Grit Liebscher

Professor
Grit Liebscher
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Applied linguistics (sociolinguistics, bilingualism, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, language and identity, German migration, linguistic landscapes)

Education

  • PhD (Texas at Austin)
  • Staatsexamen (Leipzig)

Biography

Leipzig, Edinburgh, Austin, Waterloo – these are the main stations of my academic and personal life. My interest in linguistics, sports, travelling and music started in Leipzig, Germany and grew when the East German wall came down in 1989. After finishing my PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, I started my position at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

My first research project supported by SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada) and conducted with my long-time co-researcher Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain at the University of Alberta, centered around western Germans who had settled in eastern Germany: "(Inter)acting identities in dialect and discourse: migrant Western Germans in Eastern Germany" (2003-2007). This first project was followed by two more SSHRC-funded projects with Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain: "German identity in urban Canada: A qualitative and quantitative study of language and discourse" (2007-2012) and “Ideologies of English in the linguistic landscape” (2021-2024).

Several grants through U Waterloo’s Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement fund allowed me to do teaching and learning-related research, including the use of archival sources from U Waterloo’s Porter library (Sommer Fonds) as transcultural experiential learning components. The creation of the "Social Interaction, Language and Culture Laboratory" (SILC lab), supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)/Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (ORI), will allow further research into multilingualism and identity.

Alongside my research and teaching, I have held several administrative positions, including Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies and Chair of Germanic and Slavic Studies, as well as Acting and Interim Chair of Communication Arts at U of Waterloo. I am proud to have received U Waterloo’s Outstanding Performance Award twice (2013, 2023).

       

Teaching icon

Teaching interests

Applied linguistics, German language, and Cultural identities

Recent courses:

  • CI 100: Cultural Identities Today
  • GER 101/102: Elementary German
  • GER 262: Multilingualism
  • GER 303: Interactive German Language and Culture
  • GER 612: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Language, migration, and identity
  • GER 612/712: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Laughter in Interaction
  • GER 601/701/431: Linguistic Landscapes
  • GER 601: Approaches to Linguistics (Conversation Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis)
  • GER 613: Approaches to Analyzing Communication
  • GER 613: Language and Identity
  • GER 612/GER 431: Topics in Sociolinguistics: Multilingualism in the Modern World
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Research interests

Applied linguistics (discourse analysis and sociolinguistics)

Selected research:

  • Feddersen, Richard, Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. 2023. Turn-taking in the Interactive Linguistic Landscape. Linguistic Landscape: An International Journal 9, 3: 1-33.
  • Kampen Robinson, Christine and Grit Liebscher. 2019. Transculturality in telecollaboration: examining language learner closings in online chats. Classroom Discourse (Special Issue. Guest editors: Maxi Kupetz, Hina You, Karen Glaser. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19463014.2019.1567359
  • Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. 2013. Language, Space, and Identity in Migration. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. 2009. Language attitudes in interaction. Journal of Sociolinguistics. 13, 2: 195-222.

      

Selected publications

Books

Kaminskaia, Svetlana, Grit Liebscher, Dominique Louer, Yuri Yerastov and Douglas W. Cole (eds.). (2022) LACUS Forum XLVI: Contacts and Interactions. Journal of the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States.

Schulze, Mathias, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (Eds). (2022) Germans of Waterloo Region. Ottawa: Petra Books.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2013) Language, Space, and Identity in Migration. Palgrave Macmillan.

Schulze, Mathias, James M. Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach (Eds). (2008) German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Recent articles

Feddersen, Richard, Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2023) Turn-taking in the Interactive Linguistic Landscape. Linguistic Landscape: An International Journal 9, 3: 1-33.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2021). Constructing the Motherland: German-Canadian Positioning and the Tensions between Place and Space. Journal of Belonging, Identity, Language, and Diversity (J-BUILD), 5/1 (Special Issue: Boundaries and Belonging: Language, Diaspora, and Motherland, guest co-edited by Alla Nedashkivska and Holger Kuße), 11-31.

Kampen Robinson, Christine and Grit Liebscher. (2019). Transculturality in telecollaboration: examining language learner closings in online chats. Classroom Discourse (Special Issue. Guest editors: Maxi Kupetz, Hina You, Karen Glaser) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19463014.2019.1567359

Liebscher Grit and Sara Marsh. (2019). Konversationsanalytische Perspektive: Funktionen und Bedeutung von Lachen im Klassenzimmer. In: Schart, Michael (Ed.) Fach- und sprachintegrierter Unterricht an der Universität. Untersuchungen zum Zusammenspiel von Inhalten, Aufgaben und dialogischen Lernprozessen, Gießener Beiträge zur Fremdsprachendidaktik, Tuebingen: Narr Verlag.

Reichert, Tetyana and Grit Liebscher. (2018). Transitions with “Okay”: Managing Language Alternation in Role-Play. In: Anna Filipi and Numa Markee (Eds.), Capturing transitions in the second language classroom: A focus on language alternation practices, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 131-150.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2017). Contextualizing language attitudes: An interactional perspective. Lang Linguist Compass; e12250. https://doi.org/10.1111/lnc3.12250

Liebscher, Grit, Ruediger Mueller, and Philip Griffiths. (2017). Internationalisation through telecollaboration: A German/Canadian experience. In: Hiltraud Casper-Hehne and Tanja Rieffenrath (Eds.) Internationalisierung der Curricula an Hochschulen. Konzepte, Initiativen, Maßnahmen. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann Verlag. 132-144.

Liebscher, Grit und Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2017). Sprechen über Essen: Konstruktion von Raum und Gruppenzugehörigkeit im Migrationskontext. In: Joanna Szczęk and Marcelina Kałasznik (Eds.), Intra- und interlinguale Zugänge zum kulinarischen Diskurs (Beiträge zur Fremdsprachenvermittlung, Sonderheft 24), 43-56.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain. (2017). Contextualizing language attitudes: An interactional perspective. Lang Linguist Compass. 2017; e12250.https://doi.org/10.1111/lnc3.12250

König, Katharina, Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain, and Grit Liebscher. (2015). A comparison of heritage language ideologies in interaction. Journal of Sociolinguistics 19, 4 (September). 484-510.

Dailey-O’Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher (2014) Primary Language Use in Foreign Language Classrooms. In: The Routledge Handbook of Educational Linguistics. Ed. by Bigelow, Martha and Johanna Ennser-Kananen. London/New York: Routledge. 327-338.

Liebscher, Grit und Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2014). Die Rolle von Wissen und Positionierung bei Spracheinstellungen im diskursiven Kontext. In: Rebekka Studler and Christina Cuonz (eds.), Sprechen über Sprache. Perspektiven und neue Methoden der linguistischen Einstellungsforschung Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag. 107-121.

Liebscher, Grit. (2013) Multilinguals in the language classroom and curricular consequences. In: Traditions and transitions. Ed. by John Plews and Barbara Schmenk. Wilfrid Laurier Press. 125-141.

Liebscher, Grit and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain. (2013) Constructing identities through Laughter. In: Studies of Laughter in Interaction, edited by Phillip Glenn and Liz Holt. Continuum Press/Bloomsbury Publishing: London/New York. 234-257.

Reichert, Tetyana and Grit Liebscher. (2012). Positioning the expert: word searches, expertise, and learning opportunities in peer interaction. Modern Language Journal96, 4, 595-605.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011). Germans from different places: constructing a German space in urban Canada. Journal of Germanic Linguistics 23/4 (special issue on Germanic languages and migration in North America, ed. by Kristine Horner), 315-345.

Dailey-O'Cain, Jennifer and Grit Liebscher. (2011). Language attitudes, migrant identities, and space. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 212, 91-133.

Liebscher, Grit, Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain, Mareike Mueller, and Tetyana Reichert. (2010). Negotiating identities through pronouns of address in an immigrant community. Pragmatics 20, 3, 375-400.