Vice-Chancellors Office

Prof Hugo Bowles

Honorary Professorial Research Fellow

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Over the last 30 years Hugo has taught English linguistics at four Italian universities. His research interests and publications have covered many areas of applied linguistics, including legal and medical English, English as a lingua franca and literary stylistics. He has published over 50 articles and book chapters as well as 5 authored or co-edited books, including the monographs Storytelling and Drama with John Benjamins in 2010, which was awarded the Book Prize for Linguistics by the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE), and Dickens and the stenographic mind with Oxford University Press in 2019.

Current research

He is co-founder of the ongoing Dickens Code project, which uses crowdsourced research to investigate Charles Dickens’s shorthand and won the 2022 Times Higher Education Award for the best research project in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities in the UK. He is also editing a new edition of the Pickwick Papers for the Oxford Editions of Charles Dickens.


  • MA, Classics, University of Cambridge
  • PGCE, English, University of Oxford
  • MPhil, English and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge
  • PhD, English, University of Cambridge

Teaching expertise

Discourse analysis; stylistics;

Recent publications

  • “The Poetics of Mrs Gamp’s Conversation—Are They Dickens’s ‘Slips of the Pen’?”. In Bridging the Gap Between Conversation Analysis and Poetics, edited by John Rae, Robin Woofitt and Ray Person (New York and London: Routledge, 2021).
  • Dickens and the stenographic mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).
  • ‘Dickens’s shorthand manuscripts’. Dickens Quarterly 35(1) (2018).
  • ‘Dickens’s stenography deciphered’. Notes and Queries 64 (4) (2017).
  • ‘Stenography and orality in Dickens: rethinking the phonographic myth’. Dickens Studies Annual (48) (2017).
  • ‘Hybrid quotation forms in Dickens’. Fictions XVI (2017).
    ‘A stenographic origin for the Boz nickname’. The Dickensian 112 (2017).
  • ‘Samuel Weller, fishmonger’. Notes and Queries 62(3) (2015).
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