Carla Suhr

Carla Suhr has been a Senior Lecturer in English Philology at the University of Helsinki since August 2014.

She returned to teach at her alma mater (PhD 2011) after a two-year Senior lectureship at the University of Turku. Before starting her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English philology, she obtained an MA in History, so it is no accident that her academic interests combine both fields. In very broad terms, she investigates the construction of texts in early modern England, with a focus on early news discourse and medical discourse.

Contact information


PhD, Senior Lecturer

Room C609, Unioninkatu 40

PL 24, 00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland

Phone: +358 50 448 8677

E-mail: carla.suhr(at)

Research interests

Keywords: historical pragmatics, corpus-assisted discourse analysis, genre studies, book history, corpus compilation and methodology

My research field is historical pragmatics, which studies language use in context. My definition of "context" is very broad, as it includes not only the surrounding text but also the physical (visual) aspects of texts and the contemporary society and culture that surrounds them. Because of my interest in the social and cultural context of texts, my research is often also characterized as corpus-assisted discourse analysis.

The period I concentrate on is the early modern period, though my interests range from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. I have two primary areas of interest: early news discourse (pamphlets and newspapers) and medical writing. I am especially interested in the development and variation of genres and genre conventions: How does a new genre develop? How do expanding or new audiences influence a genre? How are social and cultural shifts reflected in genres? My textual analyses are often complemented by analyses of the visual features of texts, such as layout and illustrations.

I am currently a collaborator in the Early Modern Graphic Literacies project, a project funded by the Research Council of Finland and carried out at the University of Turku.

I have a background in corpus compilation: For my dissertation research, I compiled the Corpus of early modern English witchcraft pamphlets (2011), and as a long-time member of the Scientific Thought-styles project I have participated in the compilation of the Corpus of Early English Medical Writing (CEEMW).


Recent publications