Robert Crawshaw

Robert Crawshaw 


Having studied Modern Languages (French and Italian), Comparative Literature, Education and Linguistics at the universities of Exeter, Paris and Cambridge respectively, and trained for a year as an editor at Oxford University Press, I was fortunate to obtain teaching and research posts in higher education, first at the Ecole Normale d’Instituteurs, Auteil, then at Nanterre University, before being appointed as a tutor of French at Exeter University and finally to a full-time lecturing post at Lancaster University.

Alongside my academic responsibilities in Modern Languages, I was director of European Relations in Lancaster University’s Management School between 1986 and 1995 and simultaneously policy consultant to DGXXII of the EU where I co-chaired the Task Force responsible for the transition from the original Erasmus Programme to its HE successor, Socrates.

Participation as PI or Co-I in a number of interdisciplinary UK Research Council and EU-funded projects in the fields of pragmatics and inter-culture followed:

From there, I ran the first Annual Research Programme of the University’s Institute for Advanced Studies (2003-4) on the topic ‘Regions and Regionalism in the New Europe’, and then, as Head of the Lancaster’s Department of Languages and Cultures, undertook a Research Fellowship in cultural studies at the University of Konstanz (2010-11).  This followed the earlier completion of the large-scale AHRC project ‘Moving Manchester’ Project (2001-2006) which I had initiated between 1998 and 2000.

Having retired from full-time teaching in 2017, I am currently a Senior Research Associate attached to Lancaster University, consultant on Research bidding for The Missenden Centre and co-ordinator of the Task Force Cultural Literacy and Social Futures for the Education, Cultural Literacy and International Research Programme.

As author of diverse publications in Languages, Linguistics, European Educational Policy, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, the focus of my current research is on the newly established field of Cultural Literacy. Recent papers include a study of the interrelation between the new technologies and the exploitation of emotion as a commercial and political instrument and an essay on French social philosopher Jacques Rancière’s mission to define the expression of a new social consciousness or sensibilité.

Meanwhile, the main output of the special interest group (SIG) for which I am responsible is a series of case studies on regional cultural initiatives designed to instigate social change.



Critical Case Studies: Researched, edited and written by Robert Crawshaw on behalf of the Special Interest Group ‘Cultural Literacy and Social Futures’

Recent Presentations:


‘What If?’ – Redefining Research and Citizenship Retrospective Reflections
January 202

Museums, Legacy, Art, Culture and Community: ‘Revealed Roots, Concealed Communities’
August, 2021

‘Making sense’: An enquiry into the relationship between research, cultural literacy and citizenship
March, 2021

The renewed relevance of bricolage
October, 2020

Artistic reconnections with land: towards a systems view of cultural heritage learning
October, 2020

Holding on to wonder
July, 2021

Cultural Literacy and public art in a global pandemic
June, 2020

‘Cultural Literacy in Lockdown’ 
May, 2020.

Caught Out Article