Professor Tope Omoniyi's guest lectures, 24 & 26 May 2010

The Sociolinguistics of Virtual Romance

Professor Tope Omoniyi (Roehampton University, UK)


Professor Tope Omoniyi will visit our department in May and will give two guest lectures on the topic 'The Sociolinguistics of Virtual Romance'. The lectures are open to all and no registration is required.

Time & venue:

Mon 24 May, 10-13, room t.b.a.

Wed 26 May, 12-15, room t.b.a.


The Sociolinguistics of Virtual Romance

Tope Omoniyi

In the first lecture, I propose to look at emails as an 'ethnographic' site in which romantic relationships are solicited and negotiated as a genuine social practice as well as a fraudulent activity (cf. Blommaert and Omoniyi 2006). I shall draw on recent scholarship on globalization, Bourdieu's 'field' and 'habitus' and Jurgen Habermas's 'lifeworld' in an attempt to provide appropriate theoretical framing for the subject as a sociolinguistic enterprise. I shall explore the possibility of locating this social practice in the recent discussion of 'historical body and historical space' (Blommaert and Huang 2010) as a way of understanding the construction of stereotypes (cf. From Russia With Love). The second lecture will be devoted to working with data.

Professor Tope Omoniyi was appointed to the Chair of Sociolinguistics in the School of Arts at Roehampton University in 2007 and currently he is also the director of the Centre for Research in English Language and Linguistics. He has published in the areas of borderland sociolinguistics, language policies, politics and education, language and identity, language and popular culture especially hip-hop and Nollywood films, and World Englishes. Recent publications include The Sociolinguistics of Identity (2008, Continuum, co-edited with Goodith White), The Sociology of Language and Religion: Change, Conflict and Accommodation (2010, Palgrave Macmillan) and the forthcoming Sociolinguistics in Africa (Multilingual Matters, co-authored with Nkonko Kamwangamalu and Sinfree Makoni).