Bio

Julie Sedivy is a hybrid academic and writer who is obsessed with language in all its facets.

On her way to a conventional writing career she was sidelined by taking a linguistics course, which introduced her to the scientific study of language. This proved too much to resist. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Rochester, where she was involved in pioneering research using eye movements to study spoken language comprehension. She subsequently joined the faculty at Brown University for twelve years, and has published more than thirty scientific articles on language and the mind.

But on her way to a conventional academic career a funny thing happened: she indulged in some non-academic writing, and this, too, proved too much to resist. She now divides her time between academic life and writing for general audiences, often on themes relating to language. She is the lead author of the popular science book Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About You, and has blogged regularly for NautilusPsychology Today, Language Log, and Discover magazine. She is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Calgary, where she teaches in the departments of Psychology and Linguistics, Languages and Cultures. She has recently launched an undergraduate textbook titled Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics in which she links psycholinguistic research to beatboxing, legal investigations, scenes from Mad Men, and other ordinary and extraordinary uses of language. She is currently working on a book of essays and poetry, perhaps even in the same volume.

Julie is an active member of the literary scene in Calgary, Alberta, and can often be found at local readings, sometimes on stage. She has served as a board member and president of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and is a fervent advocate of artistic and intellectual pursuits at large.

Julie has made numerous appearances as a media commentator on CBC and NPR. She  occasionally rents out her brain and expertise as a consultant to commercial and non-profit entities. If she really likes you, she might dispense bursts of knowledge or advice for free.