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About Dr Clara Neary

My doctorate, awarded by Queen’s in 2011, is entitled “‘Living after the flesh and the spirit’: Language and Identity in Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940)”. It is positioned at the juncture of literature and linguistics and undertakes a stylistic analysis of Gandhi’s autobiography, focusing on creation of narrative empathy, conceptual metaphor use and ‘split self’ manifestations. 

I am a member of PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association) and of EACLALS (European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies).

I am currently External Examiner of the "Historical & Contextual Studies" undergraduate programme at the University of Wales Trinity St David (Swansea College of Art) (Jan. 2017 - Sept. 2021).


My specialism is in stylistics and discourse analysis. Currently, I teach text analysis-based modules ranging from first year introductory text analysis to explorations of creativity in English Language use in second year and specialist modules in cognitive stylistics at both final year undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In the past, I have taught on English language courses on topics ranging from varieties of English to child language acquisition; the history of the English language; language, society and power; and stylistics. I have also taught on a range of English literature modules covering medieval, early modern, eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century literary texts.

In the current academic year I teach on and/or convene the following modules:

EN4302 Language and Text (convene)
EN5303 Creativity in English (convene)
EN5306 The Power of Language (convene)
EN5316 Advances in English
EN6308 Cognitive Stylistics (convene)
EN6310 Dissertation (English Language) (convene)
EN7402 Approaches to Discourse Analysis
EN7404 Research Methods in English Language and Linguistics (convene)
EN7405 Dissertation
EN7410 Advanced Cognitive Stylistics (convene)


My research interests are interdisciplinary in nature, situated at the interface of English language, literature and cognitive psychology, and cover the areas of Stylistics; Cognitive Stylistics; Indian Literature in English; Life-Writing; and Postcolonial/Global Literatures. I have published on topics within Cognitive Stylistics including: point of view and modality; cognitive grammar approaches to literature; narrative empathy; and conceptual metaphor theory. I have also published on Media English and on Indian Literature in English.

Current projects include the application of cognitive stylistics and cognitive psychology to popular music; researching metaphor use in religious and postcolonial contexts; critical analysis of local tourism discourse; and multimodal stylistic analysis of literary and televisual texts for toddlers.

I welcome proposals for PhD projects in the areas of literary linguistics, Stylistics / Cognitive Stylistics (on both literary and non-literary discourse) and in the area of Indian Literature in English. I am also interested in projects which explore the nature of creativity, particularly in the context of language use.

Published Work

Neary, C. (2021). '"All The Figures I Used to See": Using Cognitive Grammar to Grapple With Rhythmic and Intertextual Meaning-making in Radiohead's "Pyramid Song"'. In Giovanelli, M., Harrison, C. and Nuttall, L. (eds) New Directions in Cognitive Grammar and Style. London: Bloomsbury.

Neary, C. (2019) Book review: The Language of Jane Austen by Joe Bray, 2018. London: Palgrave: pp. 182 ISBN 9783319721613. Language and Literature 28(2).

Neary, C. (2019) '"Please could you stop the noise": the grammar of multimodal meaning-making in Radiohead's "Paranoid Android".  Language and Literature 28(1), 41-60.

Neary, C. (2018) Review: Fire metaphors: Discourses of Awe and Authority by J. Charteris-Black. Metaphor and the Social World, 8(2), 319-325. 

Neary, C. and Ringrow, H. (2018). “Media English”. In Seargeant, P., Hewings, A., & Pihlaja, S. (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of English Language Studies. London: Routledge.

Neary, C. (2017) Gandhi’s autobiography: self-promotion down to a fine art”. The Irish Times, 15th August 2017. Available at:

Neary, C. (2017) ‘“Truth is like a vast tree”: Metaphor use in Gandhi’s autobiographical narration’. Metaphor and the Social World, 7(1), 103 –121.

Neary, C. (2014) ‘Profiling the Flight of ‘The Windhover’. In Harrison, C., Nuttall, L., Stockwell, P. and Yuan, W. (eds) Cognitive Grammar in Literature. Linguistic Approaches to Literature Series. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Neary, C. (2014) ‘Stylistics, Point of View and Modality’. In M. Burke (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics. London: Routledge.

Neary, C. (2014) ‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth(1940)’. The Literary Encyclopedia.

Neary, C. (2010) ‘Negotiating Narrative Empathy in Gandhi's Life-Writing.’ Presented at PALA 2010 ‘The Language of Landscapes’ Conference: July 2010, Genoa, Italy. Published as part of Online Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA).  

Neary, C. (2009) ‘Gandhi’s “Split Selves”: Experimenting with Experiments with Truth (1945).’ Presented at PALA 2009 ‘The Art of Stylistics’ Conference: July 2009, Middelburg, Netherlands. [Awarded the 2010 Longman Prize for Best Student Research Paper]. Published as part of Online Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA). 2009

Conference Papers / Presentations

“ ‘You grind, Miss Dempsey. You measure. You moisten. You heat. You filter.”: coffee and the alchemy of metaphor in Hilary Mantel's Fludd (1989)”. International Association of Literary Semantics Conference 2021: University of Vilnius, Lithuania, 22-24 Oct. 2021. (Collaboration with Dr Eileen Pollard, Manchester Metropolitan University).

“ ‘When we say the night has a velvet darkness, we romance. When we say the soul is black, we are turning a phrase’: metaphors of matter and metaphors that matter in Hilary Mantel’s Fludd (1989)”. PALA 2021 Conference: University of Nottingham, 7-9 July 2021. (Collaboration with Dr Eileen Pollard, Manchester Metropolitan University).

“ ‘It is the curse of the present century, this rage for oversimplification’ ”: The complexity of metaphor, alchemy and Catholicism in Hilary Mantel's Fludd (1989)”. Catholicism and Literary Culture in Scotland, Ireland, and England: Medieval to Modern: A Symposium: University of Glasgow, 1-2 June 2021. (Collaboration with Dr Eileen Pollard, Manchester Metropolitan University).

“All the figures I used to see”: using Cognitive Grammar to grapple with rhythmic and intertextual meaning-making in Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”. PALA 2019 ‘Stylistics without Borders’ Conference: University of Liverpool, July 2019.

“There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt”: how words and music make meaning in Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”. Cognitive Grammar in Stylistics Symposium, Aston University, Sept. 2018.

“Please could you stop the noise”: the grammar of multimodal meaning-making in Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”. PALA 2018 ‘Styles and Methods’ Conference: University of Birmingham, July 2018.

‘The grammar of multimodal meaning-making in Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”. University of Chester Departmental Research Seminar, March 2018.

‘Text, Intertext, Paratext: The Creative Text Worlds of Sterne's Tristram Shandy’. Collaboration with Prof. Derek Alsop. PALA 2015 ‘Creative Style’ Conference: University of Kent, Canterbury, July 2015.

‘Testing Text World Theory: Tristram Shandy.’ Collaboration with Prof. Derek Alsop. University of Chester Departmental Research Seminar, April 2015.

‘“the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!’ Using Cognitive Grammar to pin down “The Windhover”’. Cognitive Futures in the Humanities 2015 ‘Forging Futures from the Past: History and Cognition’: University of Oxford, April 2015.

Buckle! A Cognitive Grammar profile of Hopkins’s ‘The Windhover’’. PALA 2014 ‘Everybody’s Got Style! Testing the Boundaries of Contemporary Stylistics’ Conference: July 2014, University of Maribor, Slovenia.

‘Religious and Stylistic Mobility: Using Cognitive Metaphor Theory to uproot “the canker of untruth” in Gandhi’s autobiography.’ PALA 2013 ‘Mobile Stylistics’ Conference: July 2013, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

‘“To love the meanest of creation as oneself”: Empathetic engagement with Gandhi: a cogni-corpus stylistic approach.’ University of Huddersfield Departmental Research Seminar, 24th April 2013.

‘Empathetic Engagement with the life-writing of M.K. Gandhi: a cognitive and corpus stylistic analysis.’ Cognitive Futures in the Humanities 2013: Bangor University, 4th – 6th April 2013.

‘Taking a gander at Gandhi: a cognitive stylistic analysis of The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1940).’ University of Chester Departmental Research Seminar, March 2013.

 ‘“The canker of untruth”: Exploring Metaphor Use in Gandhi’s Life-Writing’. ILinC 2011 ‘Crossing Boundaries: The Impact of Language Studies in Academia and Beyond’ Conference: Oct 2011, Queen’s University Belfast.

‘Negotiating Narrative Empathy in Gandhi's Life-Writing.’ PALA 2010 ‘The Language of Landscapes’ Conference: July 2010, University of Genoa, Italy.

‘Experimenting with Identity in Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth (1945).’ ‘Framing the Self: Anxieties of Identity in Literature and Culture, 1800 to the present day' Conference: University of Portsmouth, May 2010.

Peer reviewer:


Metaphor and the Social World

Language and Literature

Open Linguistics



Cambridge University Press

Sage Open


BSc Psychology; BA, MA, PhD English (Queen’s University Belfast); PGC Learning and Teaching (HE); FHEA; Level 2 Certificate in Mental Health Awareness.