We are all deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Dr Judi Atkins, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Aston University, Birmingham.


Judi was a scholar of growing reputation in the field of British politics and rhetoric. She was a founding member and long-serving secretary of the Rhetoric, Discourse and Politics specialist group, and a regular attendee at annual PSA Conferences. Her research cast new light on speech and argument in contemporary UK politics and governance. Among her many publications are journal articles and monographs on New Labour, the coalition government, and rhetorical methods of analysis. Most recently, she was working on a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust on Britishness and the rhetoric of the Queen’s Christmas message.


Before taking up her post at Aston in 2018, Judi was a lecturer at Coventry University and, prior to that, a research assistant on projects at the Universities of Swansea and Leeds. She completed her undergraduate studies and her PhD at the University of Birmingham.


Judi was a consistently kind and supportive colleague to all those who worked with her and to whom she often listened with sympathy and patience. Never one to dominate a conference panel or parade her professional discomforts, she often saved her exuberance for the drinks afterwards, where her warmth shone through. She was always pleased to catch up with academic friends and often shared her immense pride for the achievements of her daughter, Rhiannydd.


We are all proud to have known Judi and will remember with great affection her intellectual contribution and her friendship.


Much of Judi’s body of work was published in PSA journals. All of them have been made open access.