Karen Stollznow

Karen Stollznow (born 12 August 1976) is an Australian-American writer, linguist, and skeptic. Her books include The Language of Discrimination,[6] God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States,[7][8] Haunting America,[9] Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic,[10] Hits and Mrs,[11] and Would You Believe It?: Mysterious Tales From People You'd Least Expect.[12] She also writes short stories, and is a host on the podcast Monster Talk.

Karen Stollznow
Karen Stollznow.jpg
February 2011
Born (1976-08-12) 12 August 1976 (age 44)
Alma materUniversity of New England
(Bachelor of Arts Linguistics, Anthropology & History 2001)
University of New England (Bachelor of Arts with Honours - First Class in Linguistics 2002)[1] School of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of New England, Australia (PhD) Linguistics 2007[2]
Known forPodcasting, Skepticism of the paranormal, Research Fellow for JREF[3] and CSI[4]
Scientific career
InstitutionsSan Francisco State University
University of California, Berkeley[5]
University of New England
Cal Poly
Metropolitan State College of Denver


A student of linguistics and history at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, she received First Class Honors in Linguistics,[1] and went on to a PhD in the area of Lexical Semantics. She graduated with her doctorate in 2007.[2] In 2004 she relocated to California to become a Visiting Student Researcher with the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2005 she became a Researcher for the Script Encoding Initiative, a joint project between the UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics, and the Unicode Consortium.[5]

From 1997 to 2009 Stollznow was a prominent investigator and writer for the Australian Skeptics[13] and served as Editor of their magazine The Skeptic[14][15] for which she also wrote many articles.[16][17][18] She has also written for publications such as Australasian Science,[19][20][21] Neucleus,[22][23] Skeptical Inquirer,[24][25][26] and others.[27]

Karen Stollznow Presents at TAM 2012

Between 2009 and 2011 she wrote the Naked Skeptic column for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI),[28] now rebranded as The Good Word for Skeptical Inquirer.[29] In 2010 she began as the Bad Language columnist for Skeptic.[30][31][32] She has been a host of the Skeptics Society's MonsterTalk podcast[33] since its beginning in 2009[34] and in 2010 she became a host of the Center for Inquiry's Point of Inquiry podcast as well.[35] In 2011 she presented a talk at the Colorado Springs SkeptiCamp on Making (Up) History,[36] and at the Denver/Boulder SkeptiCamp on Braco the Gazer.[37] In 2012 she was a speaker at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas, giving a talk titled "Prediction and Language",[38] and in 2013 giving a talk titled "What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism".[39]

Stollznow is also a Research Fellow for the James Randi Educational Foundation.[3][40] She is a Contributing Editor for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry[4] and a member of their Executive Council.[41]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Stollznow, Karen (2017). The Language of Discrimination. LINCOM GmbH. ISBN 978-3862887903
  • Stollznow, Karen (2017). Would You Believe It?: Mysterious Tales From People You'd Least Expect. Amazon Digital Services. ASIN B01MQVE2Z5
  • Stollznow, Karen (2016). Hits and Mrs. Amazon Digital Services. ASIN B01BJGUCXI
  • Stollznow, Karen (2014). Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic. ISBN 978-1137404855
  • Stollznow, Karen (2013). God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States. ISBN 978-1939578006
  • Stollznow, Karen (2013). Haunting America. James Randi Educational Foundation. ASIN B00DSQVBAQ.
  • Stollznow, Karen (2010). Skepticism and the Paranormal: A Rose By Any Other Name. In Bonett, W. (Ed.) The Australian Book of Atheism. Scribe Publications ISBN 1-921640-76-6 OCLC 653346301
  • Stollznow, Karen (June 2009), "The Writing's on the Wall for the World's Endangered Writing Systems", The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Technical Communication Southern Communicator (17): 12–13
  • Stollznow, Karen (2009), "Keith Allan & Kate Burridge, Forbidden words: Taboo and the censoring of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. Ix, 303. Hb $75.00, Pb $29.99", Language in Society, 38 (1): 135–136, doi:10.1017/s0047404508090234, OCLC 4668942846
  • Stollznow, Karen (2008), "Dehumanisation in language and thought", Journal of Language and Politics, 7 (2): 177–200, doi:10.1075/jlp.7.2.01sto, OCLC 535670348
  • Stollznow, Karen (2007), "Key Words in the Discourse of Discrimination: A Semantic Analysis", PHD Dissertation University of New England, OCLC 277175055
  • Stollznow, Karen (2005), "When Opposites Attract: The Re-appropriation and Amelioration of Words in Australian English", Society of North America, Boston
  • Stollznow, Karen (2004), "Whinger! Wanker! Wowser! 'Aussie English insults: deprecatory language and the Australian Ethos'" (PDF), Proceedings of the 2003 Australian Linguistic Society, Australian Journal of Linguistics: 11
  • Collins, Anne ed. Stollznow, Karen (2004), "Who You Gonna Call?", English Express 2: 33–38, ISBN 0-12-360243-2CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Stollznow, Karen (2003), "The semantics and usage of abusive epithets in Australian English. Conference paper proceedings", New Zealand Linguist Society Wellington
  • Stollznow, Karen (2002), "Terms of Abuse in Australian English: An analysis of abusive and insulting epithets in Australian English", University of New England BA Honors Thesis


Karen Stollznow is an expatriate Australian and formerly lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Born in the Sydney suburb of Manly, she grew up in Collaroy, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Stollznow is married to Matthew Baxter of Bryan & Baxter and lives in Denver, Colorado with their son.[42]


  1. ^ a b Faculty of Arts, Humanities; Social Sciences (December 2006). "Honors in Linguistics" (PDF). University of New England. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "UNE Linguistics Postgraduates". University of New England. Archived from the original on 11 January 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Dr. Ray Hall Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow". JREF SWIFT blog. James Randi Educational Foundation. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b "CSI Announces New Fellows". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Script Encoding Initiative - About Who We Are". Department of Linguistics University of California, Berkeley. 24 September 2006. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  6. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2017). The Language of Discrimination. LINCOM GmbH. ISBN 978-3862887903.,
  7. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2013). God Bless America. Pitchstone Publishing. ISBN 978-1939578006.
  8. ^ Stedman, Chris (20 February 2014). "Santeria, Scientology, Satanism — oh my! Atheist author explores minority religions". Religion News Service. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  9. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2013). Haunting America. JREF. ASIN: B00DSQVBAQ
  10. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2014). Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1137404855.
  11. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2016). Hits and Mrs. Amazon Digital Services LLC. ASIN: B01BJGUCXI
  12. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2017). Would You Believe It?: Mysterious Tales From People You'd Least Expect. Amazon Digital Services LLC. ASIN: B01MQVE2Z5
  13. ^ "20 Questions with Karen Stollznow". Haunted America Tours. 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  14. ^ "A Brief History of the Skeptic". Australian Skeptics. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  15. ^ Jones, Zoie (13 March 2009). "Most people in the dark about Black Friday, say sceptics". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  16. ^ Edwards, Harry; Stollznow, Karen (1998), "Alternative Consultations", The Skeptic, 18 (2): 10–14
  17. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2003), "Medium Rare but not Well Done", The Skeptic, 24 (1): 36–41
  18. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2008), "Inside the JREF HQ", The Skeptic, 28 (4): 20–21
  19. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2004), "What's in a Name?", Australasian Science, 25 (7): 46
  20. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2006), "Preserving the World's Endangered Writing Systems", Australasian Science, 27 (7): 47–49
  21. ^ Stollznow, Karen (May 2009), "Fire and Brimstone", Australasian Science, 30 (4): 46
  22. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2002), "Weird Wide Websites", Neucleus (1)
  23. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2004), "Hand Out and Foot in Mouth", Neucleus (1): 22–23
  24. ^ Stollznow, Karen (May–June 2008), "Anonymous versus Scientology", Skeptical Inquirer, 32 (3)
  25. ^ Stollznow, Karen (May–June 2009), "A Modern Witch Craze in Papua New Guinea", Skeptical Inquirer, 33 (7)
  26. ^ Stollznow, Karen (November–December 2009), "Skepticism and Blogging", Skeptical Inquirer, 33 (6): 41–42
  27. ^ Stollznow, Karen (June 2005), "Berkeley Riot: The Freak Accident and Nomeansno", Ricochet Magazine
  28. ^ "Special Articles – The Naked Skeptic". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  29. ^ "The Good Word". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Inquiry. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  30. ^ Stollznow, Karen, "Bad Language: The Accidental Accent", Skeptic, Skeptics Society, vol. 16 no. 2, retrieved 10 July 2011
  31. ^ Stollznow, Karen, "Bad Language: Turn On, Tune Out, Drop Off", Skeptic, Skeptics Society, vol. 16 no. 1, retrieved 10 July 2011
  32. ^ Stollznow, Karen, "Bad Language: Not-so-Linguistic Programming", Skeptic, Skeptics Society, vol. 15 no. 4, retrieved 10 July 2011
  33. ^ "About the Hosts of MonsterTalk". Skeptics Society. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  34. ^ Stollznow, Karen (18 July 2009). "Monster Talk". Skepchick.org. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  35. ^ "About Point of Inquiry". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  36. ^ "SkeptiCamp Colorado Springs 2011". Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  37. ^ "SkeptiCamp Denver/Boulder 2011". Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  38. ^ "The Amazing Meeting (TAM) 2012". 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  39. ^ "The Amazing Meeting (TAM) 2013". 20 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  40. ^ "JREF Appoints Two Research Fellows". James Randi Educational Foundation News and Updates. JREF. October 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  41. ^ CSI (5 May 2011). "CSI Adds to Executive Council - Karen Stollznow and Elizabeth Loftus Join the Board". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  42. ^ Karen Stollznow - About Me

External linksEdit