Reading Group Network

One of the primary aims of the DEVOLVING DIASPORAS project is to engage in detail with the reading practices and actual, situated responses of readers to the selected texts. To this end, in 2007 and 2008, we recorded a range of reading groups meeting monthly in public libraries in Scotland discussing the same ‘diasporic’ texts. These included:

Brick Lane (Monica Ali) (MARCH)
Small Island (Andrea Levy) (APRIL)
White Teeth ( Zadie Smith) (MAY)
The Adoption Papers (Jackie Kay) (JUNE)

For the rationale behind this selection, and details of other texts being considered, click here.

All readers participating in the Scottish book groups were invited to attend the Macrobert Theatre (Stirling) adaptation of Jackie Kay’s The Adoption Papers in June 2007. They also had an opportunity to meet Jackie at one of the book group sessions.

Simultaneously, we set up a series of ‘transnational’ groups in various locations around the world, who were reading the same texts, plus an additional text of ‘local’ relevance to the region. Our transnational groups are located in:

Kingston, Ontario (CANADA)
Port of Spain (TRINIDAD)
New Delhi (INDIA)
Tetuan, Morocco (AFRICA)
Kingston (JAMAICA)

Wherever possible, these groups were linked via our reception area so that readers in different locations were able to chat online about the same texts. This was made possible by the ENCOMPASS team at the British Council (London). Click here to see a transcript of one of the discussions - scroll down to ‘Things Fall Apart'...

Click here to read short accounts of the reading experience provided by our librarians and group coordinators in the various transnational settings.

Finally, in late 2007 and 2008 we extended and opened our network to invited ONE OFF READING GROUPS in Nottingham, Manchester, Brent, Norfolk, Glasgow and Edinburgh.


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