The Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History
Research in English at LJMU is focused through The Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History, established in 1998. This provides a scholarly community, hosting regular seminars and lectures and offering a platform for dissemination of research. From its origins in a commitment to innovative interdisciplinary research, two main areas of focus have emerged in the work of the Centre: the role of writing in contesting social formations; and foundations of the contemporary moment. The relationship between political, national, regional and gendered textualities has been a consistent concern. Whether uncovering neglected texts and lives, relocating established writers in new political and literary contexts, or historicising specific cultural practices, our work addresses questions of social exclusion and inclusion. A second area of strength is in the contemporary: here, interest in the formation of our current cultural moment has led us to examine the ways in which we inhabit and interact with the world around us.
We are involved in two major collaborative research projects: the initiative to develop a Digital Archive of Working-Class Writing extends our engagement with acts of retrieval and the lives of ordinary people, past and present. It is managed by a steering group of staff from LJMU, Brunel, De Montfort, Manchester, and Reading. Prescot Renaissance, a community-focused project commemorating and investigating the Elizabethan theatre situated in Prescot, Merseyside, demonstrates our engagement with regionality and cultural regeneration.
The Research Centre organises regular series of research seminars, hosts conferences, invites distinguished overseas intellectuals to act as Visiting Professors and creates a forum in which the meaning, purposes and practicalities of interdisciplinary research can be debated.
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