A “Scouser” on the long and winding road home

Posted: November 7, 2012

Tony Crowley, the Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College, returns to Claremont after a whirlwind tour through Britain promoting his latest book, Scouse: A Social and Cultural History (Liverpool University Press). Crowley is a native “Scouser” – a term used to identify people born and bred in Liverpool.

During his short visit, Crowley gave several lectures, including one at the National Museum of Liverpool and another at his alma mater, Oxford University. At the launch of the book he was interviewed by the award-winning author Frank Cottrell Boyce and later took part in a BBC discussion about his work. The Liverpool Echo also gave a feature-length review-article of Scouse, and the book’s publication has been covered by The Merseysider, The Scotsman, The Irish Post and Beo.

Working with a host of complex materials – ranging across literature, newspapers, journals, letters and various forms of popular culture from the mid-18th century to the present –Crowley traces the evolution of linguistic and cultural traditions unique to the multicultural port of Liverpool, home to Britain’s oldest black community and to one of Europe’s oldest Chinese immigrant populations. His study also draws on recent developments in cultural theory, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology in order to explore the relations between language and identity and particularly the connection between language and a sense of place.

With a doctoral degree from Oxford University, Crowley is an expert in the politics of language and the complex connections between language and culture. Scouse is his seventh book in the field.

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