COVID-19 Where to find authoritative scientific information?

There has been a considerable amount of publicity about false information circling about the coronavirus during the current crisis.  News stories have also featured information that, even from official sources, is sometimes contradictory.  That is perhaps understandable in these fast moving times.  UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the umbrella of the research councils has moved extraordinarily fast and effectively to coordinate the work of various universities involved in researching the pandemic.

Get your facts straight about the science behind coronavirus and stay up to date with the latest information. #Covid19 #coronavirus

Coronavirus: the science explainedSocial1


Researching Early Childhood Literacy in the Classroom: Literacy as a social practice. New book written by Lucy Henning published

Uta Papen and I, the series editors of Routledge Research in Literacy, are very pleased to announce that the publication of this book by Lucy Henning.  We discussed her work back in August here. From the publishers’ description:

This volume demonstrates how the ethnographic approach to research demanded by a ‘Literacy as Social Practice’ perspective can generate fresh insights into what happens when young children engage with schooled literacy tasks.

Researching Early Childhood Literacy in the Classroom argues that the lived experience of young children encountering formal schooled literacy curricula should be the foremost consideration in educational reforms intended to improve rates of literacy acquisition in schools. To make this argument, the author suspends traditional concerns with ‘learning’ and ‘progress’ to concentrate on ‘practice’ and ‘meaning’ in a careful analysis of key classroom incidents. The author concludes that such insights suggest a need for re-considering the assumptions upon which educational policy rests.

This book will be of great interest to graduate and postgraduate students, researchers, academics, and libraries in the fields of Literacy Studies, Teacher Education, Education Policy and Applied Linguistics.

Lucy Henning is Senior Lecturer in English Education at the University of Roehampton. Before joining Roehampton, Lucy worked as a primary class teacher, school literacy lead and a literacy consultant for the Primary National Strategies.

“Making us proud: young children engaging with schooled literacy discourses” new article by Lucy Henning

Dr Lucy Henning, of Roehampton University, has shared with us this link to a free version of her latest article in the Cambridge Journal of Education.  (If the link has expired, write to  Lucy has an book in production with the Routledge Research in Literacy series now co-edited by Uta Papen and myself. Her new book is called “Researching Early Childhood Literacy in the Classroom: Literacy as a social practice.”

Lucy writes, “I am currently doing some work on participant frameworks and young children’s in-class construction of literacy practices away from teaching adults. It similar to the work I did for my book, but now I am hoping to take a more in depth look at how the children organise their interactions as they reproduce their in-class peer culture. I am interested in exploring how far this process can actually be observed happening.

“I am drawing very much on the work of American linguistic anthropologists and ethnographers from the last century to inform this aspect of my work (Charles Goodwin, Marjorie Harness Goodwin, Erving Goffman) – I would be glad to make contact with colleagues whose current work is in a similar field.”

Julia Gillen


3rd International Conference “Literacy and Contemporary Society: Identities, Texts, and Institutions” Nicosia, Cyprus 11-12 October 2019.

I am delighted to share the Call for Papers for this fascinating conference.

The conference  addresses teachers, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students, academics, researchers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as other stakeholders interested in the promotion of language and literacy, as well as literacy education; and features keynote speeches by (in alphabetical order) Mike Baynham, Bill Cope, Alexandra Georgakopoulou, and Mary Kalantzis.

poster literacy

For further information, please refer to: and or


Liverpool and the Umbrella Revolution, Hong Kong, 2014

On Friday I gave a talk on the Umbrella Revolution at the wonderful Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester.  By the way, if you find yourself in Manchester before 12th May, do go and see their exhibition, “Chinternet Ugly”.  It’s a small but vibrant gallery and this multimedia show is provocative and witty.

I was surprised that most of my audience for the talk, Artistic Layers: The Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong in 2014 came from Liverpool.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been, since I already knew from the data that there was a strong link between Liverpool and the Umbrella Movement in 2014.  My co-authors are Dr Mandy Hoi Man Yu, Gloria Ho Nga Fan and Selena Ho.  They had advised me that an online “Golden Forum” of young professionals and others in Hong Kong were particularly responsible for the Liverpool link. Of course in a far broader sense it is highly significant that the oldest European Chinatown is in Liverpool.

In Hong Kong in 2014 I could see for myself how inspiring the work of John Lennon was, particularly with reference to pacifism and hope.  I hope you enjoy this selection of relevant images below. I’d love to know more about the link between  the Umbrella Movement and Liverpool so if you can help please email