Professor Uta PapenProfessor of Literacy Studies
In 2017-18, I am teaching the following modules
FASS 522 Ethics in Social Science and Humanities Research
FASS 611d Ethnography and participant observation (distance module)
FASS 618 The viva: tragedy or triumph?
LING 319 Schools volunteering module
My research is interdisciplinary, located at the boundaries between social anthropology, education and applied linguistics. A way to describe my work is to say that I am a linguistic anthropologist. Main areas of work are: literacy in education, supporting literacy (in particular English literacy) in countries of the Global South, academic literacies and critical literacy. Much of this work is focussed on critically examining policies and how they impact on the practices of teaching and learning in classrooms.
Since I started working in Lancaster in 2002, my 'research home' has been the Literacy Research Centre. As an active member of the Centre and currently its Director, my research is guided by an understanding of literacy not primarily as a skill, but as a social practice. I have a longstanding interest in the role of writing in everyday life, for example with regards to institutions and how they interact with the public and with individual citizens. I start from the idea that our contemporary world is 'textually mediated', to borrow a phrase coined by Dorothy Smith. Thus, I see literacy as a central aspect of many contemporary social practices (including spatial practices) and it is the role of reading and writing in these practices that I investigate. I am particularly interested in exploring how writing and texts are implicated in power relations between individuals and groups as well as individuals, groups and institutions. To understand these power dynamics, i study for example how writing and texts (in the widest sense) shape urban spaces, looking at their role in gentrification and urban renewal.
I use primarily ethnographic and collaborative methods which I complement with various other research approaches, including critical discourse analysis and multimodal analysis.
I am a member of the editorial board of Compare - a journal of comparative and international education. I am also on the editorial board of the journal Sociolinguistics Studies.
I am co-editor, with Julia Gillen, of the Routledge series 'Literacies' and 'Routledge Research in Literacy'.
I am Chair of the FASS-LUMS Research Ethics Committee. I am Director of the Literacy Research Centre -
Literacy and education: policy, practice and public opinion. Published by Routledge. 2016.
My main research interests are:
literacy and education (the politics and practices of teaching reading; critical literacy; digital literacies and multimodality)
supporting literacy development in countries of the Global South;
collaborative action research
Writing and urban spaces (linguistic landscapes)
PhD Supervision Interests
The role of written texts in health care contexts (including studies of patients' information searching and learning strategies via for example websites)
Ethnographic studies of literacy practices in various settings (e.g. institutions, workplaces, communities, etc.)
Linguistic landscape research: the role of writing and visual in the cultural production of space
Literacy teaching and learning in schools
Adult literacy education in the so-called developing countries
Hymns, prayers and Bible stories: the role of religious literacy practices in children's literacy learning
Papen, U. 01/2018 In: Ethnography and Education. 13, 1, p. 119-134. 16 p.
Policy Report on “Peer to Peer Deaf Literacy” (P2PDL)
Bhattacharya, T., Fan, H.R., Gillen, J., Mathew, S., Panda, S., Papen, U., Randhawa, S., Tusting, K., Waller, D., Webster, J., Zeshan, U. 8/11/2017
Writing retreats as a milestone in the development of PhD students sense of self as academic writers
Papen, U., Theriault, V. 7/11/2017 In: Studies in Continuing Education. 15 p.
Discourse analysis and ethnographic fieldwork
Papen, U. 03/2017 In: Handbuch Diskurs. Berlin/Boston : De Gruyter ISBN: 9783110296082.
Summary Report on "Literacy development with deaf communities using sign language, peer tuition, and learner-generated online content: sustainable educational innovation”
Zeshan, U., Huhua Fan, R., Gillen, J., Panda, S., Papen, U., Tusting, K.P., Waller, D., Webster, J. 24/10/2016 Preston : University of Central Lancashire.
Youth workers as literacy mediators: supporting young people's learning about institutional literacy practices
Papen, U., Theriault, V. 09/2016 In: Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 60, 2, p. 185-193. 9 p.
Peer to peer deaf literacy: working with young deaf people and peer tutors in India
Gillen, J., Panda, S., Papen, U., Zeshan, U. 30/07/2016 In: Language and Language Teaching. 5, 10, p. 1-7. 7 p.
Literacy and education: policy, practice and public opinion
Papen, U. 08/2015 London : Routledge. 204 p. ISBN: 9780415725620.
Literacy development with deaf communities in India: designing a sustainable educational innovation
Gillen, J., Papen, U., Zeshan, U., Panda, S. 07/2015
Signs in cities: the discursive production and commodification of urban spaces
Papen, U. 2015 In: Sociolinguistic Studies. 9, 1, p. 1-26. 26 p.
Conceptualising information literacy as social practice: a study of pregnant women’s information practices
Papen, U. 15/06/2013 In: Information Research. 18, 2
Dialogue reflexif sur les etudes quebecoises de la litteratie, le regard des New Literacy Studies
Papen, U., Collette, K. 2013 In: Globe: Revue Internationale d'Etudes Quebecoises. 16, 1, p. 133-159. 27 p.
'Je ne pourrais pas me depasser d'elle': le role des mediateurs de l'ecrit dans le contexte de soin de sante
Papen, U. 10/2012 In: Ecrire, lire et apprendre a l'age adulte. Laval : Presses de L'Universite Laval p. 23-45. 23 p. ISBN: 978-2-7637-1545-2.
Literacy and globalization: reading and writing in times of social and cultural change
Papen, U. 10/2012 London : Routledge. 224 p. ISBN: 978-0-415-64973-5. Electronic ISBN: Master eBook ISBN10 : 0203016084.
Informal, incidental and ad hoc: the information seeking and learning strategies of health care patients
Papen, U. 03/2012 In: Language and Education. 26, 2, p. 105-121. 17 p.
Commercial discourses, gentrification and citizens' protest: the linguistic landscape of Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
Papen, U. 02/2012 In: Journal of Sociolinguistics. 16, 1, p. 56-81. 26 p.
Literacy mediators, scribes or brokers? : the central role of others in accomplishing reading and writing.
Papen, U. 09/2010 In: Langage et Societe. 133, 3, p. 63-82. 20 p.
The anthropology of writing : understanding textually-mediated social worlds.
Barton, D., Papen, U. 05/2010 London : Continuum. 256 p. ISBN: 978-1441108852.
What is the anthropology of writing?
Barton, D., Papen, U. 05/2010 In: The Anthropology of Writing. Understanding textually-mediated worlds. London : Continuum p. 3-33. 31 p. ISBN: 978-1441108852.
Writing in health care contexts : patients, power and medical knowledge
Papen, U. 05/2010 In: The Anthropology of Writing. Understanding textually-mediated worlds. London : Continuum p. 145-169. 25 p. ISBN: 978-1441108852.
New technologies : literacies in cyberspace.
Papen, U. 05/2009 In: English Language : Description, Variation and Context. Houndmills : Palgrave 718 p. ISBN: 9781403945891.
Literacy, learning and health - a social practices view of health literacu
Papen, U. 2009 In: Literacy and Numeracy Studies. Vol 16, No 2 &, p. 19-35. 17 p.
Literacy, learning and health : a social practices view of health literacy.
Papen, U. 2009 In: Literacy and Numeracy Studies. 16, 2, p. 19-34. 16 p.
Literacy, learning and health : research report.
Papen, U., Walters, S. 31/10/2008 London : NRDC. 61 p. ISBN: 978-1-906395-03-2.
Understanding literacy and health: Literature review.
Papen, U. 31/10/2008 London : NRDC. 25 p.
Pregnancy starts with a literacy event: pregnancy and ante-natal care as texctually mediated social experiences.
Papen, U. 09/2008 In: Ethnography. 9, 3, p. 377-403. 27 p.
Creativity in everyday literacy practices : the contribution of an ethnographic approach.
Papen, U., Tusting, K. 2008 In: Literacy and Numeracy Studies. 16, 1, p. 5-25. 21 p.
Outside practices : the social practice theory of literacy.
Cuban, S., Hamilton, M., Barton, D., Papen, U., Reder, S. 04/2007
Literacy and globalization : reading and writing in times of social and cultural change
Papen, U. 2007 London : Routledge. 213 p. ISBN: 978-0415365048.
'Local literacy practices in Namibia: Creativity and constraint'.
Papen, U. 2006 In: The Art of English: Everyday Creativity. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan 479 p. ISBN: 9781403985590.
Literacies, collaboration and context
Papen, U., Tusting, K. 2006 In: The Art of English. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan ISBN: 9781403985590.
Literacy and development: what works for whom? Or, how relevant is the social practices view of literacy for literacy education in developing countries?
Papen, U. 01/2005 In: International Journal of Educational Development. 25, 1, p. 5-17. 13 p.
Adult literacy as social practice : more than skills.
Papen, U. 2005 London : Routledge. 160 p. ISBN: 0415353777.
Exclusive, ethno and eco: representations of culture and nature in tourism discourses in Namibia.
Papen, U. 2005 In: Discourse, communication and tourism. Clevedon : Channel View Publications 249 p. ISBN: 9781845410209.
Linking literacy programmes in developing countries and the UK.
Barton, D., Papen, U. 2005 London : National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy. 100 p.
Reading the bible and shopping on credit: literacy practices and literacy learning in a township of Windhoek, Namibia.
Papen, U. 2005 In: Urban literacy. Hamburg : UNESCO Institute for Education 312 p. ISBN: 9282011453.
'Literacy and health: towards a methodology for investigating patients' participation in healthcare'.
Dray, S., Papen, U. 11/2004 In: Journal of Applied Linguistics. 1, 3, p. 311-332. 22 p.
Using interactive reading circles to develop children’s critical thinking and critical literacy
01/05/2016 → 30/04/2017
Early years literacy in India: towards effective teaching and learning practices
19/01/2015 → …
Literacy in education
01/10/2013 → 01/10/2015
Linguistic landscapes: the cultural production of urban spaces
01/10/2010 → …
Conceptualising information literacy as social practice: a study of pregnant women’s information practices
01/05/2009 → 31/12/2011
Pregnancy starts with a literacy event: pregnancy and ante-natal care as textually-mediated experiences
01/01/2006 → 31/07/2008
Phonological influences on children's spelling mistakes
01/07/2005 → 31/07/2006
- Lancaster Literacy Research Centre
- LIP - Language, Ideology and Power Group