Professor Nancy Kula chosen as our new Executive Dean for Social Sciences

  • Date

    Fri 2 Jul 21

Photo of Professor Nancy Kula

Linguist Professor Nancy Kula will be Executive Dean for Social Sciences at Essex from this October and join the University Steering Group – our executive leadership team.

Professor Kula has previously been Head of the Department of Language and Linguistics and is currently Dean of Partnerships (Education). She will take over from Professor Moya Lloyd on 1 October 2021,

She said: "I'm very excited to be taking on this new role and look forward to working with colleagues to maintain and extend the strong national and international reputation of social sciences at Essex."

Essex is world-renowned for the strength of its social science departments and centres. Consistently ranked first for politics research in UK research assessments, Essex was also ranked highly for sociology, criminology and economics in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. At a global level Essex is ranked 52nd for social sciences in the THE World University Rankings 2021 and ranked top 50 for politics and sociology in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021).

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “I am absolutely delighted Professor Kula has been appointed as our next Executive Dean of Social Sciences, following Moya’s very successful term of office.

“Essex is rated 4th in the UK for our research excellence in social sciences and our Faculty is home to some of the most highly-rated social science departments and research centres in the UK.

“Nancy will bring a wealth of experience to the role and we are looking forward to working with her in her new role.”

Professor Kula is the principal investigator on the ‘Bringing the outside in’ project, supported by a major funding award from the British Academy. The project is exploring how teaching practices across three African countries - Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia - can more closely reflect learners’ heritage to bridge the gap between multilingual communities and the monolingual classroom.

Nancy completed her PhD in phonology at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands following her MA in Linguistics at SOAS, University of London, and her BA in Linguistics at the University of Zambia. She then held post-doctoral positions at Leiden and SOAS.

Her research interests are in descriptive and theoretical linguistics (morphology and phonology), Bantu Languages, endangered languages and African linguistics in general. She runs the Phonology Research Group at Essex.

She has worked on many topics in phonology including nasalisation, palatalisation, spirantisation, vowel harmony, strength relations, segmental structure, syllable structure, derived environments, licensing, tone, intonation and element theory.

She has published in many international journals including Phonology, The Linguistic Review, Lingua, Transactions of The Philological Society, JALL, SAL, Lingusitic Analysis and was co-editor of The Continuum/Bloomsbury Companion to Phonology.