Uses of Oracy Conference - Roundtable 2 - What can we learn from other times and places?

What can we learn from other times and places?

Oracy is a concept coined in the 1960s by British educationalist Andrew Wilkinson. But he wasn't inventing something. In fact, he gave a name to an idea with a long history through all times and cultures. This panel brings together people to think about this global and historical dimension to ideas about speaking and listening. It features anthropologists talking about West African cultures based around speech, historians taking us back to Renaissance and Victorian ideas of rhetoric and elocution. And it also features one of the leading figures in the history of oracy education in the UK looking back at the history of the idea within British education. This roundtable was recorded in January 2022


Who were the speakers?
Dame Karin Barber is one of Britain's leading Africanist anthropologists whose work has focused on the anthropology of texts, oral performance, popular culture and religion. Her core regional specialism is Yoruba (Western Nigeria). Find out more here.   
Alan Howe is one of the leading figures in the history of oracy. He has worked at the forefront of educational change and improvement for the past thirty years, as a Local Authority Adviser and Inspector, and with the National Strategies, where he was a Senior Director leading initiatives for both primary and secondary phases in literacy and English teaching, assessment, and teaching and learning. As Director of the Wiltshire Oracy Project (1983-88) and National Oracy Project (1988-1992) he was part of the first significant movement in the UK to establish oracy as a major educational initiative. Find out more here.
Joanne Paul is an acclaimed historian based at the University of Sussex, whose work focuses on the political, intellectual and cultural history of the Renaissance and Early Modern periods.Her first book for a general audience The House of Dudley, is published in March 2022 by Michael Joseph (Penguin). Read more about her work here
Tom F. Wright is a cultural historian of nineteenth century Britain and America, and teaches at the University of Sussex. He specialises in the history of ideas about rhetoric, public speaking and education. You can read his publications here. 


Where can I read more? 
Alan Howe, 'Children's Talk in Education: Potted History' on Oracy@Cambridge's site 
Tom F. Wright, Transatlantic Rhetoric: Speeches from the American Revolution to the Suffragettes (Edinburgh University Press, 2020)