Professor Jane Hodson

Professor of English Language and Literature
Deputy Head of School


Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA


My research interests lie at the interface of language and literature, and I am interested in the way in which style is contested at an ideological level. As a linguist I am particularly concerned with the Later Modern English and Historical Sociolinguistics. As a literary scholar my specialism lies in prose of the Romantic period.

My first degree was in English at Leeds University, where I predominantly studied literature, but also took several courses in English Language. Having unexpectedly developed a taste for grammar, I then went to Cambridge University where I did an MPhil in Linguistics before joining the School of English to study for a PhD. This was completed in 2000 and is entitled The Politics of Style: Burke, Wollstonecraft, Paine and Godwin. In it I explore theories of language and practices of language in the French Revolution Debate in England in the 1790s. I published a monograph based upon this work in 2007.

More recently, I have been working on the ways in which dialects and other nonstandard varieties of English are represented in literature, and I have published Dialect in Literature and Film (2014) and the edited volume Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century (2017). I am currently working on new monograph which will deal with the representation of nonstandard language in novels published in the early nineteenth century.

I have a strong interest in communicating academic research to external audiences, and I have worked with Chatsworth, Grimm & Co and the Poetry Business among other organisations. In 2017-18 I was Academic in Residence at Chatsworth.


My current area of interest is in the way in which dialects of English are represented in literature. In 2011 I was awarded a grant by the AHRC to undertake a two-year project on `Dialect in British Fiction 1800-1836'. Since then I have published widely on the subject of dialect representation, including Dialect in Literature and Film (2014) and the edited volume Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century (2017).

I have an ongoing interest in the way in which Yorkshire English has been represented in film and literature over the past 200 years.  In 2013 the University held an exhibition on 'Yorkshire Voices', displaying some of the archival material related to this topic in the University Library.


I enjoy teaching on both the BA in English Language and Literature and the MA in English Language and Linguistics. My level three module ‘Dialect in Film and Literature’ builds on my research interests, and students on that module have worked with me to research topics such as representations of Yorkshire English and dialect in Children's Literature, and to communicate their findings to general audiences.

At graduate level, I contribute to several team-taught modules and co-teach 'Literary Language: History and Culture' with Dr Richard Steadman-Jones. This year in 'Literary Language' we will be exploring Language and Literature in the City. 


I welcome PhD applicants who wish to undertake interdisciplinary work in language and literature, particularly with reference to dialect representation, historical stylistics, and issues of power, politics and gender. 

Recent graduates include:


I am Admissions Officer for BA English Language and Literature (Q304).


  • Hodson, Jane. (2014) Dialect in Film and Literature, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hodson, Jane. (2007) Language and Revolution in Burke, Wollstonecraft, Paine, and Godwin, Aldershot: Ashgate.
Edited volumes
  • Jane Hodson, editor (2017) Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century, Routledge.
  • Anita Auer, Victorina Gonzalez-Diaz, Jane Hodson and Violeta Sotirova, editors (2016) Linguistics and Literary History, John Benjamins.
Articles and chapters
  • Amy Ryall, Jane Hodson & Casey Strine (2017) Everybody Knows: Engaged research and the changing role of the academic. Participations, 14:1. 329-350
  • Hodson, Jane (2016) “Talking like a servant: what nineteenth-century novels can tell us about the social history of the language”. Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics, 2:1, 27-46.
  • Hodson, Jane (2016) “Jane Austen and the Prescriptivists” in Linguistics and Literary History edited by Anita Auer, Victorina Gonzalez-Diaz, Jane Hodson and Violeta Sotirova. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 151-170.
  • Anita Auer, Victorina Gonzalez-Diaz, Jane Hodson and Violeta Sotirova (2016) “Introduction” in Linguistics and Literary History edited by Anita Auer, Victorina Gonzalez-Diaz, Jane Hodson and Violeta Sotirova. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Hodson, Jane (2016) “‘I expect that I prefer them horses considerable beyond the oxen’: American English in British fiction 1800-1836” in Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century edited by Jane Hodson. Abingdon: Routledge, 33-50.
  • Hodosn, Jane (2016) “Introduction” in Dialect and Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century edited by Jane Hodson. Abingdon: Routledge, 33-50
  • Hodson, Jane (2016) “Gothic and the Language of Terror” in Romantic Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion edited by Angela Wright and Dale Townshend. Edinburgh University Press, 289-306.
  • Hodson, Jane (2016) “Dialect in literature” in Companion to Stylistics edited by Violeta Sotirova. London: Bloomsbury, 416-429.
  • Hodson, Jane and Broadhead, Alex (2013) “Developments in literary dialect representation in British fiction 1800–1836” Language and Literature 22:4, 314-332
  • Hodson, Jane (2008) 'Joseph Priestley’s two Rudiments of English Grammar: 1761 and 1768', Grammars, Grammarians and Grammar Writing, edited by Ingrid Tieken-Boon von Ostade, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Hodson, Jane (2007) 'Women write the rights of women: the sexual politics of the personal pronoun in the 1790s' Language and Literature 16:3, 281-304.
  • Hodson, Jane (2006) 'The problem of Joseph Priestley’s (1733-1804) descriptivism' Historiographia Linguistica 33:2, 57-84.
  • Beal, Joan C., Jane Hodson, Richard Steadman-Jones and Carol Percy (2006) 'New approaches to the study of Later Modern English' Historiographia Linguistica 33:1, 1-9.
  • Gavins, J. and Hodson, J. (2006) 'When the Students Become the Teachers: Practical Pedagogical Stylistics with Third Year Undergraduates', in Watson, G. and Zyngier, S. (eds) Literature and Stylistics for Language Learners: Theory and Practice, London: Palgrave, pp.27-36.
  • Hodson, Jane (2002) '"The strongest but most undecorated language": Robinson's rhetorical strategy in Letter to the Women of England', Women’s Writing9:1, 87-105 [Reprinted in Gale's Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Volume 142].
  • Hodson, Jane (2001) 'Language as it is in Caleb Williams' La Questione Romantica 10, 105-117.
  • Hodson, Jane (2000) 'Can a statue breathe? The linguistic (un)coupling of Godwin and Wollstonecraft', Romanticism on the Net 18.