Reading Communities

General Birmingham Flyer

Would you be willing to share your memories of reading? Are you, or your family, from a migrant background, and remember particular books that were read and loved, at home or abroad?

‘Reading Communities: Connecting the Past and the Present’, is a project based at The Open University. ‘Reading Communities: Connecting the Past and the Present’  is a public impact and engagement project that will help to answer questions about reading habits by investigating readers in the past and demonstrating their relevance to us today. ‘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 will stage a series of themed events around the UK. Event activities will 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. The Project Team encourage you to join them at their events, share in the activities and bring with you your favourite books, diaries, and letters.

The Birmingham day held at Impact Hub Birmingham will focus on ‘migration and memories of reading’, both in the past, and the present. A RED  (Reading Experience Database) family history road show event will run concurrently with an oral history collection workshop, where the Project Team will be inviting members of the public to share their family histories of reading. The event will conclude with a public lecture on Birmingham readers and the culture of self-improvement, nineteenth through twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus on migrant readers.

To find out more and to take part in the event, please email the Project Team via:

Back to all Events

Event Organizers

Open University

Date & Time

August 16, 2016 | 09:00 to 18:30


Impact Hub Birmingham


Entry Fee

Cost for Members: Free

Cost for Non Members: Free

Updated on 15 July 2016