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Professor Theresa Lillis

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am  Professor Emeritus of English Language and Applied Linguistics at The Open University.

My main research area is writing. I have been researching writing for some 25 years from a perspective that can be summarized as the politics of access, location, production and participation. I’m committed to using ethnography as an overarching research methodology and have an ongoing interest in developing ‘text oriented ethnographic approaches’, using a range of methods. I've written about what we mean by 'writing' in general, e.g. The sociolinguistics of writing, EUP (2013), Lillis, T. (2018) Resistir regímenes de evaluación en el estudio del escribir: hacia un imaginario enriquecido, Signo y pensamiento, 36 (71)  66-81. 

I have been involved in three main areas of study.

STUDENT WRITING IN HIGHER EDUCATION.

Sample publications:

Lillis, T. (2001) Student writing: access, regulation, desire. London: Routledge.

Lillis, T. and Scott, M. (2008) (eds) Special Issue of Journal of Applied Linguistics. New Directions in Academic Literacies. 4.1.

Lillis, T. (2011) Legitimising dialogue as textual and ideological goal in academic writing for assessment and publication, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. 10, 4: 401-432.

Lillis, T., Harrington, K., Lea, M. and Mitchell, S. (eds) (2015) Working with academic literacies: Case studies towards transformative practice. Parlor Press.This is an open access book available here  http://wac.colostate.edu/books/lillis/

Lillis, T. (2019) ‘Academic literacies’: sustaining a critical space on writing in academia, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 15​.

 

2. ACADEMIC WRITING FOR PUBLICATION IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT

Sample publications

Lillis, T. and Curry, M.J. (2010) Academic writing in a global context. London: Routledge.

Lillis, T., Hewings, A., Vladimirou, D. and Curry, M.J. (2010) The geolinguistics of English as an Academic Lingua Franca: citation practices across English medium national and English medium international journals. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20,1: 111.135.

Lillis, T. (2012) Economies of signs in writing for academic publication: the case of English Medium “National” Journals. Journal of Advanced Composition. 32.3-4 : 695-722.

Curry, M.J. and Lillis, T. (2014) A scholars’ guide to getting published in English. Critical choices and practical strategies. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 

Lillis, T. and Curry, M.J. (2015) The politics of English, language and uptake: The case of international academic journal article reviews AILA Review 28:  127–150

Lillis, T. and Curry, M.J. (2018) Multilingual women scholars writing in academia: trajectories of knowledge and desires, Journal of English for Academic Purposes 32: 53-66

Curry, M.J. and Lillis, T. (2019) Unpacking the Lore on Multilingual Scholars Publishing in English: A Discussion Paper, Publications, Available at www.mdpi.com/journal/publications

 

3. WRITING IN SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. 

Sample publications:

Lillis, T. and Rai, L. (2011) A case study of a research based collaboration around writing in social work, Across the Disciplines ISSN: 1554-8244. Available at: http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/clil/lillis-rai.cfm

Lillis, T. and Rai, L. ( 2012) Quelle relation entre l’écrit académique et l’écrit professionnel? Une étude de cas dans le domaine du travail social. Pratiques.153/154.

Lillis, T. (2017) Imagined, prescribed and actual text trajectories: the ‘problem’ with case notes in contemporary social work, Text and Talk,  37-4.485-508

Lillis, T., Leedham, Twiner…(2017@2020))‘If it’s not written down it didn’t happen’: Contemporary social work as a writing-intensive profession, Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 14, 1: 29-52.

Leedham, M., Lillis., T. and Twiner, A. (2019) Exploring the core preoccupation of social work writing: A corpus-assisted discourse study. Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies, 2(1):1–30

 

Research interests

Funded Research Projects 

October 2015        Economic and Social Research Council (ES/MOO803/1). £270,000. Principal Investigator.  Writing in professional social work practice in a  changing communicative landscape.

June 2009             Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-063-27-0263) £228,296.61.Research Fellowship. The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context. (End of Award Report, April 2012)

March 2009         Action research Project with North East Derbyshire (NED) Adult Services £2000  Case notes in social work practice. (With Lucy Rai, HSC).

March 2009         PBPL/CETL funding of pilot project. £6000.Getting it write/right: Professional writing in social work. ( With Lucy Rai, HSC).

January 2007        Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-00022-2234) £98,796. Principal Investigator. Trajectories of knowledge production: English medium academic writing for national, transnational and international contexts. Final report/outcomes awarded ‘Outstanding’ by ESRC.

April 2006            British Academy. £800. Travel grants to Hungary and Slovakia for project field work.

April 2004            British Academy. (SG38601) £4,863. Principal Investigator. Small grant. The impact of ‘literacy brokers’ on the production of academic texts in a global context.

January 2004      British Academy. £800. Travel grants to Hungary and Slovakia for project field work.

October 2002      Economic and Social Research Council(ESRC RES-000-22-0098): £40,677 Principal investigator. Professional academic writing in a global context (sites in Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal).

August 2002        British Academy. £800. Travel grants to Hungary and Slovakia for project field work.

March 2001         Open University Research Development Fund: £22,196. ‘Professional academic writing in a global context’ project (with M. J. Curry).

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
CREET: Language and Literacies Research ClusterClusterFaculty of Education and Language Studies

Publications

Time, the Written Record, and Professional Practice: The Case of Contemporary Social Work (2020-10)
Lillis, Theresa; Leedham, Maria and Twiner, Alison
Written Communication, 37(4) (pp. 431-486)


Exploring the core ‘preoccupation’ of social work writing: A corpus-assisted discourse study (2020-01-01)
Leedham, Maria; Lillis, Theresa and Twiner, Alison
Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies, 3 (pp. 1-26)


Book Review of 'On Writtenness: The Cultural Politics of Academic Writing' by Joan Turner (2019-06-30)
Lillis, Theresa
Journal of Second Language Writing, 44 (pp. 91-93)


Unpacking the lore on multilingual scholars publishing in English: A discussion paper (2019)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
Publications, 7, Article 27(2)


Trajectories of knowledge and desire: Multilingual women scholars researching and writing in academia (2018-03)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 32 (pp. 53-66)


Gender and academic writing (2018-03)
Lillis, Theresa; McMullan, Jenny and Tuck, Jackie
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 32 (pp. 1-8)


Resistir regímenes de evaluación en el estudio del escribir: hacia un imaginario enriquecido (2017)
Lillis, Theresa
Signo y pensamiento, 36(71) (pp. 66-81)


Imagined, prescribed and actual text trajectories: the ‘problem’ with case notes in contemporary social work (2017)
Lillis, Theresa
Text and Talk, 37(4) (pp. 485-508)


‘If it’s not written down it didn’t happen’: Contemporary social work as a writing intensive profession (2017)
Lillis, Theresa; Leedham, Maria and Twiner, Alison
Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 14(1)


The politics of English, language and uptake: the case of international academic journal article reviews (2015-08)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
AILA Review, 28 (pp. 127-150)


Strategies and tactics in academic knowledge production by multilingual scholars (2014-05-05)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
Education Policy Analysis Archives, 22, Article 32


‘Getting it Write’ in social work: exploring the value of writing in academia to writing for professional practice (2013)
Rai, Lucy and Lillis, Theresa
Teaching in Higher Education, 18(4) (pp. 352-364)


Economies of signs in writing for academic publication: the case of English Medium “National” Journals (2012)
Lillis, Theresa
Journal of Advanced Composition, 32(3/4) (pp. 695-722)


Quelle relation entre l’écrit académique et l’écrit professionnel? Une étude de cas dans le domaine du travail social [What is the relationship between academic writing and professional writing? A case study in the field of social work] (2012)
Lillis, Theresa and Rai, Lucy
Pratiques(153/4) (pp. 51-70)


Legitimising dialogue as textual and ideological goal in academic writing for assessment and publication (2011-10)
Lillis, Theresa
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 10(4) (pp. 403-434)


A case study of a research-based collaboration around writing in social work (2011-07)
Rai, Lucy and Lillis, Theresa
Across the disciplines, 8(3)


An international journal’s attempts to address inequalities in academic publishing: developing a writing for publication programme (2010-12)
Lillis, Theresa; Magyar, Anna and Robinson-Pant, Anna
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 40(6) (pp. 781-800)


Who's citing whose writings? A corpus based study of citations as interpersonal resource in English medium national and English medium international journals (2010-06)
Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Vladimirou, Dimitra
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9(2) (pp. 102-115)


The geolinguistics of English as an academic lingua franca: Citation practices across English-medium national and English-medium international journals (2010)
Lillis, T.; Hewings, A.; Vladimirou, D. and Curry, M. J.
International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20(1) (pp. 111-135)


Academic research networks: Accessing resources for English-medium publishing (2010)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa M.
English for Specific Purposes, 29(4) (pp. 281-295)


Étudiants déficitaires? Le dialogisme de Bakhtine dans l’exploration des pratiques d’écriture des étudiants 'non traditionnels' à l’université’ (2009)
Lillis, T.
Cahiers Théodile, 10 (pp. 117-132)


Ethnography as method, methodology, and "deep theorizing": closing the gap between text and context in academic writing research (2008)
Lillis, Theresa
Written Communication, 25(3) (pp. 353-388)


Defining academic literacies research: issues of epistemology, ideology and strategy (2007)
Lillis, Theresa and Scott, Mary
Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(1) (pp. 5-32)


Reframing notions of competence in scholarly writing: From individual to networked activity (2006-11)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 53(Special Is) (pp. 63-78)


Professional academic writing by multilingual scholars: interactions with literacy brokers in the production of English-medium texts (2006-01)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
Written Communication, 23(1) (pp. 3-35)


Multilingual scholars and the imperative to publish in English: Negotiating interests, demands, and rewards (2004)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
TESOL Quarterly, 38(4) (pp. 663-688)


Student Writing as 'Academic Literacies': Drawing on Bakhtin to Move from Critique to Design (2003)
Lillis, Theresa
Language and Education, 17(3) (192 -207)


Student writing in higher education: contemporary confusion, traditional concerns (2001)
Lillis, Theresa and Turner, Joan
Teaching in Higher Education, 6(1) (pp. 57-68)


The Sociolinguistics of Writing (2013-03)
Lillis, Theresa
Edinburgh Sociolinguistics
ISBN : 978-0748637508 | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Edinburgh


A scholars’ guide to getting published in English: critical choices and practical strategies (2013)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
ISBN : 978-1-78309-060-0 | Publisher : Multilingual Matters | Published : Clevedon


Academic Writing in a Global Context: The politics and practices of publishing in English (2010-04-15)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
ISBN : 978-0-415-46883-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


A dictionary of sociolinguistics (2004)
Swann, Joan; Deumert, Ana; Lillis, Theresa and Mesthrie, Rajend
ISBN : 074861690X | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Endinburgh, UK


Teaching Academic Writing: A Toolkit for Higher Education (2003-11)
Coffin, Caroline; Curry, Mary Jane; Goodman, Sharon; Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Swann, Joan
Coffin, Caroline; Curry, Mary Jane; Goodman, Sharon; Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Swann, Joan eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-26136-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK


Language, literacy and education: A reader (2003-03)
Goodman, Sharon; Lillis, Theresa; Maybin, Janet and Mercer, Neil
ISBN : 9781858562889 | Publisher : Trentham Books in association with The Open University | Published : Stoke on Trent, UK


Analysing language in context: A student workbook (2003-01)
Lillis, Theresa
ISBN : 978 1 85856 287 2 | Publisher : Trentham Books/Open University Press | Published : Stoke on Trent


Student writing: access, regulation, desire (2001-04-26)
Lillis, Theresa M.
Literacies
ISBN : 415228026 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : UK


Problematizing English as the Privileged Language of Global Academic Publishing (2017-11-22)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
In: Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa eds. Global Academic Publishing: Policies, Perspectives and Pedagogies (pp. 1-20)
ISBN : 978-1-78309-922-1 | Publisher : Multilingual Matters | Published : Clevedon


Professional writers’ identities: the perceived influence of formal education and early learning (2016-11-22)
Cremin, Teresa; Lillis, Theresa; Myhill, Debra and Eyres, Ian
In: Cremin, Teresa and Locke, Terry eds. Writer Identity and the Teaching and Learning of Writing (pp. 19-36)
ISBN : 9781138945715 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York


Academic writing for publication in a multilingual world (2016-09)
Lillis, Theresa and Curry, Mary Jane
In: Manchón, Rosa M. and Matsuda, Paul Kei eds. Handbook of Second and Foreign Language Writing. Communication Competence Language and Communication Problems Practical Solutions (pp. 201-222)
ISBN : 978-1-61451-133-5 | Publisher : De Gruyter | Published : Boston/Berlin


Academic Literacies: a critical lens on writing and reading in the academy (2016-01-25)
Lillis, Theresa and Tuck, Jackie
In: Hyland, Ken and Shaw, Philip eds. The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes. Routledge Handbooks (pp. 30-43)
ISBN : 9781138774711 | Publisher : Routledge


Creativity in political discourse (2016)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Hann, David and Lillis, Theresa eds. The politics of langauge and creativity in a globalised world (pp. 65-113)
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


English medium writing for academic purposes: foundational categories, certainty and contingency (2012-01-12)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Tang, Ramona ed. Academic writing in a second or foreign language: Issues and challenges facing ESL / EFL academic writers in higher education contexts (pp. 235-247)
ISBN : 978-1-4411-1216-3. | Publisher : Continuum | Published : London


Making professional academic writing practices visible: Designing research-based heuristics to support English-medium text production (2010-05)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa
In: Harwood, Nigel ed. English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (pp. 321-345)
ISBN : 9780521198561 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge


Bringing writers' voices to writing research: Talk around texts (2009)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Carter, Awena; Lillis, Theresa and Parkin, Sue eds. Why Writing Matters: Issues of Acess and Identity in Writing Research and Pedagogy. Studies in Written Language and Literacy (12) (pp. 169-187)
ISBN : 9789027218070 | Publisher : Benjamins | Published : Amsterdam


La circulation de perspectives socioculturelles états-uniennes et britanniques : traitments de l'écrit dans le supérieur (2009)
Brereton, John; Donahue, Christiane; Gannett, Cinthia; Lillis, Theresa and Scott, Mary
In: Daunay, Bertrand; Delcambre, Isabelle and Reuter, Yves eds. Didatique du Français, le Socioculturel en Question. Éducation et Didactiques (pp. 51-68)
ISBN : 978-2-75740-090-6 | Publisher : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion | Published : Villeneuve d'Ascq


Academic writing in English (2007-03)
Hewings, Ann; Lillis, Theresa and Mayor, Barbara
In: Mercer, Neil; Swann, Joan and Mayor, Barbara eds. Learning English (pp. 227-252)
ISBN : 978-0-415-37687-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK


'Academic Literacies' Research as Pedagogy: Dialogues of Participation (2006)
Lillis, T.M.
In: Ganobscik-Williams, Lisa ed. Teaching academic writing in UK Higher Education : Theories, practices and models. Universities into the 21st Century
ISBN : 9781403945341 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Basingstoke, Hampshire


Readers and Writers (2006)
Lillis, T.
In: Goodman, Sharon and O'Halloran, Kieran eds. The Art of English: literary creativity (pp. 414-462)
ISBN : 9781403985606 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London


Academic writing (2006)
Lillis, Theresa and North, Sarah
In: Potter, Stephen ed. Doing postgraduate research (2nd ed). Open University series (pp. 114-151)
ISBN : 9781412924047 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London


Communicative competence (2005-11)
Lillis, T. M.
In: Brown, Keith ed. Encyclopedia of language and linguistics (2nd ed) (pp. 666-673)
ISBN : 9780080442990 | Publisher : Elsevier | Published : Oxford


Student status and the question of choice in academic writing (2005-07)
Lillis, T. and Ramsey, M.
In: Herrington, Margaret and Kendall, Alex eds. Insights from Research and Practice: A Handbook for Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL Practitioners
ISBN : 9781862012448 | Publisher : NIACE | Published : Leicester, UK


Introduction: mapping the traditions of a social perspective on language and literacy (2003)
Lillis, Theresa
In: Goodman, Sharon; Lillis, Theresa; Maybin, Janet and Mercer, Neil eds. Language, literacy and education: a reader (xiii-xxii)
Publisher : Trentham Books | Published : Stoke On Trent, UK


Global academic publishing: policies, perspectives and pedagogies (2017)
Curry, Mary Jane and Lillis, Theresa eds.
Studies in knowledge production and participation
ISBN : 978-1-78309-922-1 | Publisher : Multilingual Matters | Published : Clevedon


Working With Academic Literacies: Case Studies Towards Transformative Practice (2016-10)
Lillis, Theresa; Harrington, Kathy; Lea, Mary and Mitchell, Sally eds.
Perspectives on writing
ISBN : 9781602357624 | Publisher : The WAC Clearinghouse/Parlor Press | Published : Fort Collins, Colorado


The Politics of Language and Creativity in a Globalised World (2016)
Hann, David and Lillis, Theresa eds.
ISBN : 9781473003743 | Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


Applied linguistics methods: A reader (2009-08)
Coffin, C.; Lillis, T. and O'Halloran, K. eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-54545-7 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK


Why Writing Matters: Issues of access and identity in writing research and pedagogy (2009)
Carter, Awena; Lillis, Theresa and Parker, Sue eds.
Studies in Written Language and Literacy
ISBN : 9789027218070 | Publisher : John Benjamins Publishing Company | Published : Amsterdam, Netherlands


Re-designing English (2007)
Goodman, Sharon; Graddol, David and Lillis, Theresa eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-37689-1 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK


Exploring the core ‘preoccupation’ of professional social work writing: A corpus-assisted discourse study (2019)
Leedham, Maria; Lillis, Theresa and Twiner, Alison
In : International Corpus Linguistics Conference 2019 (26-29 Jul 2019, Cardiff University, UK)


Creating a corpus of social workers’ writing: Methodological challenges, representational issues and analytical concerns (2018)
Leedham, Maria; Lillis, Theresa and Twiner, Alison
In : 4th Corpora and Discourse International Conference (22-24 Jun 2018, Lancaster University)


Writing in contemporary social work: texts, technologies and trajectories (2017-09-01)
Lillis, Theresa; Leedham, Maria and Twiner, Alison
In : BAAL2017: British Association for Applied Linguistics Conference (31 Aug - 02 Sep 2017, University of Leeds, UK)


Combining ethnography and corpus to research writing practices in social work: challenges and opportunities in methodology, epistemology and application (2016-11)
Lillis, Theresa; Leedham, Maria and Twiner, Alison
In : ALAPP 2016 (Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice Conference) (3-5 Nov 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark)


‘If it’s not written down it didn’t happen’: Social worker perspectives on contemporary writing and recording demands (2016-07)
Lillis, T.; Leedham, M.; Twiner, A.; Moore, J. and Whitehead, M.
In : Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference (JSWEC) 2016 (15 Jul 2016, Milton Keynes)


The impact of global English on local knowledge production psychology in four national contexts (2008)
Lillis, Theresa; Hewings, Ann and Curry, Mary Jane
In : GlobEng: International Conference on Global English (14-16 Feb 2008, Polo Zanotto, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)


Writing in professional social work practice in a changing communicative landscape (WISP) (2017-11-01)
Lillis, Theresa
Impact 2017(9) pp.61-63, Science Impact Ltd


The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context (2012)
Lillis, Theresa
ESRC End of Award Report


Trajectories of knowledge production: English medium academic writing for national, transnational and international journals (2008-01)
Lillis, Theresa and Hewings, Ann
ESRC, Swindon, UK.