Adult Education and ‘Left-Leavisism’

Christopher Hilliard

in English as a Vocation

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695171
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949946 | DOI:
Adult Education and ‘Left-Leavisism’

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Working from the huge archive of the Oxford extra-mural network and the previous untapped resource of the Richard Hoggart archive at the University of Sheffield, Chapter 5 examines the heyday of Leavisism in adult education which was the fifteen years after the Second World War. It explores the ways in which practical criticism and the example of Knights's essays and Leavis and Thompson's Culture and Environment shaped adult ‘tutorial classes’. It traces the ways that initiatives in adult teaching informed the landmark books written in the moment of ‘left-Leavisism’: Hoggart's Uses of Literacy (1957) and Williams's Culture and Society, 1780–1950 (1958). The latter was among other things a critique of Leavis's conception of culture; Hoggart's book turned Scrutiny's critical practice against some of its guiding assumptions.

Keywords: Richard Hoggart; Raymond Williams; adult education; Workers Educational Association; Marxism; working class; mass culture; Shakespeare

Chapter.  14056 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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