Lancaster Literacy Research Centre

New for Summer/Autumn 2021!
Join our Literacy research group for PhD students!

We invite all PhD students developing their dissertations on literacy as a social practice to join the Literacy Research Group for PhD students. This will be a space for collaborating and sharing works in progress with other PhD students in a more casual way. This invitation is NOT restricted to PhD students from Lancaster University.

What is this group about? 

The main initial goals of this PhD Literacy Research Discussion Group would be to:

  • Engage in conversations with other PhD students in a more informal-casual way;
  • Share our own research designs, methods, and procedures of data collection, among others, to receive feedback and learn from others’ work.
  • Collaborate with each other by sharing references and readings, among others.

How to participate? 

If you are interested in joining this group, just let the organizers know by registering in this form.

Soledad Montes Sánchez and Denise de Pauw

The Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University met online from the beginning of January to the end of June 2021. We had an exciting programme of events on Fridays, at various times of the day to enable people to connect with us from different time zones.

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 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find out more about our aims and follow links at the top.



Date Time


Speaker Title More information and registration
8 Jan 11.00 Sam Duncan, UCL Book launch: ‘Oral Literacies: When Adults Read Aloud’
15 Jan 15.00 Ross Young and Felicity Ferguson, Literacy for Pleasure Writing For Pleasure: theory, research and practice


22 Jan 12.00 Oksana Afitska , Lancaster University Use of academic language in primary classrooms: functions, patterns and learning outcomes


29 Jan 12.00 Emily Peach and Uta Papen, Lancaster  ‘Crying so hard that I’ll be physically ill over a piece of work’: academic literacy practices and student mental health.


5 Feb 13.00 Navan Govender, University of Strathclyde “What are we supposed to do?”: Critical Literacies & Empire
11 Feb 13.00 Colin Penny, Lancaster Castle Museum Director  “Gay Graffiti at Lancaster Castle” In celebration of LGBT History Month, we are joining the Lancaster University LGBT+ network.



12 Feb 12.00 Boris Vazquez-Calvo, Autonomous University of Madrid   Language learning entering the digital wilds: Catalan gamers as guerrilla fan translators
19 Feb 15.00 Rachel Heydon Western University and Shelley Stagg Peterson, OISE, University of Toronto  The Case of the Ontario Right to Read Inquiry: A Trans-national Dialogue on Literacy, Disability, and Pedagogy in a Science of Reading Era


26 Feb 10.00 Rachael Levy, UCL and Mel Hall, Manchester Metropolitan University ‘No-one would sleep if we didn’t have books’: understanding shared reading practices in families. Book launch of Family Literacies: reading with young children


5 Mar 17.00 Hervin Fernandez Aceves, Lancaster University Endemic social practices and autochthonous medieval texts: the charters and condaghes of Sardinia



12 Mar 15.00 Gee Macrory, Manchester Metropolitan University “Commas in the air”: new orthographies in the primary languages classroom


19 Mar 11.00 Soledad Montes Sánchez, Lancaster University Transitions in students writing: what do we know from theory and research?
26 Mar 13.00 Jamie Duncan, Lancaster University

(currently based in Rio de Janiero)

Researching Protest Literacies



(British Summer Time)

16 Apr 11.00 Philomena Osseo-Asare, Sheffield University Book Launch:The Impacts of Language and Literacy Policy on Teaching Practices in Ghana


23 Apr 10.00 Lauren O’Hagan, Cardiff University Reading, Writing and… Rebellion: Rethinking Working-Class Life Through the Edwardian Book Inscription Book launch


30 Apr 11.00 Katrin De Graef, Ghent University Cuneiform Lives. Mapping Old Babylonian Society through Prosopography
7 May no meeting
14 May 15.00 Liz Brewster, Lancaster University Experiences, interactions and interpretations: Bibliotherapy in theory and practice
21 May No meeting
28 May 15.00 Rachel Heydon, Western University (WU), Carla Ruthes Coelho, WU, Christopher Eaton, University of Toronto, Bronwyn John, WU, Pamela McKenzie, WU, Mary Ott, WU, Sandra Poczobut, WU, Wendy Shilton, University of Prince Edward Island, Zheng Zhang, Western University.  Reading Pedagogies of Equity: The Introduction of a Literacy Pedagogue Network to Promote Academic Reading in Teacher Education
4 June 12.00 Fernando Guzmán-Simón,Alejandra Pacheco-Costa and Eduardo García-Jiménez, all at University of Seville IMprovement Of multimoDAl LITeracY in childhood (3-8 years old): development of an inclusive model in Areas with Social Transformation Needs (MODALITY)


11 June no meeting
18 June 15.00 Maighread Tobin, Maynooth University Literacy and Society in Ireland: 1900-1980


25 June 11.00 Chris Bailey, Sheffield Hallam University Meaning Making, Multimodality and Minecraft: Developing research around screen based play


The Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University works to better understand the role of literacy in all areas of social life. 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 do 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 is the longstanding 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) – see “About Us” for further information.

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.


Header image by ibrar bhatt ©