Lancaster Literacy Research Centre

The Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University works to better understand the role of literacy in all areas of social life.

For the timetable for upcoming talks see the Discussion Group page.

Our aims are to:

  1. Conduct leading research on authentic literacy practices, whether by children, young people or adults, and in a range of settings such as homes, communities, in education and in the workplace.
  2. Investigate the uses of digital technologies, which we perceive as part of everyday literacies for many people, rather than a realm apart.
  3. Support access to high quality, multimodal literacy practices by marginalised communities, in a variety of international settings;
  4. Extend the Literacy Studies approach to multidisciplinary work, for example working with Cultural Psychology, History and Sociology.
  5. Stimulate communication and collaboration between researchers, educational practitioners, and policy makers who have a keen interest in literacy and language education
  6. Engage in conversations which influence the study of literacy in multilingual contexts, digital environments, and spanning different geographical areas.

If you follow the links above you will find out more about our projects, people and events. We publish a huge range of publications, including academic monographs, edited books, journal articles, chapters in edited books, policy briefs and much, much more. Some of these are available through the publications links above but most are visible through our members’ pages. We welcome visitors to our Literacy Research Discussion Group and also longer term academic visitors, via the visitors’ scheme in the Department of Linguistics and English Language.

We are closely linked with a variety of professional and academic organisations concerned with literacy. For example Karin Tusting was for several years convenor of the Linguistic Ethnography Forum, a SIG of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, which runs the biannual international conference Explorations in Ethnography, Language and Communication. David Barton, Julia Gillen and Uta Papen are longstanding members of the UK Literacy Association, contributing in various ways. Julia Gillen is Chair of the Awards Committee of the Writing and Literacies SIG of the American Educational Research Association and co-edits the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

Uta Papen and Julia Gillen jointly co-edit two book series: Literacies (Routledge, UK) and Research in Literacy (Routledge, NY).

Visit the Literacies Log and read about a few of the topics we are interested in. We welcome your comments.

To find out more about our individual areas of research follow the Members link.

If you would like to join us as a guest on our email list, or apply to be an affiliate member listed on this website, please write to .

New for Summer/Autumn 2021! Join our Literacy research network for PhD students and ECRsset up by PhD students, for PhD students.

Header image by ibrar bhatt ©