Art & Action: State Sponsored Literature: Britain and Cultural Diversity after 1945: Book Launch and Discussion

This online event launches the book State Sponsored Literature (OUP, 2020), a history of the state funding of literature programmes in Britain since the Second World War, by Asha Rogers. This ‘in conversation’ webinar will discuss the idea of the state as a funder, the role of cultural agencies and institutions, and how post-war migration has shaped lived and perceived literary constituencies; with contributions from Lyndsey Stonebridge and Shantel Edwards, chaired by Michelle Kelly. 

Asha Rogers is Lecturer in Contemporary Postcolonial Literature at the University of Birmingham. This is her first book.

Lyndsey Stonebridge is Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham. Her work focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary literature and history, Human Rights, and Refugee Studies, drawing on the interdisciplinary connections between literature, history, politics, law and social policy. Her book Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees (2018) was winner of the 2019 Modernist Studies Association Best Book Prize and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title.

Shantel Edwards is Creative Producer of the 2020 Birmingham Literature Festival, the city's annual celebration of books and writers. Shantel holds a doctorate in English Literature on the construction and circulation of narratives of British mixed race in contemporary fiction.

Michelle Kelly is a Departmental Lecturer in World Literatures in English in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on South African literature, especially the work of J. M. Coetzee. She is also interested in comparative frameworks of world literature, especially the relationship between literature and the law, and literature and other art forms.

This series of webinars is convened by Sandra Mayer (University of Vienna / Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, and Ruth Scobie (Mansfield College, Oxford,, and is supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) in collaboration with The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW), Postcolonial Writers Make Worlds, and The Stephen Spender Trust.


For more information, see and