Dr Val Jessop

I am the programme leader for the B.A. Joint Honours pathways and personal tutor and dissertation supervisor for students taking English Language. I have worked as a lecturer in Higher Education at Blackburn College for 21 years. Prior to this I ran my own business and worked in child-care and later for the NHS. I returned to education as a mature student when my children went to school, and gained my doctorate from Lancaster University where I conducted primary research into readers’ responses to fictional characters.  I am co-author of the student text-book, ‘English Language, Literature and Creative Writing: a practical guide for students’ published by Anthem Press (2014).

During my time at UCBC I have taught on a wide range of courses at all levels. My specialist subject is Linguistics, and I teach mostly Sociolinguistics, Stylistics, Semiotics and Text analysis, but I have also taught Education Studies, and have supervised dissertations in various subjects across the School of Art and Society. I am also chair of the University Centre’s Ethical Research Group. My research interests are wide-ranging; in addition to continuing to explore the way that readers interact with fiction, I am interested in the language of dementia and mental health and, more recently, the gendered representation of leisure pursuits.  This has evolved into research into language and Social History and has led to my involvement in the current project on WWII which is described below. In 2019 I presented a conference paper at the Recording Leisure Lives conference held at the University of Bolton on language during war time and its reflection of social stereotypes and hierarchies. In the past however I have presented conference papers on topics as diverse as mountaineering literature, characterisation in the Bronte novels and the plays of Arthur Miller.

Contact Details

Tel: 01254 292910

Email: valerie.jessop@blackburn.ac.uk

Qualifications
  • PhD Linguistics
  • MA (Distinction) in Women’s Studies and English
  • BA (Hons) (1st class) English and Linguistics
  • PGCE
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Recent Research Projects

WW2 East Lancashire Childhoods: Sharing Stories, Making Memories (2019-2020) – a Heritage Lottery Funded project which aims to encourage the sharing and recording of intergenerational ‘conversations’ by, and for, the community of East Lancashire. In addition to jointly organising, coordinating and collating the outcomes of the project, my role has been to liaise with Blackburn Children’s University to organise activities for the children and older residents participating in the project, and to transcribe a series of interviews conducted with residents in the local community. The project aims to capture and share memories of childhoods in East Lancashire during the Second World War, creating a digital archive of stories for both current and future generations.

Recent Publications & Other Research Outputs

‘Creating Independent Learners’, research project reported in the Higher Education Academy ‘Compendium of Effective learning (2015).

Teaching Programmes

BA (Hons) English Language and Literary Studies

BA Joint Honours (New Pathways) English Language

Access to HE: Education Pathways Diploma