Kelsey Campolong, (PhD Researcher)

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Kelsey Campolong is a PhD researcher in the School of Communication and Media and the Research Unit of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Ulster University, studying political discourse analysis. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from Duke University (USA) in 2013 and a Master of Arts in English/Sociolinguistics from North Carolina State University (USA) in 2017. 

She has held a variety of teaching posts at universities in the UK, US, and Turkey, holds AFHEA status from Advance HE, and is certified in English language teaching with a CELTA (Cambridge).

Her current research focuses on the discursive construction of truth in Trumpian discourse through the lens of critical discourse analysis (CDA), though previous research projects have included critical analysis of the discourse of other global political figures, urban American linguistic landscapes, and language and gender.

Research Interests

My PhD thesis is titled "The discursive construction of truth in Trumpian discourse: A linguistically-based critical discourse analysis." In it, I seek to shed light on various aspects of Donald Trump's relationship with the concept of "truth," as discursively demonstrated in his campaign-rally style speeches while he was President of the United States. This includes the identification of a variety of discursive strategies commonly implemented as a means to obsfucate "objective" truth in favor of the discourse-specific conceptions of "truth" and "lies" in Trumpian discourse. As a whole, this research project incorporates investigations of the origins of disinformation, "fake news," manipulative discourses, and contributes to the critical analysis of political discourses more broadly. 

Additionally, my thesis also proposes a new procedural methodology for the practice of critical discourse analysis with three principal steps. This framework emphasises the need to center the inherent relationships between the micro-linguistic and macro-ideological features of discourse, but also reflects the demand for a clear set of guidelines for doing CDA that are accessible to students and experts alike. 

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests lie in the fields of sociolinguistics (all subfields), discourse analysis (all subfields), communication, linguistic/cultural anthropology, semiotics, and academic writing. 

I have recently been involved with the following modules at Ulster:

CMM107 - Communication and Language

CMM538 - Dissertation (BSc)

CMM560 - Reading the Brand

CMM808 - Dissertation (MSc)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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