Laura Sae Miyake Mark
Laura Sae is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication at King’s College London.
She holds an MA in Language and Cultural Diversity (King's) and MA in TESOL with Translation Studies (Hull), and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in Modern European Languages: French and Spanish.
Laura Sae’s background is in language education - since 2013 she has primarily taught English (ELT and EAP) in British Higher Education, but also has experience of teaching French as a foreign language and overseeing Japanese language assessments. Prior to that, she worked for the European Commission and an educational NGO in Belgium and as an English language tutor at the Sciences Po and Université Nancy II in France.
'Mobility’ and ‘identity negotiation' have been closely connected themes in her life. Having spent her childhood between Japan and the UK and lived in a number of countries as an adult, she has come to see identity as fluid, contingent and negotiated, as she experienced particular aspects of her identity (e.g. being mixed-race, British, Japanese, a woman) gaining and losing salience and power in different contexts. These experiences have fed her fascination with the relationship between identity and communication, especially the role of communicative practices in constructing and reinforcing ideologies and narratives.
Her thesis title is: Being ‘hafu’ on/offline: discursive constructions of mixed-race Japanese identities in Facebook group members’ online and offline interactions.
Laura Sae's ESRC-funded doctoral research focuses on the self-identifications of ‘hafu’ (people of mixed-Japanese heritage) in digital and offline networks. She is particularly interested in exploring how ‘hafu’ identities are co-constructed in interactions among peers in communities of hafu people, and plans to draw on linguistic ethnography, digital ethnography and small stories research to analyse the ideologies and modes of representation being privileged or reinforced through discursive activities.