By Tom Steele
Using unique archive material, this book examines the prehistory of cultural studies in Britain, tracing its roots in adult education, especially in the work of Raymond Williams, EP Thompson and Richard Hoggart, who all worked in this field. Each of these three worked in a context in which popular culture and inter-disciplinary understanding were important, and where English Studies was broadened to embrace a range of material and experience not included in the Leavisite definitions. This led to a pre-occupation with the term 'culture' in its many meanings - and especially in its relationship to Englishness. Eventually this pre-occupation developed into a new area of study, and to the setting up of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. Drawing on archive material as well as contemporary history and analysis, Tom Steele provides a fascinating account of the overlapping interests which combined to produce a completely new area of study.