Dr Hugh Escott

Dr Hugh Escott

Senior Lecturer in English Language


My research focuses on how language and literacy are understood in everyday contexts, and how individuals negotiate or subvert institutional conceptualisations of language and literacy. This often involves taking an interdisciplinary approach to research, and working with children and young people to explore how they play with language and literacy in classrooms, creative writing workshops, and informal contexts. I also have significant experience working with external partners on collaborative community engagement projects, through research, or as part of public engagement activities.


In my work I draw on a range of research methodologies and disciplines. Including stylistics, sociolinguistics, literacy studies, ethnography, co-production, arts-based methods, and education studies. I have experience undertaking research with children and young people in school, youth service, and creative arts contexts (Escott 2021, and Escott, Christie, Hodson and Bullivant 2021) and developing new research methodologies to analyse co-produced research data (Escott and Pahl 2017, Escott and Pahl 2019). I also have experience working with external partners (e.g. artists, youth workers, teachers etc.) as part of co-produced collaborative community-engagement research projects including as a researcher on the AHRC Language as Talisman (AH/J011959/1),  and Co-Producing Legacy (AH/L013185/1) projects. I am particularly interested in  developing my capacity to engage in anti-racist and social-justice work, as well as methodologies and perspectives that challenge the norms and values of institutionally-situated ways of knowing.  My research is also now focussing on the ways in which digital and physical environments are becoming increasingly intertwined in everyday life, and the ways in which individuals negotiate how these digital spaces are mapped onto, or interact with, their physical environments, including in Virtual Reality and online multiplayer games. This includes examining material interfaces, the numerous kinds of meaning-making and literacy practices that support these activities, and the ways in which narratives inform how people think about environments, their identity, or shared moods/atmospheres. Most recently, I participated in the the ESRC/AHRC funded UK-Japan “Location-Based VR Research Network” (ES/S014136/1 - PI: Yamada-Rice) where I collaborated with researchers from the Royal College of Art, VR developers from the production company Hashilus in Tokyo, and video games developers from Dubit in Leeds

Specialist areas of interest

New Literacy Studies
dialect representation
working-class literature
socio-linguistics of writing
collaborative research


Subject area

English Language


English Literature
English Language
Creative Writing

Ideas into Action; Decolonising English; Digital Communication; Language Dissertation; Language, Learning and Wellbeing



 Working with Grimm and Co. on the 'Chapter and Verse' project.


Selected research projects

2015 – Research Assistant for the AHRC/ESRC ‘Imagine’ project
2014 – 2015 Research Assistant for the AHRC ‘Co-Producing Legacy’
2013 – 2014 Research Assistant for the AHRC ‘Communicating Wisdom’
2012 – Research Assistant for the AHRC ‘Language as Talisman’ Project

Collaborators and sponsors

Grimm and Co


Key Publications

Escott, H., Christie, S., Hodson, J., & Bullivant, D. (2020). ‘Unruly Rules’: Using defamiliarisation to tinker with punctuation in creative writing workshops. In Mclean, C.A., & Rowsell, J. (Eds.) Maker Literacies and Maker Identities in the Digital Age Learning and Playing Through Modes and Media. Routledge: https://www.routledge.com/Maker-Literacies-and-Maker-Identities-in-the-Digital-Age-Learning-and-Playing/McLean-Rowsell/p/book/9780367502461

Escott, H.F., & Pahl, K.H. (2019). ‘Being in the Bin’: Affective understandings of prescriptivism and spelling in video narratives co-produced with children in a post-industrial area of the UK. Linguistics and Education, 53, 100754. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2019.100754

Escott, H., & Pahl, K. (2017). Learning from Ninjas: young people’s films as a lens for an expanded view of literacy and language. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 1-13. http://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2017.1405911

Journal articles

Hyatt, D., Escott, H., & Bone, R. (2022). ‘Addressing’ language deficit: valuing children's variational repertories. Literacy. http://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12303

Truman, S.E., Hackett, A., Pahl, K., McLean Davies, L., & Escott, H. (2020). The Capaciousness of No: Affective Refusals as Literacy Practices. Reading Research Quarterly. http://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.306

Daniels, K., Burnett, C., Bower, K., Escott, H., Ehiyazaryan-White, E., Hatton, A., & Monkhouse, J. (2019). Early years teachers and digital literacies: Navigatinga kaleidoscope of discourses. Education and Information Technologies, 25 (4), 2415-2426. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-10047-9

Daniels, K., Burnett, C., Bower, K., Escott, H., Hatton, A., Ehiyazaryan-White, E., & Monkhouse, G. (2019). Early years teachers and digital literacies: Navigating a kaleidoscope of discourses. Education and Information Technologies, 25, 2415-2426. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10639-019-10047-9

Book chapters

Escott, H. (2021). Extra-textuality and affective intensities : Moving out from readers to people, places, and things. In Bell, A., Browse, S., Gibbons, A., & Peplow, D. (Eds.) Style and Reader Response: Minds, media, methods. (pp. 197-216). Style and Reader Response: Minds, media, methods: John Benjamins Publishing Company: http://doi.org/10.1075/lal.36.11esc

Pahl, K., Escott, H., Graham, H., Marwood, K., Pool, S., & Ravetz, A. (2017). What is the role of artists in interdisciplinary collaborative projects with universities and communities? In Valuing Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research: Beyond Impact. (pp. 131-152).

Pahl, K., Escott, H., Siebers, J., Steaman-Jones, R., Hurcome, M., & Junior Angling Club, P.A.P. (2017). Fishing and Youth Work, or, 'What is it About Fishing that Makes Life Better?'. In Walker, C., Hart, A., & Hanna, P. (Eds.) Building a New Community Psychology of Mental Health Spaces, Places, People and Activities. (pp. 83-100). Palgrave Macmillan

Pahl, K., & Escott, H. (2015). Materialising literacies. In The Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies. (pp. 489-503). http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315717647-47

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