Dr Christiana Gregoriou

Dr Christiana Gregoriou

Associate Professor in English Language

+44 (0)113 343 4793

Summary: Stylistics; contemporary crime fiction; murder narratives

BA, Lancaster; MA, PhD Nottingham; PGCLTHE, Leeds

Research Interests

As a stylistician, I study the linguistic make-up of literary texts. Having researched into the poetics of deviance in contemporary crime fiction, I maintained a strong interest in the portrayal of the criminal in the genre and have used stylistic models of analysis so as to explore, among others, the poetic structure of the 'criminal mind'. Primarily, I have been focused on that notion that has come to be known as 'mind style'. More recently, I developed an interest in crime narratives across the true crime genre and media journalism also. By employing linguistic and narratological methods of analysis, my research worked toward developing a linguistic framework on the representation of criminal ideology. I also share an interest in several other types of crime and crime-preventing discourses, and have recently completed a monograph in the area of crime narrative migration in the form of translation, adaptation and remakes. I was Principal Investigator of the ESRC/AHRC-funded PACCS project on media, true crime and literary representations of Transnational Human Trafficking, more details of which can be found here: http://www.paccsresearch.org.uk/representation-of-transnational-human-trafficking/. The project policy brief is here: http://www.paccsresearch.org.uk/policy-briefings/transnational-human-trafficking/.

I have been an associate member of PALA (as the Poetics and Linguistics Association is internationally known) since 2000, have attended most PALA conferences since then, and have published widely on the subject of crime narratives. I am also former chair of, and currently steering, the Crime Studies Network, a means of sharing ideas by facilitating interdisciplinary contacts, promoting events in crime studies, submitting bids, generating collections, and even engaging with non-academics who have an interest in the study of crime.

In addition to several journal articles and handbook chapters on the stylistics of mind style and crime fiction, I have published work on such subjects as true crime, linguistic foregrounding, adaptation, fanfiction and social movements, as well as generated edited collections on crime fiction retellings, crime narrative criticism and crime construction. My own-authored books include a book-guide on English Literary Stylistics (Palgrave, 2009) covering poetry, fiction and drama, the Anthony and Edgar-nominated 'Crime Files' series monograph on Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction (Palgrave, 2007), a monograph on Language, Ideology and Identity in Serial Killer Narratives (Routledge, 2011), and a monograph on Crime Fiction Migration: Crossing Languages, Cultures and Media (Bloomsbury, 2017). For a widget, which contains the Table of Contents, the Acknowledgements, and the first chapter of this book, click here. Though specialising in crime fiction and crime-related narratives more broadly, I welcome proposals from potential PhD students who wish to engage in research in any area of (critical) discourse analysis, stylistics, adaptation, cognitive poetics and/or pragmatics.  

Recent Activities

I was one of the organisers of the Constructing Crime Conference, which was held in Leeds in March 2010. My Palgrave post-conference publication of 15 papers appeared in 2012 (Constructing Crime: Discourse and Cultural Representations of Crime and 'Deviance'), as has my 6-papered special edition of the Language and Literature journal on 'Investigating Contemporary Crime Writing'. The former collection features a paper I have co-written with Pinelopi Troullinou ('Scanning Bodies, Stripping Rights: How do UK's Media Discourses portray airport security measures?') and the second my viewer-response critical paper on TV's Dexter viewer message board and related ideologies. My paper on 'The Poetics of Deviance in the Curious Incident' appeared in a collection edited by Malcah Effron, The Millennial Detective: Essays on Trends in Crime Fiction, 1990-2010, in 2011. More recent chapters of mine feature in the Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics ('Voice', 2014) and the Routledge Handbook of Stylistics ('Foregrounding', 2014). My work also appeared in a special edition of the Moving Worlds journal on 'Crime Across Cultures' ('The Televisual Game is On: the Stylistics of BBC's Modern-day Sherlock', 2013). The Australian Journal of Crime Fiction features a special issue I co-edited and my article on Sherlock fanfiction. This issue's articles were presented at the 'Retold, Resold, Transformed: Crime Fiction in the Modern Era' conference I co-organised in Leeds in September 2013. My latest (2017) monograph also revolves around this very conference theme, and includes chapters on adaptations of We Need to Talk about Kevin, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and metatheatricality in remakes of the play Shear Madness. See the Crime Studies Network website for other crime-related academic events and activities. Details of the 2017 ESRC Leeds symposium I organised, and which arises out of the 'Representation of Transnational Human Trafficking' ESRC/AHRC project I was leader of, can be found here.  

In addition to researching on stylistics and, more particularly, the stylistics of crime, I regularly contribute to the scholarly research into crime fiction by reviewing articles and books for journals, and relevant book proposals for publishers. I am editor of the book series Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Stylistics and the Journal of Language and Discrimination. I have served as an elected member of the Leeds University Senate and also contribute to wider UK Higher Education initiatives such as of the English Subject Center and UK Higher Education Academy (of which I am a Fellow). Further to presenting conference papers around the world (UK, Hungary, Belgium, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Malta, US, Germany, Slovenia), I have given invited talks in various universities not only in Britain (i.e. Sheffield, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Hull, Kent, London), but also Cyprus (Nicosia), Canada (Waterloo), the US (Berkeley), Italy (Salerno), Finland (Tampere) and France (Aix-en-Provence). I also exchange-taught in Austria, Poland, and Spain in my role as Leeds School of English Study Abroad Tutor. I externally examined undergraduate degrees at Wolverhampton University, Sussex University's Applied Linguistics MA, and PhD theses in Glasgow University, Huddersfield University and Waterloo University (Canada). Recently graduated and current Leeds PhD students of mine work on subjects ranging from metafiction to crime fiction translation, media discourses on fraud and Orientalism.


In addition to my textbook on English Literary Stylistics, I have delivered crime writing workshops for aspiring crime writers attending the Newcastle Noir festival in both 2015 and 2016, and written a report on my research-led option teaching for the English Subject Centre, accessible at:



Prose Fiction Stylistics and the Mind 

Crime Fiction Stylistics: Crossing Languages, Cultures and Media

Analysing English

English: Context, Culture and Style 

The Power of Language 


MA in Literary Stylistics

MA in Text Linguistics



2017. Crime Fiction Migration: Crossing Languages, Cultures, Media. London: Bloomsbury.

2011. Language, Ideology and Identity in Serial Killer Narratives. London: Routledge.

2009. English Literary Stylistics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Perspectives on the English Language.

2007. Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Crime Files Series.

Edited Collections:

(ed.) (contracted and forthcoming 2018) Representations of Transnational Human Trafficking: Present-Day News Media, True Crime and Fiction. Palgrave Pivot.

with Platten, D. and Sulis, G. (eds) 2017. Australian Journal of Crime Fiction. ‘Retold, Resold, Transformed: Crime Fiction in the Modern Era’ special edition Vol. 1 No. 1. <http://www.australiancrimefiction.com/>

(ed.) 2012. Language and Literature journal. ‘Investigating Contemporary Crime Writing’ special edition Vol. 21 N. 3.

(ed.) 2012. Constructing Crime: Discourse and Cultural Representations of Crime and ‘Deviance’. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Refereed Journal Articles:

2017. The Fandom is Afoot: BBC Sherlock and the Impact of the Prosumer, in C. Gregoriou, D. Platten and G. Sulis (eds), in Australian Journal of Crime Fiction, ‘Retold, Resold, Transformed: Crime Fiction in the Modern Era’ special edition 1 (1). <http://www.australiancrimefiction.com/>

with Paterson, L. 2017. “Reservoir of rage swamps Wall St”: The linguistic construction and evaluation of Occupy in international print media. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict 5 (1): 57-80.

2013. The Televisual Game is On: The Stylistics of Modern-day Sherlock, in M. White and L. Evans (eds) Moving Worlds 13 (1): 49-61.

2012. “Times like these, I wish there was a real Dexter”: Unpacking serial murder ideologies and metaphors from TV’s Dexter internet forum, in Language and Literature, ‘Investigating Contemporary Crime Writing’ special edition 21(3): 274-85.

2003. Demystifying the Criminal Mind: Linguistic, Social and Generic Deviance in Contemporary American Crime Fiction. Working With English 1: 1-16. <http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/working_with_english>

2003. Criminally Minded; The Stylistics of Justification in Contemporary American Crime Fiction. Style 37(2): 144-59.

2002. ‘Behaving Badly’: A Cognitive Stylistics of the Criminal Mind. Nottingham Linguistic Circular 17: 61-73. [Also available at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/nlc/gregoriou.pdf]

Book chapters:

with Beyer, C. (submitted and forthcoming 2018-19). The Transnational Human Trafficking Victim in Minette Walters’ The Cellar, in U. Tabbert and J. Douthwaite (eds) The Stylistics of Crime: A linguistic contribution to the study of crime. Cambridge University Press.

(submitted and forthcoming 2018). Crime Writing: Language and Stylistics, in C. Beyer (ed) Teaching Crime Fiction. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

with Ras, I. (submitted and forthcoming 2018). Representations of Transnational Human Trafficking: A Critical Review, in Representations of Transnational Human Trafficking: Present-Day News Media, True Crime and Fiction. Palgrave Pivot.

with Ras, I. (submitted and forthcoming 2018). “Call for purge on the people traffickers”: An investigation into British newspapers’ representation of transnational human trafficking, 2000-2016, in Representations of Transnational Human Trafficking: Present-Day News Media, True Crime and Fiction. Palgrave Pivot.

2018. A Labovian Approach to Poe, in L. Barone and A. Amendola (eds) Edgar Allan Poe Across Disciplines, Genres and Languages. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 25-36.

2014. The Linguistic Levels of Foregrounding in Stylistics, in M. Burke (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics. London: Routledge, pp. 87-100.

2014. Voice. In P. Stockwell and S. Whiteley (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 165-77.

with Troullinou, P. 2012. Scanning Bodies, Stripping Rights? In C. Gregoriou (ed.) Constructing Crime: Discourse and Cultural Representations of Crime and ‘Deviance’. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 19-33.

2011. The Poetics of Deviance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, in M. Effron (ed.) The Millennial Detective: Essays on Trends in Crime Fiction, Film and Television, 1990-2010. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland, pp. 97-111. [with an extract reprinted in Novels for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context and Criticism on Commonly Studied Novels, 2018, Volume 57, published by Gale].

2007. The Stylistics of True Crime: Mapping the Minds of Serial Killers, in M. Lambrou, and P. Stockwell (eds) Contemporary Stylistics. London: Continuum, pp. 32-42. [and translated in Croatian, in an academic site dedicated to stylistics: see http://stilistika.org/stiloteka/rasprave/stil-i-zlocin/141-stilistika-istinitog-zlocina-mapiranje-umova-serijskih-ubojica]

2002. Samarakis in Search of Hope; A Labovian Analysis of Antonis Samarakis’s ‘Hope Wanted’ with a Focus on ‘Evaluation’, in S. Czabi and J. Zerkowitz (eds) Textual Secrets; The Message of the Medium; Proceedings of the 21st PALA Conference . Budapest: Akademiai Nyomba, pp. 302-7.


2017. Review of Margaret Atwood: Crime Fiction Writer; The Reworking of a Popular Genre by Jacki Shead. Modern Language Review, 112 (2): 504-5.

2015. Review of Miller and Oakley's (eds) 'Cross-Cultural Connections in Crime Fiction', Modern Language Review, 110 (1): 230-1.

2013. Review of Baker's 'Speaking of Murder', in Babel 3: 51.

2011. Review of Seal's 'Women, murder and femininity: Gender representations of women who kill', Journal of Gender Studies 20 (2): 202-4.

2006. On the Poetics of Crime Fiction. IASL Online <http://iasl.uni-muenchen.de/rezensio/liste/gregoriou.html> (review)


2017. PaCCS Policy Brief: The representation of transnational human trafficking in present-day news media, true crime and fiction. [Online]. Leeds: PaCCS. [Accessed 13 February 2018]. Available from: http://www.paccsresearch.org.uk/policy-briefings/transnational-human-trafficking/

with Troullinou, P. 2011. Scanning Bodies, Stripping Rights? The World Today. August 2011, pp. 10-12. Available at <http://www.ihavenet.com/World-United-States-September-11th-Scanning-Bodies-Stripping-Rights-World-Today.html>

2009. Research-led Language Teaching: Designing a new ‘Language and Style of Crime Narratives’ Module.  English Subject Centre: Case studies archive. <http://www.english.heacademy.ac.uk/explore/publications/casestudies/crime/index.php>