Reading Communities: Connecting the Past and the Present

‘Reading Communities’ is a follow-on project from the UK Reading Experience Database (RED). RED is an open access database, and the largest resource recording the experiences of readers of its kind anywhere.

Running from December 2015 to November 2016, ‘Reading Communities’ is a 12 month AHRC project, led by Dr Shafquat Towheed, with Dr Edmund King, and Dr Maya Parmar, who are all based in The Open University’s English Department.

The project team is staging a series of themed events around the UK. Event activities include hands-on workshop sessions, round table discussions with members of reading groups, public lectures by acknowledged experts in the history of reading, oral history interviews, and literary readings.

Events will be timed to coincide with reading-related events and anniversaries throughout the year and all events are open to the public and are free to attend.

In April the team visited Belfast, partnering with the OU in Northern Ireland and Verbal Arts. NvTv, a community TV station, visited us during our day of interactive events, producing a film. They broadcast the programme called ‘Focal Point’ on Friday 15 April at 7.00pm, and you can see the programme at

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The Arts Faculty of The Open University is a world leader in supported Open Learning, and one of the best institutions in the world for arts and humanities. You can follow us on Twitter @OUArtsFaculty and on Facebook.
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