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David Block

David Block

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


I am ICREA Research Professor in Sociolinguistics in the Departament d'Humanitats, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where I am a member of the Grup de Recerca en Espais Interculturals, Llengües i Identitats (GREILI). I am also in the Grup de Recerca en Aprenentatge i Ensenyament de Llengües (GR@EL; Facultat de Traducció). I am Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (UK); Visiting Professor at University College London, Institute of Education; and editor of the Routledge book series Language, Society and Political Economy. I joined ICREA in September 2012 after 16 years at University College London Institute of Education, where I was Professor of Languages in Education. Prior to that, I worked in Barcelona for 18 years, teaching English in centres such as ESADE, and teaching Applied Linguistics at the Universitat de Barcelona and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. I completed my PhD at the University Lancaster (UK) in 1995.  

Research interests

In recent years, I have focused primarily on the dominant form of capitalism in the early 21st century (AKA neoliberalism) and the inequality and class warfare it has wrought from a sociolinguistic perspective. My most recent work examines four different aspects of contemporary society: (1) ‘post-truth’ and related concepts and the critical analysis of discourses in the hyper-mediatised, toxic-informational environment in which we live; (2) the internationalization and Englishization of higher education worldwide as part of the broader neoliberalization of societies; (3) new ways of framing discussions of the construct ‘identity’ in the early 21stcentury (e.g. incorporating historical materialism and Marxist humanism); and (4) the roots and routes of intersectionality, via memoirs, biographies and other accounts of African American history and sociology and, in particular, Black feminism.

Selected publications

Block D 2021 ‘Emergent STEM lecturer identities: The shaping effects of EMI in action in an internationalised and Englishised HE context’, Language Teaching, vol 54, no. 3, pp  388-406.

–   Block D & Khan S, eds, 2021, The secret life of English-medium instruction in higher education: Examining microphenomena in context, Routledge, London

Block D 2021, ‘The linguistic division of labour across occupations: Moving the discussion on’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language. no. 2070, pp 115-122.

– Moncada-Comas B & Block D 2021, ‘CLILised EMI in practice: Issues arising’, Language Learning Journal, vol. 49, no. 6, pp 686-698.

Block D & Mancho-Barès G 2021, ‘NOT English teachers, except when they are: The curious case of oral presentation evaluation rubrics’, in Block D & Khan S (eds) The Secret life of English-medium instruction in higher education: Examining microphenomena in context , Rouitledge, London, pp. 96-119.

Selected research activities

*Finished the book Innovations and Challenges in Identity Research (Routledge, 2022). The secret life of English-medium instruction in higher education: Examining microphenomena in context (Routledge; co-edited with Sarah Khan) appeared in February 2021.

*14 papers given at conferences and in university departments in Spain (5), United Kingdom (5), United States (2), South Korea (1) and Hong Kong (1).

*Editor, Routledge book series Language, Society and Political Economy. Two titles published in 2021: (1) Petrovic J & Yazan B (eds.), The commodification of language: Conceptual concerns and empirical manifestations and (2) O’Regan J, Global English and political economy.

*Associate Editor, Applied Linguistics Review.

*Reviewing academic journal articles, grant proposals and book proposals for international publishers and funding agencies.

*Teaching Critical discourse analysis in the post-truth age, Identity in the 21st century, Research methodologies

*Ongoing PhD supervision (4 students)

ICREA Memoir 2021