Literary London Reading Group

Since 2012, the Literary London Reading Group (LLRG), an offshoot of the Literary London Society ( has offered a seminar series that fosters interdisciplinary and historically wide-ranging research into London literature in its historical, social, and cultural contexts. In our sessions we aim to include all periods and genres of writing and representation about, set in, inspired by, or alluding to central and suburban London and its environs, from the city’s roots in pre-Roman times to its imagined futures.

The format of LLRG is designed to be informal and inclusive: each session is introduced by a guest speaker, who sets reading to be done in advance and identifies aspects of the text for discussion. The majority of the session is dedicated to group-led discussion. This format is one that is particularly useful for postgraduate students from the University of London as well as from other universities including Greenwich, Westminster, Kingston and further afield, such as Warwick. The diversity of students who attend the reading group is in part influenced by the membership of the Literary London Society: we are formed of scholars and researchers at universities around the country, and have international representatives in Europe and America. The format of the group allows the formation of useful and productive relationships both within the postgraduate and academic communities, and with the general public.

Seminar Schedule

Meetings will take place from 18:00-19:30 in the Institute of Advanced Studies in UCL, in the IAS Seminar Room 11 (first floor, south wing). A map can be found here. The programme of seminars can also be found here.

  • 8 October: Dr Alastair Bennett, 'Medieval Foundations: St Erkenwald and the Hidden Histories of St Paul’s Cathedral'. More information about the first meeting can be found here.
  • 26 November: Dr Kennetta Hammond Perry (De Montfort) – Connecting Past and Present: Claudia Jones and Brexit Britain. More information about this meeting can be found here. THIS SEMINAR IS CANCELLED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION
  • 14 January: Dr Lindsay Crisp (Open University) – Material, Process, Time: The Fragment in Michael Landy’s Break Down
  • 11 February: Dr Evelyn Heinz (Independent) – ‘Ghetto Poet’: John Rodker’s Pre-War London
  • 10 March: Dr Christopher Webb (UCL) – ‘Useless, pointless, waste’: The End of the 1960s British Avant-Garde. THIS SEMINAR IS POSTPONED DUE TO STRIKE ACTION
  • 12 May: Dr Paul Dobraszczyk (UCL) – From Cesspool to Supersewer: Placing London’s Subterranean Waste


Alex Grafen (University College London), Wendy Toole (School of Advanced Study), and Alistair Robinson (University College London)