Graduate research in the Department of Languages and Cultures

Our graduate researchers are exploring how people use language and other media to connect with each other and tell their stories

Carolin Krafzik

Carolin Krafzik (pictured above) is a PhD candidate examining the use and origins of swearing in Australia.

“I have been interested in English from a young age because it was my first foreign language. Over time, I became particularly interested in language variation such as dialects and cultural and social influences,” says Krafzik.

During her Master’s degree, Krafzik became intrigued about Australia's love of swearing.

“What I find particularly interesting about swearing in Australia is the range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds that have influenced our casual speech. I love that at La Trobe I get the opportunity to focus on a very specific variation of language.”

Krafzik’s research is investigating the effect of ethnicity on the use of swearing in Australian English among Anglo-Celtics, Chinese and Italians.

“I am trying to determine if migration from non-English speaking countries has influenced swearing culture and if swearing is something embraced by Australians independent of ethnicity, or if it’s a feature of speech predominantly used by people with Anglo-Irish heritage.”

“I hope to contribute to a better understanding of Australia as a multicultural society and how we communicate.”


Andrew Ty

Andrew Ty is a PhD candidate investigating the development of pop music as a multisensory experience.

“In 2019, La Trobe University and Ateneo de Manila University – the Philippines university where I teach – launched a joint co-supervision agreement that enables our staff to complete their PhD remotely. I thought this was a great opportunity so I applied for the program,” says Ty.

“Being a remote researcher presents unique challenges but I have maintained a great connection with my principal supervisor. I also recently spent four months in Melbourne and at La Trobe's Melbourne campus. It was wonderful to finally meet the people who I have come to know so well and have been an important part of my PhD journey.”

Ty’s PhD thesis is examining how pop music uses audiovisual and non-aural means of delivering musical content.

“Using the South Korean pop group, BTS, as a case study, I am exploring how pop music videos and other multimedia forms deliver music that is multisensory,” explains Ty.

“Music is no longer limited to being primarily a sonic phenomenon. Pop songs performed today are often audiovisual and engage the body through the different senses, which highlights the connection between performances of values and identities, and the broader phenomena of cosmopolitanism in pop music.”

“My PhD journey with La Trobe has been a formative experience for me, and I hope to continue my research after I graduate.”

Find out more about the Department of Languages and Cultures. Visit their website and LinkedIn.