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Transcript - Elyse Methven’s interdisciplinary PhD research at UTS

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Elyse Methven: My research looks at offensive language crimes. In particular, I look at how the law criminalises language. I studied in both the areas of law and linguistics, so I was able to address both those areas with some great supervisors.

Alastair Pennycook: I was co-supervising Elyse. She came to us from the Law faculty and asked us how we could help in her understanding areas of language use — foul language, swear words and so on.

Thalia Anthony: I’m Elyse’s PhD supervisor. Her PhD was on offensive language, and the expertise I bring is on how crimes are policed. Elyse’s thesis was very uniquely interdisciplinary, so it focused not only on the policing of offensive languages, but how police and the courts interpreted the offensive language.

Elyse: It’s quite a progressive university, and it encourages interdisciplinary research.

Alastair: It always takes a bit of work to work across different disciplines, because we talk about things in different ways, we have some different knowledge bases, but it’s generally very productive.

Thalia: Supervisors dedicate a lot of time to guiding and mentoring students, and the graduate research school also has a range of modules directed at developing students’ skills in methodology, but also their approach to developing an academic career.

Elyse: UTS also provided me the opportunity to do a teaching fellowship here, so I taught criminal law for a number of years. That then provided me with the opportunity to further my qualifications in academia, and I eventually was offered a position to be a lecturer at UTS, so I commence that position in 2017.