Centre for the Study of Literacies

Contact: Dr Becky Parry, Dr Fiona Scott

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Our Research

The Literacy Research Cluster comes from a perspective that literacy practices are embedded within everyday life. The Research Cluster is designed to support and enable research that draws on that perspective. Our work engages with interdisciplinary research, including material cultural studies, cultural geography, sociology and the humanities to look at literacy in everyday life and learning contexts. The Literacy Research Cluster addresses issues such as post-colonialism, diaspora identities, migration and new emerging identities within contemporary society in relation to texts, practices and communication.

Our Practice

Literacy Key

Key themes that are explored in our work include:

  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Literacy in everyday life, communities, homes, schools
  • Methodological innovation
  • A vibrant research culture with doctoral and post doctoral researchers
  • Making a difference in educational contexts

What kind of research do we support?

The Literacy Research Cluster aims to support research that centres on cultural aspects of literacy. This might mean, for example, a focus on identities in relation to texts. Our work has plans to focus through its research activities and seminars, on a set of key research questions or problems. The Literacy Research Cluster aims to bring in theory from diverse disciplines to enable research on literacy practices to be situated within a broader inter-disciplinary framework. Our Research Cluster brings in students who are interested in this framework and would like to work in an exciting and stimulating research context.


The Literacy Research Cluster explores qualitative and quantitative methodologies including ethnography, visual methodologies, interviews and questionnaires, participatory research, collaborative research, action research, online methodologies, linguistic ethnography, linguistics, narrative and life history and auto ethnography, and post-modern and post-structuralist epistemologies.


The Literacy Research Cluster involves the following activities:

  • Active support for research ideas and funding bids
  • Active support for research students
  • Regular seminars including outside international speakers
  • Regular reading group discussing key ideas and papers
  • An annual conference in July

Current Projects


The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children (DigiLitEY)

Young children are growing up in highly technologized societies across Europe. The aim of this COST Action is to develop an interdisciplinary network that enables researchers to synthesise existing research and identify gaps in knowledge in this area.

More information on DigiLitEY

Classroom 2

Nurturing Slovak Roma Children at Secondary School: A Longitudinal Study

A five-year longitudinal study provides us with an excellent opportunity to begin to understand more about the impacts of migration and settlement in a new country with a new language and culture, and to do so in the context of a changing Europe.

More information on the Slovak Roma Children Study


Multilingual Streets: Translating and Curating the Linguistic Landscape

Multilingual Streets: Translating and Curating the Linguistic Landscape is an interdisciplinary research project which focuses on the Linguistic Landscape. It uses participatory and arts-based methods to explore young people’s engagement with the languages around them.

More information on Multilingual Streets

Makerspaces in the early years: Enhancing digital literacy and creativity (MakEY)

Makerspaces in the early years: Enhancing digital literacy and creativity (MakEY) is a research project funded by the EU Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) scheme. The project aims to further research and innovation in the area of young children’s digital literacy and creative design skills in order to contribute to Europe’s future competitiveness and growth.

More information on MakEY

Taking Yourselves Seriously

Taking Yourselves Seriously: artistic approaches to social cohesion’ is a project funded by AHRC. The aims of the project are to explore how artistic methodologies contribute to social cohesion, drawing on a previous project that looked at what artists did when they worked with communities.

More information on Taking Yourselves Seriously

Recent Research Achievements

'A Leap of Faith': how can research shape the practical ways communities build their futures

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Investigating the design and use of a new form of screen-less digital technology in relation to young children’s literacy practices

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