Reading, Writing and… Rebellion: LLRC  book launch with Lauren O'Hagan

Reading, Writing and… Rebellion: LLRC book launch with Lauren O'Hagan

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Lancaster Literacy Research Centre are delighted to welcome Lauren O'Hagan to discuss Reading, Writing and… Rebellion:

About this event

This Lancaster Literacy Research Centre event will be a talk from Lauren O'Hagan : "Reading, Writing and… Rebellion: Rethinking Working-Class Life Through the Edwardian Book Inscription "


At the beginning of the Edwardian era (1901-1914), the British working classes, who represented 75% of the country’s total population, were one of the most literate and politically active in the world. This was the result of more than twenty years of free and compulsory education, as well as the development of the labour movement, characterised by widespread trade unionism and socialism. Book inscriptions offer a unique opportunity to explore the lives of working-class Edwardians, standing as important first-hand evidence of their reading habits, social circles, jobs, hobbies and political and religious beliefs. In this paper, I will draw upon a range of examples collected as part of the ESRC-funded ‘Reading, Writing and… Rebellion’ project to demonstrate how reducing book inscriptions to the status of ‘simple markers of ownership’ vastly overlooks their broad communicative functions and the ways that linguistic, semiotic and material resources work together to transmit knowledge on working-class socialisation and stratification in Edwardian Britain. Ultimately, I argue that, through their inscriptions, members of the working classes modified and reshaped messages to contest predisposed cultures or developed new meanings relevant to their own social condition. Consequently, inscriptions indicate that cultural transmission is a bidirectional process and that, even with limited money and resources, working-class Edwardians found creative and unique means to express themselves.

Event schedule:

Event start time - Welcomes & introductions (please enter the meeting with your 'real' name as your display name, and your camera switched on, to allow us to all put faces to each others' names)

Event start time + 5 - Presentation from Lauren O'Hagan (please turn your camera off and mute your microphone during the presentation)

Event start time + 40 - Discussion (please use the raise hand feature on Teams to indicate you would like to have a turn speaking and once asked to speak by an event facilitator, please un-mute your microphone and turn your camera on)

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