Liverpool, the Birthplace of the Beatles, is Subject of Book “Scouse: A Social and Cultural History”
CLAREMONT, Calif. (September 27, 2012) — Nowhere in Britain is language more intricately associated with a city’s identity as it is in Liverpool, the birthplace of the Beatles. Yet, the history of the evolution of Liverpool’s unique vernacular – which is known as “Scouse” – has often been misrepresented or ignored – until now.
Tony Crowley, professor in the humanities at Scripps College and a native Scouser, traces how one of Britain’s most storied cities has changed throughout the course of three centuries and how that progression has influenced both the place and its diverse inhabits in the book “Scouse: A Social and Cultural History” (Liverpool University Press: 2012).
Working with a host of material, including literature, linguistic texts, newspapers and letters from the mid-18th century to the present, Crowley identifies a linguistic and cultural tradition unique to the port city of Liverpool, home to Britain’s oldest black community and one of Europe’s oldest Chinese immigrant populations.
Crowley’s analysis draws on recent developments in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology and cultural theory to explore the relations between language, identity and a sense of place. Crowley’s insights aid in understanding the history of ‘Scouse’ and the special role of Liverpool in contemporary British culture.
With both an undergraduate degree in English language and literature and a doctorate degree from Oxford University, Crowley is an expert in the social and political understanding of language. Crowley is the Hartley Burr Alexander Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College, a nationally-ranked women’s liberal arts college in Southern California.