Dr. Trester's Research

Anna Marie’s research has a deep commitment to making linguistics accessible and finding practical applications of linguistics exploration.  She explores this in her ongoing work exploring language and professional identity. This interest in institutional discourse began with her dissertation (of an improvisational theater troupe), and continued with ethnographies exploring the languages practices of organizations and groups ranging from Quakers holding a silent vigil for peace to students of leadership in the business school context.


Her current book “Bringing Linguistics to Work” investigates the language of the job search. She brings an interactional sociolinguistic approach to understanding the texts and interactions which comprise career exploration. Her interest in social media infuses this project by particular focus on the Language of LinkedIn. 

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In Telling and Retelling Prankster Tales, Anna Marie’s research explores how jokes and pranks get narrated to construct and convey institutional values. In Narrative Leadership: Storying Leaders in the Business School Classroom, she examines how agency is accomplished in narratives told in the business school classroom, within the world of the story, at the interactional level, and at the intertextual level. Ultimately, she considers implications on the discursive construction of leadership


Goffman's Production Format

This paper co-authored with Dr. Margaret Toye considers the affordances of the performance genre known as improvisational theater, and specifically, why ambiguity of principal makes performers enjoy it so very much!!

Discourse Markers & Constructive Dialogue

Linguists have particularly valuable insight to offer in understanding identity, given that one of the primary ways that identity emerges in interaction is via language. One way that Anna Marie’s research has explored this question is to look at the role of discourse marker “oh’ in presenting voices and accomplishing identity in interaction.



Anna Marie has long had a research interest in performance, specifically in understanding how identities emerge through language in performance contexts. Intertextuality as an interactional resource is an exploration of this aspect of language drawn from her ethnography of an improvisational theater troupe in Washington, DC.


Anna Marie explores the role of silence in communicating dissent and performing peace among a community of Quakers in this chapter in Adam Hodges’ Discourses of War and Peace.

Discursive Othering

In this Discursive othering paper, Anna Marie explores “discursive othering,” calling attention not only to practices of linguistic differentiation, but instances in which illuminating this difference involves evaluation.

Social Media

Anna Marie’s author contribution to the Discourse 2.0 edited volume focused on the evolving norms surrounding use of Facebook, but she is also very interested in LinkedIn. She gives LinkedIn for Humanists about the social and interactional functions of the medium, which incorporate linguistic insights.



The Language of Self-Presentation

In Anna Marie’s most recent book, she share stories of professional linguists to help answer the perennial question “what can you do with linguistics?” along with developmental activities to help linguists bring analytical and research tools and skills to navigating career next steps.