Alan Durant studied at University of Cambridge, UK, where he gained a double first in English and a PhD on the poetry of Ezra Pound. As well as being currently Visiting Professor at HKU, he is Professor of Communication in the School of Law at Middlesex University, London, where he applies a background in linguistics and cultural analysis to legal fields, especially media and intellectual property law.

He was previously Professor and Head of the School of English, Cultural and Communication Studies at Middlesex, having joined the university after being Professor and Head of English at Goldsmiths' College, University of London. His research interests include language and the law; the analysis of keywords in civil society (he is convenor of the ‘Keywords Project’, co-funded by Jesus College, University of Cambridge, and the University of Pittsburgh); and other areas of public communication including PR, advertising, and how interpretive disputes relate to academic theories of interpretation.


Courses taught in 2015-16:

ENGL2126       Law, meaning, and interpretation
ENGL2127       Language and the law
LCOM2004      Language, communication and the media




Selected representative publications

(i) Books

2012. Ways of Reading: Advanced Reading Skills for Students of Literature. 4th edition. London: Routledge. (with Martin Montgomery,  Tom Furniss and Sara Mills)

2010. Meaning in the Media: Discourse, Controversy and Debate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2009. Language and Media. London: Routledge. (with Marina Lambrou)

2005. How to Write Essays and Dissertations: A Guide for English Literature Students, 2nd edition. London: Pearson; Chinese edition in English, Sichuan University Press; reprinted 2014, London: Routledge. (with Nigel Fabb)

2002. Penguin Classics Tess of the D’ Urbervilles (Student Edition). Edited with introduction, editorial notes, glossary, student tasks and CD. Harmondsworth: Penguin

1990. Literary Studies in Action. London: Routledge; Chinese edition in English, Beijing: World Publishing Corporation. (with Nigel Fabb)

1987. The Linguistics of Writing: Arguments between Language and Literature. Manchester: Manchester University Press; New York: Routledge; and Madrid: Visor Press [translated into Spanish by Carlos Piera].(with Nigel Fabb, Derek Attridge and Colin MacCabe)

1984. Conditions of Music. Basingstoke: Macmillan; New York: SUNY.

1981. Ezra Pound, Identity in Crisis: a Fundamental Reassessment of the Poet and His Work. Brighton: Harvester, and New York: Barnes and Noble.


(ii) Articles / chapters in edited collections

2015. ‘“Have a Break” and the changing demands of trademark registration.’ Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property (QMJIP) 5, 2: 132-156. (with Jennifer Davis)

2014. ‘Analysing the media.’ In Peter Stockwell & Sara Whitely (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 503-19. (with Marina Lambrou)

2013. ‘Using literary texts in ELT: retrospect and challenges.’ In Manasori Toyota & Shigeo Kikuchi (eds.), New Horizons in English Language Teaching: Language, Literature and Education. Osaka: Kansai Gaidai University Press, 1-35.

2012. ‘Reading cases in interdisciplinary studies of law and literature.’ In Marco Wan (ed.), The Legal Case: Crosscurrents between Law and the Humanities. London: Routledge, 11-28.

2011.  ‘To protect or not to protect? The eligibility of commercially-used short verbal texts for copyright and trade mark protection’, Intellectual Property Quarterly 4: 345-70. (with Jennifer Davis)

2010. ‘“Culture” and “Communication” in Intercultural Communication.’ In Ian Mackenzie (ed.), Intercultural Negotiations. London: Routledge, 13-28. (with Ifan Shepherd)

2010. ‘How does ‘substantial similarity of expression’ in infringement actions look from a linguistic point of view?’ In, Lionel Bently, Jennifer Davis & Jane Ginsburg (eds), Copyright and Piracy: an Interdisciplinary Critique. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 147-93.

2008. ‘How can I tell the trade mark on a piece of gingerbread from all the other marks on it? Naming and meaning in verbal trademark signs.’ In Lionel Bently, Jennifer Davis & Jane Ginsburg (eds), Trade Marks and Brands. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 107-140

2008. ‘The significance is in the selection’: identifying contemporary keywords’, Critical Quarterly 50, 1-2: 122-144

2006. ‘Raymond Williams’s Keywords: meanings “offered, felt for, tested, confirmed, asserted, qualified, changed”.’ Critical Quarterly 48, 4: 1-26.

2005. ‘There may be regular guys but there are no regular native speakers: lexis and native-speaker-like competence.’ In Solveig Granath, June Miliander & Elisabeth Wenno (eds), The Power of Words: Studies in Honour of Moira Linnarud. Karlstad: University of Karlstad Press, 31-45

2003. 'Facts and Meanings in British Cultural Studies.' In Susan Bassnett (ed.), Studying British Cultures: an Introduction. 2nd revised edition. London: Routledge, 20-40.

2002. ‘Applying linguistics: questions of language and law.’ Translated from English into Japanese by Yoshifumi Saito. In Sadakazu Fujii et al (eds.), Praxis of Language. Volume 5: ‘Politics’ edited by Hidetaka Ishida & Yoichi Komori. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 253-81.

2001. ‘Reading mixed reception: the case of The Satanic Verses’, in, Cauce: Revista De Filologia Y Su Didactica (‘Reading beyond the text: processes and skills).’ 24: 653-78. (with Laura Izarra)

2000. ‘What future for interpretive work in Film and Media Studies?’ Screen Special Millennial Issue. 41, 1: 7-17.

1998. ‘Aspectos problematicos del significado: analisis critico del discurso.’ Translation by Pedro Tena of ‘Critical discourse analysis and social engagement’. In Luisa Martin Rojo & Rachel Whittaker (eds), Poder Decir O El Poder De Los Discursos. Madrid: Arrecife Producciones & Ediciones de la Universidad Autonoma de Madrid,121-47.

1998. ‘Exploring inferences prompted by reading a very short story.’ Perspectives: Journal of TESOL Italy 24, 1: 45-55.

1996. 'On the interpretation of allusions and other innuendo meanings in libel actions: the value of semantic and pragmatic evidence.' Forensic Linguistics 3, 2: 195-210.

1996. 'Designing groupwork activities: a case study.' In Ronald Carter & John McRae (eds.), Language, Literature and the Learner. London: Longman, 65-88.

1995. 'Literacy and Literature: priorities in English studies towards 2000.' In Barbara Korte & Peter Muller (eds.), Anglistische Lehre Aktuell: Probleme, Perspektiven, Praxis. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. 37-59.

1993. '"Making one's language as one goes along": Wong Phui Nam's Ways of Exile.’ In Wong Phui Nam, Ways of Exile: Poems from the First Decade. London: Skoob Pacifica. 145-57.

1993. 'Interactive Approaches to Teaching Literature in Hong Kong.' In Christopher Brumfit & Michael Benton (eds.), Teaching Literature: a World Perspective. London: Macmillan. 150-72.

1993. 'Compacted Doctrines: Empson and the Meanings of Words'. In Christopher Norris & Nigel Mapp (eds.), William Empson: the Critical Achievement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 170-95. (with Colin MacCabe)

1991. 'Language, Modern Communication and Education.' In Choon-Hak Cho (ed.), Proceedings of 1990 ‘Directions in the Teaching of English Language and Literature’ Conference. Seoul: Seoul National University Press. 221-56.

1991. 'Noises off-screen: could a crisis of confidence be good for media studies?' Screen 32, 4: 49-64.

1990. 'A New Day for Music? Digital Technology in Contemporary Music-making.' In Philip Hayward (ed.), Culture, Technology and Creativity in the Late 20th Century. London: Arts Council and Libbey Press. 175-196.

1989. 'Improvisation in the Political Economy of Music.' In Christopher Norris (ed.) Music and the Politics of Culture. London: Lawrence and Wishart.

1986. 'Pound, Modernism and literary criticism: a reply to Donald Davie.' Critical Quarterly 28, 1: 154-166.

1984. 'The Concept of Secondary Orality: Observations about Speech and Text in Modern Communications Media.' Dalhousie Review 64, 2: 332-353.



Last updated: 11 January 2016