The University of Liverpool

The Centre for Research into Reading Literature and Society is based at the University of Liverpool and is currently involved in research that  has so far supported the work of The Reader Organisation by scientifically showing the efficacy of TRO’s shared reading model. The Reading Revolution staff are all trained by TRO and follow the same shared reading model.

The following is an excerpt from the CRRLS website describing their vision and activities:

Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society

About the centre

The Primary aim of the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society (CRILS) is to take literature from English departments out into other disciplines and the wider human world.

We are seeking to set the world agenda in:

  • Reading, health and well-being
  • New digital technologies and the future of meaning
  • The role of Literature in modelling creative thinking about human existence

CRILS launched in 2011 under the directorship of Professor Philip Davis and Deputy Director Dr Josie Billington.  You can read more about CRILS and the work we do in the documents below.

A Manifesto for CRILS

Digitalisation and Data

The Literary Agenda Introduction

The Literary Agenda, by Professor Phil Davis

Our Aims

We aim to be at the forefront of the medical humanities agenda through the development of:

  • Its existing track record in multi-disciplinary arts, psychology and health research
  • Strategic partnerships with The Reader Organisation and digital industries
  • International collaborations and partnerships
  • Innovative and interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate programmes

In partnership with The Reader Organisation: The International Centre for Reading and Wellbeing

Recent Projects

Our research has shown the real value of reading and literature.  Below are some of the recent projects we have completed.

  • Read to Care: An Investigation into Quality of Life Benefits of Shared Reading Groups for People Living with Dementia Funded by NHS North West.  The primary aim of this project was further to investigate by both quantitative and qualitative methods the impact that engaging in a shared reading group activity (poetry group sessions) had on participants. (2013-1014) Report includes introduction from Melvyn Bragg: Read to Care Report
  • A Literature-Based Intervention for Women Prisoners Funder, Dept of Health/Home Office.  Partnership with National Personality Disorder Team. Assessing viability of transfer of ‘Get into Reading’ programme to a secure setting and the benefits of shared reading to the well-being of female prisoners with personality disorder. (2011-2012) Read an evaluation of this pilot study
  • Arts in Health Research/Evaluation Programme Funder, Dept of Culture, Media and Sport via Public Engagement Foundation.  Investigating benefits of Get into Reading groups for chronic pain sufferers at Royal Liverpool Hospital – one of four arts’ interventions (with drama, music,art) investigated in clinical settings (2012-2013).
  • Participatory Arts for Well-Being: Past and Present Practices Arts and Humanities Research Council, Connected Communities Programme.  Collaboration with Universities of Exeter and Glamorgan. Network of academics, community arts practitioners and organisations, policy makers and health professionals to explore role of participatory arts in community well-being. (2011-12)
  • A Literature-Based Intervention for Older People living with Dementia Funder, Headley Trust. Assessing benefits of Get into Reading groups for older people in residential care homes and hospitals in Merseyside and Greater Manchester. (2012)
  • Reading for Pleasure in Liverpool Schools A pilot project, funded by the University of Liverpool in partnership with Liverpool Children’s Services which places undergraduate School of the Arts students in Liverpool schools with children struggling emotionally, socially or educationally. This is not a narrow literacy improvement programme, but an investigation into the value of reading for pleasure in relation to children’s well-being.

A Practice-Informed Study of the Theoretical Bases for Bibliotherapy Funder, Arts and Humanities Research Council (Collaborative Doctoral Award Programme). This PhD is the first of its kind to seek to demonstrate the relation of literature and reading to health and wellbeing. In partnership with Mersey Care NHS Mental Health Trust, and building on the University of Liverpool’s groundbreaking MA in Reading in Practice, the project explores the existing theoretical foundations for the practice of bibliotherapy, or ‘reading as cure’, in the English literary tradition.

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