Paul Kei Matsuda

APL Speaker Series, Dr. Paul Kei Matsuda, Friday 11/13

The Applied Linguistics Speakers Series Announces:


Dr. Paul Kei Matsuda


Studying Voice in Written Discourse:

An Applied Linguistic Approach


The notion of voice, which captures the sense of the author identity in written discourse, has been popular in literacy education and writing studies.  In recent years, however, this notion has been hotly contested for a number of reasons. First, it has long been in need of a definition that makes it possible to research and teach the concept. Second, it has been challenged for its strong association with Western individualism. Some researchers have also questioned the value of the notion in academic contexts, which is often considered to be devoid of the individual. In this talk, I will present a series of studies that were designed to address these issues. The first study proposes a definition of voice that accounts for both individual and social aspects of identity, analyzes a Japanese online diary to show that voice is not unique to Western societies, and to identify principles of discursive identity construction. The second study examines the relevance of voice in academic context through a case study of a high-stakes academic writing situation, and the third study uses a survey to confirm the findings of the previous study while testing the applicability of voice to a broader population of academics. Ultimately, I hope to exemplify the kind of issue-driven, multi-method approach to the study of language and discourse that is the hallmark of the field of applied linguistics.


Dr. Paul Kei Matsuda is Associate Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at Arizona State University, where he works closely with master’s and doctoral students in various fields, including applied linguistics, composition studies, literacy studies, linguistics, rhetoric, and TESOL, among others. Co-founding chair of the Symposium on Second Language Writing and Series Editor of the Parlor Press Series on Second Language Writing, he has edited a dozen books and journal special issues, and published numerous articles and book chapters in both applied linguistics and rhetoric and composition. A sought-after speaker, he has presented keynote and plenary talks as well as lectures and workshops at various conferences and institutions in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, and throughout the United States. He is the incoming Book Reviews Editor for TESOL Quarterly. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), and is charged with the task of developing a comprehensive definition of applied linguistics. URL:  




Date: 11.13.2009                      Time: 1:30-2:30 P.M.                 Location:  Coor L1-20


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Last update: January 6, 2008