ISLE Summer School

 ISLE Summer School 2019 – "Using the Past to Explain the Present"

The 2019 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. Other speakers/facilitators have also expressed an interest in participating.

The School will begin with Registration at 1400 on Monday 24th June. A keynote lecture on the current state of English historical linguistics will be followed by networking opportunities including a 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.

A limited number of bursaries are available for early career researchers to support their attendance at part or all of the workshop. Expenses are available for those members of ISLE who might be interested in contributing to this topic. The School will be held at the Kelvin Conference Centre (which also includes accommodation), for which see: 

For English Language and Linguistics at Glasgow, see: 
A Summer School website, with the finalised timetable, will appear in January 2019; the URL will be forwarded to all ISLE members and to all those who have expressed an interest in participating. For further details, please contact Jeremy Smith directly:

Previous ISLE Summer/Spring Schools

ISLE Summer School 2017 – "Variation in World Englishes: advanced issues in theory and methodology"

The ISLE 2017 Summer School took place in Regensburg, Germany from 4-7 October 2017.

ISLE 2017 Summer School website

ISLE Summer School 2016 – "Methods in English Linguistics"

The ISLE 2016 Summer School took place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from 13 to 16 June 2016.

ISLE 2016 Summer School website

ISLE (Post-)Doctoral Spring School 2013 – "Englishes in a Multilingual World: New Dynamics of Variation, Contact and Change"

The ISLE (Post-)Doctoral Spring School 2013 took place in Freiburg, Germany from 15 to 19 April 2013.

ISLE 2013 Spring School website