Dr Clara Neary

Senior Lecturer in English Language


BSc, BA, MA, PhD (Queen’s University Belfast), PGC Learning and Teaching (HE), FHEA.


I joined the Department of English at the University of Chester as a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics in September 2012. Previously, I taught at Queen’s University, Belfast, where I also completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

My doctorate, awarded by Queen’s in 2011, was positioned at the juncture of literature and linguistics and undertook a stylistic analysis of Gandhi’s autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940). I am a member of PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association) and of EACLALS (European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies).


I have taught on English language courses on topics ranging from varieties of English to child language acquisition; the history of the English language; language, society and power; and stylistics. I have also taught on a range of English literature modules covering medieval, early modern, eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary texts. Currently, I teach text analysis-based modules ranging from first year introductory text analysis to explorations of creativity in English Language use in second year and specialist modules on Cognitive Stylistics and English and Media Discourse at final year undergraduate level.

In the current academic year I teach on and/or convene the following modules:

  • EN4302 Language and Text
  • EN5303 Creativity in English
  • EN6302 English and Media Discourse
  • EN6308 Cognitive Stylistics
  • EN6310 Dissertation (English Language)



My research interests are interdisciplinary in nature, situated at the interface of English language and literature and cover the areas of Stylistics; Cognitive Stylistics; Indian Literature in English; Life-Writing; and Postcolonial/Global Literatures. I have published on topics within Cognitive Stylistics including: point of view and modality; cognitive grammar approaches to literary texts; and narrative empathy.

Published work

Gandhi’s autobiography: self-promotion down to a fine art”. The Irish Times, 15th August 2017. Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/gandhi-s-autobiography-self-promotion-down-to-a-fine-art-1.3179478

‘“Truth is like a vast tree”: Metaphor use in Gandhi’s autobiographical narration’ (2017). Metaphor and the Social World, 7(1), 103 –121.

‘Profiling the Flight of ‘The Windhover’ (2014). In Harrison, C., Nuttall, L., Stockwell, P. and Yuan, W. (eds) Cognitive Grammar in Literature. Linguistic Approaches to Literature Series. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

‘Stylistics, Point of View and Modality’ (2014). In M. Burke (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics. London: Routledge.

‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth(1940)’. The Literary Encyclopedia (May 2014).

‘Negotiating Narrative Empathy in Gandhi's Life-Writing.’ Presented at PALA 2010 ‘The Language of Landscapes’ Conference: July 2010, Genoa, Italy. Published as part of Online Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA).  2010. (PALA).

‘Gandhi’s “Split Selves”: Experimenting with Experiments with Truth (1945).’ Presented at PALA 2009 ‘The Art of Stylistics’ Conference: July 2009, Middelburg, Netherlands. [Awarded the 2010 Longman Prize for Best Student Research Paper]. Published as part of Online Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA). 2009

Conference Papers / Presentations

‘Text, Intertext, Paratext: The Creative Text Worlds of Sterne's Tristram Shandy’. Collaboration with Prof. Derek Alsop. Presented at PALA 2015 ‘Creative Style’ Conference: University of Kent, Canterbury, July 2015.

‘Testing Text World Theory: Tristram Shandy.’ Collaboration with Prof. Derek Alsop. Presented at University of Chester Departmental Research Seminar,pril 2015.

‘“the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!’ Using Cognitive Grammar to pin down “The Windhover”’. Cognitive Futures 2015 ‘Forging Futures from the Past: History and Cognition’:

Oxford University, April 2015.

Buckle! A Cognitive Grammar profile of Hopkins’s ‘The Windhover’’. Presented at PALA 2014 ‘Everybody’s Got Style! Testing the Boundaries of Contemporary Stylistics’ Conference: July 2014, University of Maribor, Slovenia.

‘Religious and Stylistic Mobility: Using Cognitive Metaphor Theory to uproot “the canker of untruth” in Gandhi’s autobiography.’ Presented at PALA 2013 ‘Mobile Stylistics’ Conference: July 2013, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

‘“To love the meanest of creation as oneself”: Empathetic engagement with Gandhi: a cogni-corpus stylistic approach.’ Presented at University of Huddersfield Departmental Research Seminar, 24th April 2013.

‘Empathetic Engagement with the life-writing of M.K. Gandhi: a cognitive and corpus stylistic analysis.’ Presented at ‘Cognitive Futures in the Humanities’ Conference: Bangor University, 4th – 6th April 2013.

‘Taking a gander at Gandhi: a cognitive stylistic analysis of The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940).’ Presented at University of Chester Departmental Research Seminar, March 2013.

 ‘“The canker of untruth”: Exploring Metaphor Use in Gandhi’s Life-Writing’. Presented at ILinC ‘Crossing Boundaries: The Impact of Language Studies in Academia and Beyond’ Conference: Oct 2011, Queen’s University Belfast.

‘Negotiating Narrative Empathy in Gandhi's Life-Writing.’  Presented at PALA 2010 ‘The Language of Landscapes’ Conference: July 2010, University of Genoa, Italy.

‘Experimenting with Identity in Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1945).’ Presented at ‘Framing the Self: Anxieties of Identity in Literature and Culture, 1800 to the present day' Conference: University of Portsmouth, May 2010.