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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Alex Panicacci, PhD (Birkbeck)


British Academy Postdoctoral Researcher



I am a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and I am currently working at a new project entitled ‘Is a multilingual and multicultural identity an obstacle to integration?’

This research investigates identity practices in long-standing and fast-changing multicultural societies. Understanding how people reconcile different languages and cultures within their sense of self while still feeling part of a community could indeed foster better awareness of integration practices and of modern social dynamics. This project involves visits at the University of Washington, Seattle, and University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

I completed my PhD in Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck, University of London, in 2017, under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Marc Dewaele and Prof. Li Wei, and was awarded a full scholarship by the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy. My dissertation explored the interplay between emotion expression in a foreign language, acculturation processes and personality profiles in migrants’ experience.

From 2016 to 2019 I worked as a Research Assistant under the supervision of Prof. Bassetti. We collaborated at several research projects, partly funded by Leverhulme, and based at Warwick University, University College London, and University of Birmingham. In 2018 I have also been conferred the title of Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck, University of London. I am a member of the Birkbeck Applied Linguistic Society and of the International Society for Research on Emotion.

Outside the Academia I have been working with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Citizenship Consular Officer. This work experience provided crucial insights to investigate migrants’ political and cultural self.

Besides research, I am passionate about traveling, alternative music, ballet, photography, migrants’ literature, books, art, cinema, philosophy, politics, sustainability, veganism, animal and human rights.


Research Interests:

  • Linguistic, cultural, racial diversity
  • Acculturation tendencies and emotional acculturation
  • Multilingualism and multiculturalism
  • Identity and self-perception in different languages
  • Race, ethnicity, and prototypicality
  • Sense of belonging and cultural affiliations
  • Emotion expression and perception
  • Affective socialisation and sociolinguistic practices
  • Personality traits and individual differences
  • Migration
  • Cultural psychology and cross-cultural differences
  • Social identity and stereotypes



Panicacci, A. (2021). Exploring Identity Across Language and Culture: The Psychological, Emotional, Linguistic, and Cultural Changes Following Migration. Routledge. 



Resnik, P., Moskowitz, S., Panicacci, A., & Dewaele, J.-M. (in press), Exploring EFL learners’ L2 grit and emotions in online classes, Journal of the Psychology of Language Learning, Special Issue (3)2, 98–116. 

Panicacci, A. (2020). Does expressing emotions in the local language help migrants acculturate?, International Journal of Language and Culture, 6(2), 279-304. 

Panicacci, A. (2019). Do the languages migrants use in private and emotional domains define their cultural belonging more than the passport they have?, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 69, 87-101.  

Panicacci, A. & Dewaele, J-M (2018). Do interlocutors or conversation topics affect migrants’ sense of feeling different when switching languages?, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 39(3), 240-255. 

Panicacci, A. & Dewaele, J-M (2017). “A voice from elsewhere”: acculturation, personality and migrants’ self-perceptions across languages and cultures. International Journal of Multilingualism, 2(1), 62–86. 

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