historical pragmatics; and Wendy Scase (University of Birmingham), Geoffrey Shepherd Professor of Medieval English Literature, an authority on medieval manuscript culture who is currently working on a major project on the functions of early English writing-systems.

The School will begin with Registration at 1500 on Monday 24th June. A keynote lecture on the current state of English historical linguistics will be followed by networking opportunities including a wine reception and an introduction to Glasgow’s Hunterian collections, followed in the evening by a guided tour of the University’s historic campus in the city’s west end:

On Tuesday 25th there will be a range of workshops on topics such as the function of writing-systems, historical pragmatics with reference to English and Scots texts, and the comparative study of English in relation to other Germanic languages. There will also be a hands-on workshop on manuscripts and early printed books, using material from the University Library.

Wednesday 26th will be largely devoted to the School’s social programme, including a trip to the Ruthwell Cross near Dumfries, famous for its runic inscription in Old Northumbrian. The trip will include an accompanying lecture on this remarkable monument. On returning to Glasgow there will be a School dinner in a local restaurant.

Thursday 27th will be focused on the work and development of the participants, who will be invited to give short presentations on their projects followed by feedback from other members of the group and by the School’s facilitators. There will also be a session on career planning (both within and beyond academia), with input from Glasgow students who have recently completed their doctoral studies. This section of the School will conclude with an interactive presentation on public outreach: how does research into the linguistics of English, especially with a historical focus, lead to societal impact? The day will conclude with a series of surgeries on such matters as applying for financial support, developing a research proposal etc, with discussion of different funding streams available.

The morning of Friday 28th will be especially focused on digital humanities in relation to English historical linguistics, with a keynote lecture and follow-up discussion-workshops. The conference will conclude at 1300.

Practical details

(1)          Because of the generosity of the Society, there is no fee for attendance at the workshop, but there is a limit on numbers of TWENTY, with places allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those interested in attending should contact the conference organiser, Professor Jeremy Smith, directly by email (, by 1700 on Monday 3rd June 2019 at the latest, to confirm a place. A School Pack, containing an updated timetable, a map including details of the location of Registration, and some general information about the facilities available, will be sent to attendees by email shortly afterwards.

(2)          Refreshments and lunches during the conference are free, but please when booking indicate whether you have any special dietary requirements. A charge of £20-00 will be made for the School Dinner, payable at registration; if you are interested in attending the Dinner, please let Jeremy Smith know by 3rd June 2019. A packed lunch will be provided for the Ruthwell tour; transport to Ruthwell, by minibus, is free. Attendees should make their own arrangements for evening meals, other than for the School Dinner; a list of reasonably-priced restaurants will be sent out to attendees as part of the School Pack

(3)          Most of the conference will take place in the Special Collections department of Glasgow University Library, where there is easy access for those with mobility issues. However, the opening of the conference and the last session will take place in other University buildings, some of which need prior arrangement if e.g. wheelchair access is required. Again, please let Jeremy Smith know, when you make your booking, if you are so affected so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

(4)          In lieu of bursaries, and again because of the Society’s generosity, we have organised accommodation: a block booking of TEN rooms has been made for attendees, at the University’s Wolfson Hall. These rooms, which offer en-suite single-occupancy student-type accommodation are free to attendees for the duration of the Summer School (four nights, 24-27 June), and can be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in taking up one of these places, please contact Jeremy Smith when making your booking. If you would prefer hotel-accommodation, a list can be provided on request so that attendees can make their own arrangements; however, such bookings will be on a self-paying basis.

First published: 26 March 2019