Dr Jessica Bradley
BA (Hons), MA, PhD
School of Education
Programme Director of the BA Education, Culture and Childhood
EdD Deputy Programme Director
+44 114 222 8154
Full contact details
School of Education
2 Whitham Road
- Research interests
Jessica’s research mainly focuses on how people make the new from the everyday. She explores everyday creativity and engagements with the mundane, approaching from different disciplinary perspectives including creative practice, applied linguistics and ethnography. Underpinning all her research is attention to interactions, texts and materiality in terms of artworks and creative outputs.
She has led and participated in a range of research projects, including international
research collaborations. Her research sits firmly at the intersections of language and the arts - she was co-founder and co-convenor of the AILA Research Network in Creative Inquiry and Applied Linguistics from 2018-2021, with Lou Harvey and Emilee Moore. Her work in the network was pivotal for bringing creative arts-focused research into the field of Applied Linguistics - making space for creative collaborations and expanding beyond more traditional research contexts. She has written about this with Lou Harvey here, here and with Lou Harvey and Gameli Tordzro here. The AILA network has now been merged with the AHRC LILA (Learning at the Intersections of Language and the Arts) network, for which she was advisor and key contributor. She organised and led a double international colloquium at the AILA World Congress in Groningen, Netherlands, 2020 (rescheduled to 2021 due to COVID19). With Lou Harvey she was successfully awarded funding from BAAL and Cambridge University Press to run a two-day seminar on creative inquiry in July 2019. Her work in this area has international reach and she is regularly invited to be keynote speaker at conferences, to give research seminars and as invited lecturer, including at Jyväskylä University since 2016.
One of her current research projects focuses on the activities of arts organisations in a post-pandemic world, and she is lead researcher and evaluator for the ‘Re-Emerge’ arts and health programme led by The Art House, Wakefield. You can read about the project here, and about a summer exhibition for ArtWalk Wakefield here.
Recent research projects have included ‘Multilingual Streets: Translating and Curating the Linguistic Landscape’ (2019-2021) which explores young people’s engagement with language diversity in public spaces and brings together creative practice with the study of linguistic landscapes (funded by AHRC OWRI Cross Language Dynamics Reshaping Community flexible funding). With colleagues Becky Parry, Yinka Olusoga, Fiona Scott, Catherine Bannister and Julia Bishop she researched children’s engagements with a digital storytelling app for the StoryBox project, funded by AHRC XR Stories and led by a Yorkshire based games developer (2020-2022).
Her book, co-edited with Emilee Moore (UAB) and James Simpson (University of Leeds) and published by Multilingual Matters, considers collaborative relationships, processes and outcomes in research in linguistically diverse contexts.
Her AHRC-funded doctoral research was carried out in the School of Education at the University of Leeds, as part of the TLANG project: ‘Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities’. Her doctoral research (eg, Bradley & Moore, 2018; Bradley, 2017a; Bradley 2020) in the UK and Slovenia explored dynamic communication in the context of community arts and, specifically, street arts. Her PhD investigated how street artists work together to create productions and perform, using the sociolinguistic concept of ‘translanguaging’ as a lens. Although applied linguistics-based, her thesis took her in different directions, including towards folklore and story-telling.
While a student at Leeds, she developed and co-led a series of arts-based projects, focused on language and migration. These include the AHRC-Connected Communities-funded ‘Migration and Home: Welcome in Utopia’ project which used multimodal and arts-informed approaches to understandings of ‘welcome’. This was part of the Connected Communities Utopias 2016 Festival (e.g. McKay & Bradley, 2016) and led to the ESRC-funded ‘Migration and Settlement: Extending the Welcome’ (2016-2017, Leeds Social Science Institute) which investigated arts-informed practice and adult migrant language education. These projects have developed into research around ‘Belonging’, at the intersection of applied linguistics and creative inquiry and she is external advisor for the Navigating Belonging research project led by James Simpson at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In 2019 she co-curated an exhibition with Louise Atkinson and Zhu Hua, ‘Visual Representations of Multilingualism’ which showcased artworks which engage with multilingualism and living multilingually.
You can find out more about Jessica’s academic research and teaching on her website here.
- Translanguaging as transformation : the collaborative construction of new linguistic realities. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
- Belonging-in Interaction: Expressing and performing translocal belongings through language and arts practice. Applied Linguistics.
- Epilogue: Intercultural dialogue, the arts, and (im)possibilities. Language Teaching Research, 27(2), 359-367.
- Beyond and besides language : intercultural communication and creative practice. Language and Intercultural Communication, 22(2), 103-110.
- Embracing the unpredictable effect of one person: an interview with Professor Keri Facer. Literacy, 56(1), 86-92.
- Editorial. Literacy, 56(1), 1-2.
- Call for Papers for the Special Issue of Literacy: Storytelling in troubled times: multimodal, multilingual and multimedia. Literacy, 54(3), 158-159.
- Resemiotisation from page to stage: translanguaging and the trajectory of a musilingual youth’s poem. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 23(1), 49-64.
- Driving social mobility? Competitive collaboration in degree apprenticeship development. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 9(2), 164-174.
- Ethnography and Modern Languages. Modern Languages Open, 1, 1-16.
- Translanguaging space and creative activity : theorising collaborative arts-based learning. Language and Intercultural Communication, 18(1), 54-73.
- Translanguaging engagement: Dynamic multilingualism and university language engagement programmes. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 10(4), 9-31.
- Communication in the contact zone : the TLANG project and ESOL. Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, 27(2), 4-18.
- How does arts practice engage with narratives of migration from refugees? Lessons from ‘utopia’. Journal of Arts & Communities, 8(1-2), 31-46.
- Walking with?: Understandings of and negotiations of the mundane in research. Applied Linguistics Review.
- Conversation through art In Ainsworth S, Griffiths D, McCrory G & Pahl K (Ed.), Multimodality and Multilingualism: Towards an Integrative Approach Bristol: Multilingual Matters (Channel View Publications).
- Visual representations of multilingualism : exploring aesthetic approaches to communication in a fine art context In Lytra V, Ros i Sole C, Anderson J & Macleroy V (Ed.), Decentring Language Education Bristol: Multilingual Matters (Channel View Publications).
- Translanguaging across space and place : concept and context In Mar-Molinero C (Ed.), Researching Language in Superdiverse Urban Contexts: Exploring Methodological and Theoretical Concepts Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
- Ethnography, arts production and performance : meaning-making in and for the street In Lähdesmäki T, Koskinen-Koivisto E, Ceginskas VLA & Koistinen A-K (Ed.), Challenges and Solutions in Ethnographic Research : Ethnography with a Twist Routledge
- Introduction. Translanguaging as Transformation: The Collaborative Construction of New Linguistic Realities In Bradley J, Moore E & Simpson J (Ed.), Translanguaging as Transformation: The Collaborative Construction of New Linguistic Realities (pp. 1-14). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
- Translanguaging as bricolage : meaning making and collaborative ethnography in community arts In Moore E, Bradley J & Simpson J (Ed.), Translanguaging as transformation: The collaborative construction of new linguistic realities (pp. 135-154). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
- Creative inquiry in applied linguistics : language, communication and the arts In Wright C, Harvey L & Simpson J (Ed.), Voice and Practices in Applied Linguistics : Diversifying a Discipline (pp. 91-107). York: White Rose University Press.
- Negative translanguaging space : mobility and immobility in inner-city Leeds In Horner K & Dailey-O'Cain J (Ed.), Multilingualism, (Im)Mobilities and Spaces of Belonging (pp. 145-164). Bristol: Channel View Publications / Multilingual Matters.
- Resemiotisation and creative production: Extending the translanguaging lens. In Sherris A & Adami E (Ed.), Making signs, translanguaging ethnographies: Exploring urban, rural, and educational spaces. (pp. 91-111). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
- Liquid methodologies : researching the ephemeral in multilingual street performance In Conteh J (Ed.), Researching Education for Social Justice in Multilingual Settings : Ethnographic Principles in Qualitative Research (pp. 153-171). London: Bloomsbury.
- Re-Emerge at Wakefield ArtWalk. The Art House Wakefield.
- Visual representations of multilingualism exhibition. Annual Meeting of British Association for Applied Linguistics - Manchester Met University.
- https://medium.com/soeresearch/re-emerge-at-artwalk-wakefield-july-2022-20eeb15063ac Re-Emerge at ArtWalk, Wakefield, July 2022. Retrieved from
- https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ihuman/re-emerge Re-Emerge? Different perspectives on the experiences of parents during Covid19 and the opportunities of creativity. Retrieved from
- Re-emerge : reflecting on the Maternal Journal training workshop.
- https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ihuman/news/multilingual-streets-translating-and-curating-linguistic-landscape Multilingual streets: translating and curating the linguistic landscape. Retrieved from
- https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ihuman/news/reflections-transdisciplinary-approaches-multilingualism-pre-and-post-covid19 Reflections on transdisciplinary approaches to multilingualism, pre- and post- COVID19. Retrieved from
- https://panmemic.hypotheses.org/534 [un]public spaces and the ethnographic [un]imagination. Retrieved from
- http://croboarts.org/crossing-borders-creating-spaces-for-belonging-through-a-co-produced-exhibition/ Crossing Borders : Creating spaces for belonging through a co-produced exhibition. Retrieved from
- Special Issue: Beyond and besides language: Intercultural communication and creative practice. Language and Intercultural Communication.
Theses / Dissertations
- Transformations through sport : the case of capoeira and basketball.
- Meaning making and collaborative ethnography in transdisciplinary arts. Working Papers in Translanguaging and Translation, 23.
- Liquid methodologies : using a linguistic ethnographic approach to study multilingual phenomena.
- Translanguaging business: Unpredictability and precarity in superdiverse inner city Leeds. Working Papers in Translanguaging and Translation, 4.
- Heritage with no fixed abode : transforming cultural heritage for migrant communities in inner-city Leeds. Working Papers in Translanguaging and Translation, 15.
- The art of the linguistic landscape: lived experiences of the everyday.
- Re-Emerge? New parents, COVID19 and Creativity. The Art House Wakefield.
- Invited research talk: 'Participatory arts and young people’s lived experience of multilingualism', FORTHEM Multilingualism in School and Higher Education Lab’s Citizen Science in Schools Workshop & Autumn Meeting, Jyväskylä University, Finland. Tuesday 11 October 2022.. Jyvaskyla University, Finland.
‘LangScape Curators’ was initially funded by the University of Leeds (e.g. Bradley et al., 2018) and its follow-on project, ‘Multilingual Streets’ is funded by the AHRC OWRI Cross-Language Dynamics programme in collaboration with the University of Manchester.
This project uses co-productive methodologies and arts-informed practice with young people to develop understandings of linguistic landscapes and sits at the intersection of applied linguistics, modern languages and creative inquiry. It also aims to disrupt linear notions of impact and engagement, considering engagement itself as research practice and epistemology.
- Teaching interests
Jessica is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (awarded January 2022). At Sheffield she has been Programme co-Director of the BA Education, Culture and Childhood since 2020 and Deputy Director of the EdD since 2022. She teaches across undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral programmes within the School, including distance learning. At undergraduate level she contributes to EDU105 Critical Curriculum Study and leads EDU305 Participatory Research with Children. She developed and led EDU61005 Researching Digital Childhoods for the MA Digital Literacies, Culture and Education since 2020 and contributes to the MA Education. She co-leads EDU410 Educational Research – Theory and Practice at EdD level. She supervises dissertations at BA and MA level.
Prior to joining the University of Sheffield, she was Lecturer in Linguistics and Education at Leeds Trinity University where she convened and taught on modules in Research Methods in Education and Linguistics, Sociology of Education, Child Language Acquisition, Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics and Action Research for teachers. She has also taught at the University of Leeds and from 2005-2012 she was actively involved in the Linguists into Schools module.
At doctoral level she supervises students undertaking full-time and part-time PhDs and EdDS. Current and recent doctoral projects include young people’s experiences of transitions and aspiration, primary school children’s digital game playing, autoethnographic approaches to Pokemon Go, photography education, architecture and urban planning pedagogies and young children’s engagements with digital apps. She has experience supervising students to completion, examining doctoral theses and successful applications for doctoral funding, for example the WRDTP Collaborative Award (2021).
- Professional activities and memberships
Research network activities
- Co-convenor of the AILA international research network ‘Creative Inquiry and Applied Linguistics’ with Lou Harvey at the University of Leeds and Emilee Moore at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
- Co-organiser of ‘Visual Representations of Multilingualism’ visual arts competition as representative of AILA Network for Creative Inquiry and Applied Linguistics, working with the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), Multilingual Matters and CuratorSpace (led by Zhu Hua, Birkbeck and BAAL Executive). See also: https://www.curatorspace.com/about/news/visual-representations-of-multilingualism-competition/40.
- Co-applicant for BAAL-CUP seminar ‘Creative Inquiry in Applied Linguistics: Purposes, Practices, Possibilities’ (10-11 July 2019). (Lead Applicant, Lou Harvey, University of Leeds).