Christopher Hilliard’s meticulously researched and richly detailed English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement opens with a historical anecdote regarding an after-hours, postwar negotiation ‘between literary analysis and popular culture’ undertaken in that most evocative of English holiday destinations: Scarborough. In these opening lines, Hilliard describes how the founder and director of Birmingham University’s renowned Centre of Cultural Studies, Richard Hoggart, working in an earlier capacity as an adult education tutor in North Yorkshire, spent his evenings in the late 1940s combining classes on Shakespeare with sessions scrutinising advertising rhetoric and the language of newspaper articles.
English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement
by Christopher Hilliard
Oxford University Press, $109.95 hb, 311 pp, 9780199695171
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Alexander Howard is a writer and a postdoctoral researcher based in Sydney. He has worked as an associate tutor in English and American Literature at the University of Sussex, and as an undergraduate tutor in English at the University of Oxford. He is currently working on a monograph about the American Surrealist poet Charles Henri Ford and Camp Modernism.
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