Karen Stollznow


University of New England · Denver, Colorado

Dr. Karen Stollznow is a lecturer in linguistics at the University of New England, Australia. She has a PhD in linguistics from the School of Behavioral, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England (2007). Her PhD dissertation is: Key Words in the Discourse of Discrimination: A Semantic Analysis.

Karen has worked at a number of tertiary institutions, including San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Visiting Scholar.  She has taught a variety of topics in linguistics, including semantics, cross-cultural communication and second language acquisition. She was formerly a Research Associate for the Script Encoding Initiative, a joint venture between Unicode and the Department of Linguistics at UC, Berkeley. This project aimed to encode endangered ancient and modern writing systems into the Unicode Standard, so they will survive the digital age.

Karen’s research interests include semantics, pragmatics, cognitive linguistics, and cross-cultural communication, with a specific focus on language and discrimination. She is also interested in folk linguistics and myths about language and linguistics. Her most recent publication is “‘How many languages do you speak?’ Perceptions and misconceptions of linguistics and linguists.” (Lingua, 2018)

Karen has also worked as an independent researcher and a consultant linguist in the corporate sector. She has been a columnist, a podcaster, and a writer and editor for various scientific magazines and journals. A prolific author and skeptical writer, she was the Good Word columnist for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Bad Language columnist for Skeptic magazine. Karen has published numerous articles and a number of popular books, including God Bless America and Would You Believe It? Her most recent scholarly books include Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), The Language of Discrimination (Lincom, 2017) and her forthcoming book Why Is That Offensive? Discrimination and Prejudice in Everyday Language. (MIT, 2018)

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Topics: Skepticism
Subtopics: Alternative medicine, Conspiracy theories, Paranormal & fringe-science claims, Pseudoscience, Skeptic movement

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