Dr María Elena Placencia is Reader in Spanish Linguistics. Her main research interests lie in socio- and variational-pragmatics, discourse analysis and intercultural communication. She has published on (im)politeness in familial and institutional contexts, cultural styles of rapport management, forms and functions of small talk, the language of service encounters, address forms, discursive racism in interethnic communication, as well as Spanish as a foreign language. Her current work includes the study of (im)politeness phenomena in talk shows and the examination of pragmatic variation in everyday talk in Spanish in relation to macro-social factors. She’s been awarded a Visiting Fellowship at Lucy Cavendish, University of Cambridge (summer 2011), to work on her project on the impact of socio-economic background on female talk.
María Elena is co-founder of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society (SIS) and EDICE, and member of SIS, ALFAL, ALED, IPRA, SIETAR and AATSP. Maria Elena is also a member of the steering committee of Capital L, Routes into Language.
She is co-editor of Birkbeck Studies in Applied Linguistics (BISAL) and Associate Editor of Sociocultural Pragmatics, International Journal of Spanish Linguistics. She is on the advisory board of Journal of Pragmatics, consejo de dirección of Oralia Revista de Análisis del Discurso Oral, and the editorial boards of ELUA Estudios de Linguística de la Universidad de Alicante, Discurso & Sociedad, Revista de la Asociación Brasileña de Hispanistas, Programa EDICE, Tonos Digital, Revista Electrónica de Estudios Filológicos, and Linguistics Applied. International Journal of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. She was on the editorial board of Spanish in Context from 2004 to 2007.
Marٕía Elena is occasional reviewer for several journals, including Multilingua, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Hispania, Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana, Lenguaje, Cultura y Representación, Pragmatics, Spanish in Context, Oralia Revista de Análisis del Discurso Oral, International Journal of Bilingualism, Sociolinguistic Studies, Language Teaching, Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Intercultural Pragmatics and Ikala: Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura.
Additionally, she has reviewed book manuscripts and proposals for several publishers, including John Benjamins, Wiley-Blackwell, London Continuum and Cambridge Scholars Publishing as well as research grant applications for funding bodies such as UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and The Research Council of Norway. She is member of the Editorial Board of Advances in Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis, Cambridge Scholar Publishing. She has also been a referee on a number of promotion panels in US universities.