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Welcome to this very special issue of the IGALA blog – the graduate student issue!

Having been the Graduate Student Representative on the IGALA advisory board for the past few years, and as a recent graduate student myself, I have been constantly impressed by how much the IGALA community positively embraces and supports the work of its graduate student members. From the Graduate Student Best Paper Prize and conference workshops to networking and academic support, IGALA aims to provide a space in which graduate students feel welcome and valued as early career researchers with the capacity to make significant and lasting contributions to the field. That said, in this special issue of the IGALA blog, it gives Federica and I great pleasure to showcase some of the work being done by current graduate students in language, gender, and sexuality. After reading the contributions from this next generation of researchers, I’m sure you will agree that their diverse, dynamic, and dedicated scholarship has the potential to lead the field in new and exciting directions in the years to come.

The six contributors to this issue are:

Angela Zottola is a PhD candidate (waiting to discuss her viva) at the University of Napoli Federico II (programme: Mind ,Gender & Language - Curriculum: Language, Linguistics and ESP). She investigates the representation of transgender people in the British press, using a two-million-word corpus she has constructed of newspaper articles.

Elvis Coimbra Gomes is a PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London. Elvis uses corpus assisted discourse analysis to research how people who suffer from sexuality and relationship-themed Obsessive-Compulsive disorder use language to make sense of their mental health.

Stamatina Katsiveli-Siachou is also a PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London. The research discussed here focuses on the conflicting ways in which sexual identity and Greek national identity intersect in talk-in-interaction.

Shawn Warner-Garcia, a PhD candidate at UC, Santa Barbara explores the intersections of faith and sexuality in the Baptist community, and, in doing so, examines the ways in which community-engaged research can make a positive impact in these communities.

Nat Dziura, an MA student at the University of Sheffield, re-examines concepts of 'genderlects' to include non-binary people.

Laura Hekanaho is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki who has used an online survey to research 3rd person singular pronoun use by non-binary people.

Please feel free to contact any of the above contributors if you have questions or comments about their posts. You can do this by contacting them directly (their details are in the posts) or replying online. I’m sure that they will appreciate any feedback that will assist and inspire them as they continue to shape and refine their research.

I hope that all the contributors will consider developing their posts into articles and submit an entry to the IGALA 10 Best Graduate Paper Prize (see details on the graduate student space of the website). Also, if you are an advisor, please continue to encourage your students to do the same.

We will be in touch about the next call for blog posts soon and, as ever, do let us know if you have any ideas, comments and suggestions.

Look forward to seeing you all at IGALA 10 in Gaborone!

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