Lauren Alex O' Hagan

Research Associate in the Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University

I am currently a research associate in the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University. I am working on a one-year project funded by the ESRC entitled 'Reading, Writing and... Rebellion: Exploring Literacies and Class Conflict in the Edwardian Book Inscription'.

In addition to my work on Edwardian book inscriptions, I am also part of a European research group – FoodKom – that is exploring food communication from an interdisciplinary perspective. I use multimodal and sociohistorical methodologies to trace many current food trends back to the nineteenth century. From January to June 2019, I worked as a visiting researcher at Örebro University in Sweden in the Department of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences - a university which leads the FoodKom project.

I completed my PhD in Language and Communication at Cardiff University in September 2018. My doctoral research explored class and social mobility in Edwardian book inscriptions using a multimodal ethnohistorical framework. I am keen to develop this research further by creating a digital archive of Edwardian book inscriptions with adequate metadata that is available for researchers and the public, and to develop tools for viewing individual inscriptions or categories of inscription from a large corpus.

I am also interested in ‘deviant’ (i.e. coin and stamp defacing) and alternative (i.e. Socialist Sunday schools, marching banners) inscriptive practices of the early 20th century, particularly concerning the working- and lower-middle classes. I am in the process of editing a book - Rebellious Writing: Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power - which focuses on symbolic acts of resistance by marginalised groups in the early 20th century in Britain.

Before entering the world of academia, I established and ran B_Abel Linguistic Services - a company that offered translation, proofreading and EFL tutoring. I hold an MA in Applied Linguistics, BA Hons in Modern Language Studies and various professional qualifications in Spanish, Italian, French, German, BSL and EFL.


  • 2019–present
    ESRC Research Associate, Cardiff University
  • 2019–2019
    Visiting Researcher, Örebro University
  • 2018–2018
    Research Assistant, Cardiff University
  • 2016–2017
    Postgraduate Tutor, Cardiff University