Sage Graham


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Sage Graham


B.A., 1989, Rhodes College
M.A., 1995, University of Memphis
Ph.D., 2003, Georgetown University

Academic Summary

Using language as an analytical lens, Dr. Graham's research explores causes of misunderstanding and conflict in computer-mediated communication, impoliteness, patterns of identity construction through language choices, and discourse of professional communicative practices. Her publications address topics such as gendered language use in religious contexts, (im)politeness in computer-mediated Communities of Practice, computer-mediated identity construction in a range of computer modalities, multimodal communication, and power negotiation and misunderstanding in medical and social work practices.

In 2013, in collaboration with the Honors College, she also established the University of Memphis' undergraduate research journal QuaesitUM. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, which highlights cutting-edge research from across all disciplines.

Select Publications


  • Locher, Miriam A. and Sage Lambert Graham (eds.) (2010) Interpersonal Pragmatics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Book Chapters

  • Graham, S. (2005) "Cyberparish: Gendered identity construction in an online religious community." In Jule, A. (Ed.) Gender and the Language of Religion. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 133 – 150
  • Graham, S. (2007a). "'Do Unto Others': Gender and the Construction of a 'Good Christian' Identity in an e-community." In Jule, A. (Ed.) Language and Religious Identity: Women in Discourse. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 73 – 103
  • Graham, S. (2008a) "A Manual for (Im)politeness?: The impact of the FAQ in e-community formation and socialization." In Bousfield, D. and Locher, M. (Eds.) Impoliteness in Language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 281 - 304
  • Graham, S. (2015) "Relationality, Friendship and Identity." In Georgakopoulou, A. and Spiloti, T. (Eds.) Handbook of Language and Digital Communication. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 305-320. 
  • Graham, S. and Hardaker, C. (2017) "(Im)politeness in Digital Communication." Palgrave Handbooks of Linguistic Politeness. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 785-814. 
  • Graham, S. (2017). "Politeness and Impoliteness in Social Media." Pragmatics of Social Media. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 459-491.
  • Graham, S. and Dutt, S. (2019). "Watch the potty mouth: Negotiating impoliteness in online gaming." In Enssslin, A, & Balteiro, I. (eds.) Approaches to Videogame Discourse – Lexis, Interaction, Textuality. pp. 201-224. 
  • Graham, S. (2019). Interaction and conflict in digital communication. In Evans, M., Jeffries, L., and O'Driscoll, J. (eds.) Handbook of Language in Conflict. New York: Routledge. pp. 310-328.
  • Graham, S. (2020). Impoliteness and the moral order in online gaming. In Xie, C, ed. (Im)politeness and Moral Order in Online Interactions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 99-123. DOI:

Journal Articles

  • Graham, S. (2007). "Disagreeing to Agree: Conflict (Im)politeness and Identity in a Computer-Mediated Community." Spencer-Oatey, H. and Ruhi, S. (Eds.) Special Issue: Identity Perspectives on Face and (Im)politeness, Journal of Pragmatics 39: 4. pp. 742-759. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
  • Popham, S. and Graham, S. (2008). "A Structural Analysis of Coherence in Electronic Charts in Juvenile Mental Health." Technical Communication Quarterly 17: 2 pp. 149 – 172. Mahwah, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum Associates (LEA).
  • Graham, S. (2009). "Hospitalk: Politeness and Hierarchical Structures in Interdisciplinary Discharge Rounds." Journal of Politeness Research 5:1. pp. 11 – 31. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Graham, S. (2011). "Diversity in Healthcare: The Intersection of Language, Communication, and Health Equality in Tennessee." Tennessee Board of Regents Research conference proceedings.
  • Graham, S. (2018) "Impoliteness and the Moral Order in Online Gaming." Internet Pragmatics 1(2): 303-328. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Graham, S. (2019). "A wink and a nod: The role of emojis in forming digital communities". In Al Zidjaly, N. (ed.) Special Issue: Negotiating Identity in a 'Glocalized' World. Multilingua. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 377–400.