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Richard Hoggart is one of the most renowned intellectuals to have ever taught at the University of Hull. In 1957, whilst working in Hull, he published his seminal work “The Uses of Literacy”, which was recently described by The Guardian as ‘firm in its place among the great books of the 20th Century.’ Hoggart went on to leave a profound legacy with a wide-reaching impact upon British cultural life. He was a key witness at the Lady Chatterley trial which led to the liberalisation of British censorship laws, he was Assistant Director General of UNESCO, he was the lead author the Pilkington Report which led to the establishment of BBC2 as a quality television channel, and he was co-founder, along with Stuart Hall, of the Birmingham Centre for Comparative Cultural Studies, which effectively established cultural studies as a discipline in this country.
This public lecture aims to celebrate and explore the influence and impact of The Uses of Literacy since its publication 60 years ago. The lecture will be given by Professor John Storey, one of today’s leading lights in Cultural Studies. “The Uses of Literacy” was one of the first works of critical scholarship to explore the impact of popular culture and mass media upon society, paving the way for a revolution in humanities scholarship. It was also one of the first pieces of serious scholarship to investigate working class life in Britain. It aimed to understand how the development of mass culture in the Twentieth Century impacted upon social class and cohesion in Britain, and replaced old forms of local and organic culture with mass cultural products. This lecture hopes to introduce Hoggart’s work to a new audience, and to celebrate one of the most significant pieces of scholarship to have emerged from the University of Hull in the past century. The lecture will be introduced by Richard Hoggart’s son, the journalist Paul Hoggart, who will share some of his reflections of his father’s life and legacy, and his time in Hull.
Professor John Storey
John Storey is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, UK. He has published extensively in cultural studies, including twelve books. He is currently working on a thirteenth book, Utopian Desire, to be published with Routledge. His work has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, Greek, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. He is also on the editorial/advisory boards in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the USA, and has been a Visiting Professor at the universities of Vienna, Henan, and Wuhan, and a Senior Fellow at the Technical University of Dresden.