Maria Mos-Last

Last lecture by Maria Mos - The power of words*

Date: Time: 16:00 Location: Black Box, Esplanade Building, Tilburg University

Maria Mos will focus in her ‘Last lecture’ on the effects of what you say. Sometimes, a small remark can leave a big impression. Words can be powerful. Mos will argue that we should be much more attentive to our language use. (language: English)

Time: 16:00-17:30 hrs. 
 Admission is free. See also Facebook.

' be kind, be careful, be critical, and fuck the patriarchy’

Sometimes, a small remark can leave a big impression. There are snippets of conversations from years ago, that you still remember almost verbatim. These impressions can be positive “your teaching gave me a new insight, thanks!” or negative “could you please not ask this many questions in class?” and may or may not have been intended to have such a strong impact.

This lecture will be about effects of what you say. Maria Mos will use examples from her own and other scholars’ research as well as personal experiences. She will argue that we should express our gratitude and appreciation for people’s constructive behavior more often, that it is worthwhile to (spell)check what you write, and to invest time in really understanding what other people say. She will also take an unapologetically feminist stance, and argue that we should be much more attentive to our language use in terms of inclusivity and gender balance. The goal of the lecture is to make us more aware of how powerful the words that we use can be.

Maria Mos

Maria Mos is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences.

She carries out her research as a member of TiCC that focuses on linguistic mental representations, more specifically on frequency-driven and context-defined representations. To what extent do we know, either explicitly or implicitly, in what contexts words and phrases typically occur? Do we make use of this knowledge when we process language? And how does this knowledge affect our interpretation and evaluation of language use and the language user? She makes use of metalinguistic measures, such as familiarity judgments, as well as more indirect measures, e.g. perception of attractiveness of a text and its writer.

Last Lecture

A 'last lecture' is a lecture in which a professor lectures to a group of students as if it was their last lecture. The professor answers questions like 'What would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance? or 'If this were your last time to address a group of students, what would you say?


This event is organized by Academic Forum and Extra Muros.

Contact: Annelieke Koster (Academic Forum).

* This event may count towards the Academic Forum Certificate.