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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Photo of  Katy Humberstone

Katy Humberstone

PhD Student


I am a first-year doctoral student in Modern Languages here at the University of Exeter. My research focuses on contemporary identity in the Cornish-Mexican diaspora of Hidalgo, Mexico, to which Cornish miners historically migrated. My study is kindly funded by the SWWDTP2 (South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership). 

I graduated from BA (Hons) French, Italian and Spanish at Exeter in 2019. During this time, the seed was sown for learning about minority languages, sociolinguistics, and multilingualism. After a year of professional experience in Learning and Development and Higher Education, I returned to Postgraduate study at the University of Sheffield in 2020, where I recently obtained my MA in Modern Languages and Cultures (due to formally graduate, January 2022). My MA dissertation focused on contemporary identity among descendants of Cornish in Hidalgo, for which I achieved a High Distinction (86). 

During my Master's degree, I developed my interests in Sociolinguistics, (particularly those of small and minoritised languages), in addition to theories based within Social Semiotics, Multimodality, and Visual Sociology. More broadly, I am a keen artist and crafter, and am interested in how artistic and creative practices can inform my research, and vice-versa. I have close working ties with the Institute of Cornish Studies at Penryn campus (Cornwall) and am keen on developing interdisciplinary and engaged methods of research. 

Having started my PhD in September 2021, I recently established a new 'Space and Culture' Research Cluster, based within the SWWDTP. This aims to bring together diverse scholars whose research interests intersect with the broader themes of 'Space' and 'Culture'. Through this group, I am keen to research and develop ties alongside other SWWDTP clusters, for which we've some exciting plans for the forthcoming year. You can find out more about this group at: Student-led Activity | SWW DTP Studentship : SWW DTP Studentship (

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