Stephen Pax Leonard is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA) and a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.
Stephen studied modern and ancient languages before developing interests in linguistic anthropology. His doctoral research at Oxford examined how linguistic norms and social identities were established in early Iceland and how this identity was reflected in the literature. Subsequently, as a Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and as a British Academy grantee, he documented the language and oral traditions of a group of Inuit hunters living in remote, north-west Greenland. More recently, he has been living in the Faroe Islands, working on a separate project which examines the development of a Faroese language ecology with a specific focus on the role of radio and poetry. His research has been covered widely in the Press, radio and television. Recently, he worked on a major documentary on climate change presented by Ann Curry (NBC).
He has published three academic books, Language, Society and Identity in early Iceland (2012), The Polar North: Ways of Speaking, Ways of Belonging (2014) and Some Ethnolinguistic Notes on Polar Eskimo (2015) as well as a book of poetry, Arctic Journal (2014).