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Inaugural Barbara Strang Lecture: Accent prejudice: #us an’ all? by Professor Joan Beal

Professor Joan Beal, University of Sheffield

Date/Time: Thursday 20 May 2021, 5.30pm

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Hosted by Professor Karen P. Corrigan, with introduction from Emeritus Professor Richard Bailey

In October 2020, a student from Gateshead hit the headlines with her report on the treatment of students from working-class backgrounds at an elite university. The Guardian reported other students coming forward with accounts of how mockery of their accents and backgrounds had undermined their confidence. Professor Joan Beal outlines the history of accent prejudice in Britain and discusses why it is still a problem in the 21st century.


Joan Beal is Emeritus Professor of English Language at the University of Sheffield and series editor for De Gruyter's Dialects of English series. Before moving to Sheffield she spent 30 years at Newcastle University as a student and later as a senior lecturer in the School of English. She was co-investigator on the AHRC-funded Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English and has given interviews on TV and radio and in the local and national press on the cultural importance of Geordie.

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.