University of Liverpool 14-15th September 2017 

Due to recent legislation changes in countries around the world, more people than ever before can now get married. Hosted in collaboration with the Discourses of Marriage Research Group (, this two-day seminar aims to encourage scholarly interest in how marriage is conceptualised, normalised, defined, rejected, adapted, and debated through language. The seminar has three primary aims: 

  1. To engage scholars in the close analysis of the discursive construction of marriage  
  2. To take a global perspective on marriage and marriage equality debates 
  3. To use methods of analysis from linguistics and other disciplines such as sociology, politics, history, etc. to investigate attitudes to marriage in the twenty-first century 

 We invite submissions for 20-minute papers to discuss any aspects of discourses of marriage in relation to language, but particularly encourage submissions in the following areas: 

  • Historical and/or global perspectives on discourses of marriage 
  • Marriage and religious institutions 
  • The language of marriage and equal marriage debates across cultures 
  • Marriage and identity
  • Discourses of (non-heteronormative) family structure and divorce

Abstracts should be up to 300 words long and should contain up to five keywords. Abstracts are to be submitted as Word documents to by the 20th June 2017. Submissions will be anonymised before review. Authors will be notified of the organisers’ decisions by mid-July 2017. We encourage applications from scholars at all career stages and there will be two fee-waived places for student presenters.  

The two-day seminar will be an opportunity to establish the state-of-the-art for linguistic research on marriage, marriage equality, divorce, etc. by bringing together researchers interested in this field. It is designed to spark discussion about discourses of marriage by acting as a networking event and will hopefully lead to an edited collection of papers. For more information, please contact Laura Paterson ( or Georgina Turner (