Dr. Brian W. King is a critical sociolinguist who received his PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and an MA from University of Leicester, UK (both degrees in Applied Linguistics). Prior to coming to HKU in 2018, he was a faculty member at City University of Hong Kong. He researches the discursive performance of identities and embodiments at the intersection of ethnicity, gender and sexuality. His work also examines sexuality education, second language socialization, computer-mediated communication, and the social construction of space/place. Focusing primarily on language at the level of semiotics, his work is located within discourse analysis. Methodologically he draws on a number of traditions, including interactional sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, and linguistic anthropology. His teaching career has spanned more than 20 years across three continents and multiple sectors, with time spent teaching in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, and Korea.


Courses offered in 2018-2019

LCOM1004      Introduction to pragmatics
LCOM3005      Internship in language & communication




2018. Hip Hop headz in sex ed: Gender, agency and styling in New Zealand. Language in Society 47(4).

2017. Language, sexuality and place: The view from cyberspace. In T. M. Milani (Ed.), Queering Language, Gender and Sexuality (pp. 256-280). New York: Equinox.

2017. Communities of practice. In B. Vine (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace (pp. 101-111). New York: Routledge.

2017. Querying heteronormativity among transnational Pasifika teenagers in New Zealand: An Oceanic approach to language and masculinity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 21(3), 442-464.

2017. Gender and sociopragmatics. In A. Barron, Y. Gu, & G. Steen (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics (pp. 121-138). London: Routledge.  (with Janet Holmes)

2017. Traversing the erotic oasis: Online chatting and the space/time continuum. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 16(3), 475-499.

2016. Becoming the intelligible other: speaking intersex bodies against the grain. Critical Discourse Studies, 13(4), 359-378.

2016. Language education, gender, and sexuality. In T. McCarty, & S. May (Eds.), Language policy and political issues in education (3rd ed., pp. 85-97). (Encyclopedia of language and education). New York: Springer. (with Benedict Rowlett)

2015. Wikipedia writing as praxis: Computer-mediated socialization of second-language writers. Language Learning and Technology, 19(3), 106-123.

2015. Online writing as a discovery process: Synchronous collaboration. In M. Pennington, T. Costley, & A. Chick (Eds.), Creativity and Discovery in the University Writing Class (pp. 321-345). New York: Equinox.

2015. Language and sexuality in education. In Patricia Whelehan, & Anne Bolin (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality (pp. 649-719). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

2015. Investigating digital sex talk practices: A reflection on corpus-assisted discourse analysis. In Rodney H. Jones, Alice Chik, & Christoph A. Hafner (Eds.), Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age (pp. 130-143). London: Routledge.

2014. Reclaiming masculinity in an account of lived intersex experience: Language, desire, and embodied knowledge. In T. M. Milani (Ed.), Language and Masculinities: Performances, Intersections, Dislocations (pp. 220-242). London: Routledge.

2014. Gender and pragmatics. In Carol A. Chapelle (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics New York: John Wiley & Sons. (with Janet Holmes)

2014. Inverting virginity, abstinence, and conquest: Sexual agency and subjectivity in classroom conversation. Sexualities, 17(3), 310-328.

2014. Tracing the emergence of a community of practice: Beyond presupposition in sociolinguistic research. Language in Society, 43(1), 61-81.

2014. Trivial, mundane or revealing? Food as a lens on ethnic norms in workplace talk. Language and Communication, 34(1), 46-55. (with Meredith Marra and Janet Holmes)

2013. How permeable is the formal-informal boundary at work? An ethnographic account of the role of food in workplace discourse. In C. Gerhardt, M. Frobenius, & S. Ley (Eds.), Culinary Linguistics: The Chef's Special (pp. 191-209). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing (with Janet Holmes and Meredith Marra)

2012. Location, Iore and language: An erotic triangle. Journal of Language and Sexuality, 1(1), 106-125.

2011. Language, sexuality and place: The view from cyberspace. Gender and Language, 5(1), 1-30.

2010. “All us girls were like euuh!”: Conversational work of be like in New Zealand adolescent talk. New Zealand English Journal, 24(1), 17-36.

2009. Building and analysing corpora of computer-mediated communication. In P. Baker (Ed.), Contemporary Corpus Linguistics (pp. 301-320). London: Continuum.

2008. “Being gay guy, that is the advantage”: Queer Korean language learning and identity construction. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 7(3-4), 230-252.



Last updated: 26 July 2018