MA, PhD Cantab
Honorary Assistant Professor

Simon Alderson was a full-time staff member of the School of English at HKU from 1997 to 2006. Since then, as an Honorary Asst Professor, he has continued to offer courses to students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Alderson himself studied at the University of Cambridge in the UK, where he obtained his BA in 1989 and his PhD in 1993. He taught for one year at St Anne's College Oxford before returning to Trinity College Cambridge on a four-year Research Fellowship. In 1997 he moved to the University of Hong Kong.

His academic interests lie in language history and linguistic change, the linguistic basis of 'style', language play, and the nature and possibilities of literary language. He has published articles on iconicity in language and literature and on punning and wordplay, and taught several related courses.

He also has interests in the relations between texts and images across time and cultures. He has written on ut pictura poesis and ideas of 'natural' representation, and taught the course 'Text & Image' in which the relations of painting and illustration to written texts is explored.

Outside the university environment, Alderson puts his expertise to practical use. He runs his own writing and editing business, which also offers seminars and consultancy on English language usage to businesses and government departments in Hong Kong. He is also working with a local Hong Kong educational publisher in preparing English language textbooks and supporting materials for secondary school students.



Selected Publications

'Ut pictura poesis and its discontents in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England and France', Word & Image 11, 1995.
'Alexander Pope and the nature of language', Review of English Studies 47, 1996.
'Swift's wordplay', Swift Studies 11, 1996.
'The Augustan attack on the pun', Eighteenth-Century Life 20, 1996.
'Iconicity in literature: eighteenth- and nineteenth-century prose writing'. In Olga Fischer and Max Nanny, eds., Form Miming Meaning: Iconicity in Language and Literature. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999.
'Chance and imagination in literary iconicity', European Journal of Language and Literature 5, 2001.

Selected courses taught for the School of English:
Text & Image
Literary Linguistics
Form and Meaning
History of English
Narrative Prose
The Language of Media (MA course)



Last updated: 15 December 2014