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Dr Lauren O'Hagan

Dr Lauren O'Hagan

Visiting Scholar

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Email
ohaganla@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6049
Campuses
John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Overview

I am a Researcher in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at Örebro University and also a Visiting Scholar in the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University.

My research explores literacy and class conflict in Edwardian Britain (1901-14) through book inscriptions. I use an ethnohistorical approach to multimodality, which blends visual analysis with archival and historical research, in order to gain a better understanding of the ways in which identity performance, book ownership and readership varied according to social class in early twentieth-century Britain. An important aspect of my research is unlocking the 'hidden histories' of working-class and lower-middle-class individuals who have typically been left out of official records of the Edwardian era.

While book inscriptions are my main research interest, I am also interested in how class relations play out through other material artefacts from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, including writing implements, postcards, food packaging and advertising, and marching banners. I also have a growing interest in research on rock memorabilia, including tour t-shirts and battle jackets.

Biography

In 2014, I obtained a BA Hons in Modern Language Studies (Spanish, Italian and Linguistics) with the Open University. Throughout the four years of my undergraduate degree, I worked as an online shop manager for Oxfam. It was during my time in this role that I developed a knowledge of antiquarian books and became interested in book inscriptions.

After completing my undergraduate studies, I undertook further studies and obtained qualifications in Spanish (C2 DELE), Italian (C1 CILS), French (B2 DELF), British Sign Language (Level 1), CELTA (Distinction) and Archive Management. I then set up my own company – B_Abel Linguistic Services – which offered translation and proofreading services. I worked with professional clients across the world, including Monarch Airlines, Google, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Minchō Magazine and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

I ran B_Abel Linguistic Services from 2014 until 2019 during which time I completed an MA in Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Language and Communication from Cardiff University. My MA dissertation explored multimodality in a small dataset of Edwardian bookplates. This study formed a starting point for my doctoral research on class conflict in the Edwardian book inscription.

After completing my PhD in September 2018, I worked as a visiting scholar at Örebro University in Sweden. Here, I used the research methodology developed during my PhD to explore Victorian and Edwardian food packaging and advertising. I also supervised students undertaking an MA in Strategic Communication. During this time, I also edited Rebellious Writing: Contesting Marginalisation in Edwardian Britain – a book which explores how vulnerable groups in Edwardian Britain used writing to contest traditional hierarchies and ‘fight back’ against the social elite. It was published in September 2020 with Peter Lang.

I returned to the UK in summer 2019 and, shortly after, took up a position at Cardiff University as research associate on the ESRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship 'ReadingWriting and… Rebellion: Understanding Literacies and Class Conflict Through the Edwardian Book Inscription'.

Since October 2020, I have worked as a Researcher in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at Örebro University. I am also a Visiting Scholar in the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University.

Honours and awards

  • ENCAP Innovation Fund (2020) - £249 grant to purchase a Museum in a Box toolkit to promote online research dissemination and teaching opportunities
  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019-20) - £87,069 grant for 'Reading, Writing… and Rebellion: Understanding Literacies and Class Conflict Through the Edwardian Book Inscription’ one-year project
  • ENCAP Innovation Fund (2018) - £200 grant to attend British Association for Victorian Studies Career Day at Warwick University
  • ENCAP Innovation Fund (2017) - £500 grant to undertake an MA 20-credit module in Archive Management with Aberystwyth University

Professional memberships

  • FoodKom
  • British Association for Victorian Studies
  • Edwardian Culture Network
  • Associate Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy)

Academic positions

  • 2020-: Researcher, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Örebro University, Sweden
  • 2020-: Visiting Scholar, Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019 - 2020: Research Associate, Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019: Visiting Scholar, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Örebro University, Sweden
  • 2018: Research Assistant, Centre for Crtitical and Cultural Theory, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2016 - 2017: Postgraduate Tutor, Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2016: Research Assistant, Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University, UK

Speaking engagements

  • 2020: Leicester University History, Politics and International Relations Postgraduate Conference, 9 September online, Invited Keynote: Prize Books and Politics: Rethinking Working-Class Life in Edwardian Britain
  • 2020: Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Diversity Research Conference, 13 July, online, Poster Presentation: Women and Bookplates
  • 2020: British Association for Irish Studies Conference, 18 May, online, Poster Presentation: “Home Rule is Rome Rule”: Exploring Anti-Home Postcards in Edwardian Ireland
  • 2019: Social History Conference - University of Lincoln (10th-12th June), Roundtable - 'Rebellious Writing: Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power'
  • 2018: Living Well with Books - Centre for Material Texts, Bristol University (5th-7th September), Poster Presentation – ‘Weaving the Tapestries of Lives: The Hidden Stories of Edwardian Book Inscriptions’
  • 2018: The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing: From First to Last Texts, Creators, Readers, Agents - Western Sydney University Parramatta South Campus, Australia, (11th July), Remote Presentation - ‘Class, Culture and Conflict in Edwardian Book Inscriptions’
  • 2017: 3rd Bremen Conference on Multimodality – Bremen University, Germany (20th-22nd September), Poster Presentation - ‘A Multimodal Ethnographic Approach to the Study of Book Inscriptions’
  • 2017: Edwardian Culture Network: The Spirit of Speed - Lancaster University ((8th September), Poster Presentation - ‘Halting the Spirit of Speed? ‘The Divine Plan’ of Edwardian Prize Books’

Committees and reviewing

Peer reviewer for Gender and Language journal.

Publications

2020

2019

2018

2017

Teaching

I have previously worked within the Centre for Language and Communication Research as a postgraduate tutor (2016-2017). I delivered seminars for the modules ‘Introduction to Language’ and ‘Introduction to Language and Communication’.

From January to June 2019, I worked as a visiting scholar at Örebro University in Sweden. Part of my role was to provide tutoring for students undertaking an MA in Strategic Communication.

I am an Associate Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy). I also hold a CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) and previously worked as a cover EFL tutor at Cardiff and Vale College.

From 2019-2020, I worked as a research associate in the Centre for Language and Communication Studies on the ESRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship 'Reading, Writing and... Rebellion: Understanding Literacies and Class Conflict Through the Edwardian Book Inscription.' This fellowship built upon my PhD research, which investigated class conflict and social mobility in Edwardian Britain using a dataset of 3,000 book inscriptions. As part of this research, I developed an ethnohistorical approach to multimodality, which blended visual analysis with archival and historical research and theory from book history and social history. I explored the types of inscriptions present in books bought and exchanged in Edwardian Britain; the ways in which inscriptive practices varied according to location, gender, age, social class and occupation; the material and semiotic features of inscriptions; and their communicative and performative purposes.

Specifically, the postdoctoral fellowship enabled me to (1) write a monograph on my research - The Sociocultural Lives of Edwardian Book Inscriptions: Taking a Multimodal Ethnohistorical Approach - which will be published with Routledge in spring 2020; (2) develop a digital exhibition Prize Books and Politics: Rethinking Working-Class Life in Edwardian Britain, which ran from March-May 2020 on Instagram; (3) develop guidelines to increase the representation and correct provenance of Edwardian books belonging to members of the working classes in archives and special collection; (4) disseminate my research findings at both national and international conferences; and (5) collect new data for further analysis.

I am a member of FoodKom (an internationl research group on food discourse and communication), the Edwardian Culture Network and the British Association for Victorian Studies.

Research Interests

  • Victorian and Edwardian visual and material culture
  • Literacy, book ownership and readership practices
  • Class conflict and social tensions (particularly of early 20th century)
  • Performances of social status
  • Historical approaches to ethnography