From Cindy Gallois
I am writing to bring you the very sad news of the death from cancer of Emeritus Professor Christopher N. Candlin, on May 10th. Chris was a senior research professor in linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where he started as Professor and Department Chair in 1987. He was the Founding Director of the Centre for Language and Social Life at Macquarie, and he had previously started centres in applied linguistics and language and society at the University of Lancaster in England. Chris was a world leader in applied linguistics, particularly in the analysis of discourse in real-life contexts. He was passionate about using the theory and methodology of sociolinguistics to improve language in work, health, law, education – indeed, in all parts of society. He had a strong connection with language and social psychology, and had been a keynote speaker at ICLASP.
Chris was a dynamic and productive scholar, who aimed to bridge the disciplines of linguistics, education, psychology, and sociology – no mean feat, but one he accomplished with enormous energy and aplomb. He was very productive, with well over 150 books, chapters, and articles to his credit, and his work was well-cited. His great energy resulted in, as well as a teaching and research career that spanned 50 years, the editorship of books and journals, and his time as President of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA). He was an enthusiastic supervisor of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, with more than 70 graduates to his credit, and his students always admired his unstinting capacity to help and mentor them.
As well as founding and directing centres, Chris was active in conference organisation and presentations. Many of us have profited greatly from the conference he started with Srikant Saranji: Communication, Medicine, and Ethics (COMET), one of the few places where researchers and practitioners from these diverse fields can come together. He continued to work past retirement, until the final few weeks of his life. When he died, he was co-editing a special journal issue, based on a symposium he had organised for AILA in 2014, called Making Applied Linguistics Matter – another opportunity to bring researchers and practitioners together.
Chris Candlin leaves a legacy of commitment to making research on language matter, and others should and will take up the charge he fulfilled so passionately. He will be missed by all of us.