I am a researcher and lecturer in English linguistics and Digital humanities at the University of Basel, as well as a Lecturer in English at the FHNW’s school of education. My current research interests are English subtitles and timed comments of/to Korean Drama, Comments on Reddit’s Change My View subreddit, online book reviews, memes, pragmatic approaches to audiovisual translation, English language competence testing.


09/2018–11/2019 – CAS Higher Education (Hochschullehre),
FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland

07–08/2019 – European Summer University in Digital Humanities 2019: “Culture and Technology (ESU 2019), University of Leipzig, Germany.
Workshop “Neural Networks and NLP”, 23.–27.7.2019.
Workshop “Stylometry”, 29.7.–2.8.2019.

06/2019 – Corpus Linguistics Summer School 2019, University of Birmingham, England

02/2013–01/2018 – Doctorate “Repetition in Telecinematic Humour: How US American sitcoms employ formal and semantic repetition in the construction of multimodal humour”
HPSL/Department of English, University of Basel, Switzerland
First supervisor: Prof. Dr. Miriam Locher
Second supervisor: Dr. habil. Andreas Langlotz
Defended on 26/1/2018 (summa cum laude)

06/2015 – Didactics course in higher education: Lehrveranstaltungen planen und gestalten (‘Preparing and planning university courses’), University of Basel, Switzerland

09/2011–01/2015 – Teaching diploma for upper secondary education
University of Zürich, Switzerland

09/2010–11/2012 and 09/2001–08/2006 –  Lic. phil. (MA equivalent)
Major: English linguistics and literature
Minors: German linguistics, German literature since 1700
University of Zürich, Switzerland

08/2011 – CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
The Randolph School of English, Edinburgh, Scotland

09/2006–09/2010 – Master of Arts in Film Studies
Réseau Cinéma CH/University of Zürich, Switzerland

08/1993–01/2000 – Matura (Gymnasium)
Kantonsschule Rychenberg, Winterthur, Switzerland

Other Publications

Locher, Miriam A., & Messerli, Thomas C. (accepted). Translating the other: Communal TV watching of Korean TV Drama. Journal of Pragmatics.

Dynel, Marta, & Messerli, Thomas C. (2020). On a cross-cultural memescape: Switzerland through nation memes from within and from the outside. Contrastive Pragmatics, 1(1), 1–32. https://doi.org/10.1163/26660393-BJA10007

Messerli, Thomas C. (2020). Ocean’s Eleven’s Scene 12 – Lost in Transcription. Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2019.1708421

Messerli, Thomas C. (2020). Repetition in sitcom humour. In Hoffmann, C., & Kirner, M. (Eds.) Telecinematic Stylistics (pp. 87–112). London: Bloomsbury.

Messerli, Thomas C. (2020). Subtitled artefacts as communication – the case of Ocean’s Eleven’s Scene 12. Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2019.1704805

Messerli, Thomas C. (2019). Will Ferrell (1967– ). In Baumgartner, J. C. (Ed.), American Political Humor: Masters of Satire and Their Impact on U.S. Policy and Culture(pp. 519–521). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC CLIO.

Messerli, Thomas C. (2019). Subtitles and cinematic meaning-making: Interlingual subtitles as textual agents. Multilingua, 38(5),529–546. https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2018-0119.

Messerli, Thomas C., & Yu Di (2018): Multimodal construction of soccer-related humor on Twitter and Instagram. In Askin, R., Diederich C., & Bieri, A. (Eds.), The Aesthetics, Poetics, and Rhetoric of Soccer (pp. 227–255). London: Routledge.

Messerli, Thomas C. (2017). Sitcom humour as ventriloquism. Lingua, 197, 16–33.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2017.05.006

Messerli, Thomas C. (2017). Participation structure in fictional discourse: Authors, scriptwriters, audiences and characters. In Miriam A. Locher & Andreas H. Jucker (Eds.), Pragmatics of Fiction. Handbooks of Pragmatics, vol. 12 (pp. 25–54). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Messerli, Thomas C. (2016). Extradiegetic and character laughter as markers of humorous intentions in the sitcom 2 Broke Girls. Journal of Pragmatics, 95, 79–92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.12.009

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    Messerli, Thomas C., & Herrmann, J. Berenike (2020, July): Metaphors we read by: Finding metaphorical conceptualizations of reading in web 2.0 book reviews. Conference paper. Digital Humanities Conference 2020: “carrefours/intersections”. Ottawa, Canada. ONLINE. 22–24 July, 2020.

    Messerli, Thomas C., & Locher, Miriam A. (2020, November): Joint K-Drama Viewing: Community building through fan subtitling and timed comments on Viki.com. Conference paper. TVSERIES 2020 (Discourses of Fictional (Digital) TV Series). Valencia, Spain. 3–6 November, 2020.

    Messerli, Thomas C. (2020, November): Less, without, No! – Persuasive absence on cereal boxes. Conference paper. Conference “Influence, Manipulation, and Seduction: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Persuasive Language”. Basel, Switzerland. 20–22 November, 2020.

    Messerli, Thomas C., & Herrmann, J. Berenike (2021, June): READING EXPERIENCE IS … – Source Domains for Metaphors in German language online book reviews. Conference paper. International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL) Conference 2021. Liverpool, UK. 23–26 June, 2021.

    Messerli, Thomas C., &  Dayter, Daria (2021, August): Constructing values of food: Taste, health and morality on cereal boxes. Conference paper. AILA 2021, World Congress of Applied Linguistics: “The dynamics of language, communication and culture in a changing world”. Groningen, Netherlands. 15–21 August, 2021.

    Thomas C. Messerli

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