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Library Section 1

Contains media about Raymond Williams and explaining some of his work

Edited by Stephen Woodhams
and including a chapter by RWF Founder Dr Derek Tatton

Raymond Williams came from Wales, and was brought up in a working-class family...................
"That he went on to be a public intellectual connected to elite institutions, certainly breaks any mould that a child of his upbringing might be expected to fit to. Raymond Williams, in the terms set by some at least, simply did not add up. That he went on defying the assumptions of others, for instance at Cambridge where his presence was far from universally accepted, became almost a hallmark of the man. The secure base afforded by his childhood however made for a tough core even where outwardly he was never less than courteous."

The book can be purchased from Parthian

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Border crossing: the journey of Raymond Williams

The story of the man behind the intellectual revolution that overturned the idea that only an elite could call themselves cultured

Colin Thomas's award-winning BBC film Documentary about the life of Cultural Studies theorist Raymond Williams. January 2005


Raymond Williams at 100

Article by RWF Life member Nick Matthews in the Morning Star August 14 2021


A Century of Raymond Williams
By Phil O’Brien ( RWS Secretary)

An article in the Tribune on 31st Aug 2021 - the centenary of Raymond Williams' birth.

Welsh socialist writer Raymond Williams was born 100 years ago today. His work expressed a radical democratic vision of society – and maintained that rigorous critique was a tool of liberation.


Raymond Williams Was a Socialist Visionary
By Peter Hill

An article in Jacobin magazine on 31st Aug 2021 - the centenary of Raymond Williams' birth.


Raymond Williams would not have claimed to have found all the answers. But we should remember him as one of the most thoughtful socialist writers of the 20th century.

These three books are recommended especially for the reasons given:

Border Country - Raymond Williams in Adult Education 
Edited by John McIlroy and Sallie Westwood   (NIACE, 1993)  is central to RWF’s aims.

Raymond Williams - Writing, Culture, Politics 
By Alan O’Connor  (Blackwell, 1989)  offers an invaluable RW bibliography

Raymond Williams - A Warrior’s Tale 
By Dai Smith  (Parthian, 2008) has already established itself as a major biographical study

Reading Raymond Williams in 2012

This is an interesting & helpful article by Steve Woodhams 

Archives, Papers and Collections on Raymond Williams

This is the beginning of an ongoing listing of sites where the work of Raymond Williams may be researched. Contributions detailing further resources, particularly outside the British and Irish Isles are encouraged

Raymond Williams @ The Literary Encyclopaedia

The entry for Williams at this web based progressive encyclopaedia affords discussion of his contribution to literary and cultural theory, but includes links not only to recent publications, including Dai Smith's biography, A Warrior Tale, but to political events contemporary  to the life of the writer.

To read the full article you need to join (£12.50 pa).

'Raymond Williams and education - a slow reach again for control', Josh Cole, (2008) 
The encyclopaedia of informal education

This article deals directly with the relevance of Raymond Williams to learning broadly and to adult education, in particular. Josh Cole develops an examination and argument which Federation members are well placed to continue.

The Raymand Williams Society Annual Lecture 2011 

The Lecturer is Anthony Barnett and the Subject is "The Long and the Quick of Revolution"



Video of comments after lecture


'The Chinese Reception of Raymond Williams' by Yin Qiping. Article in The Cambridge Quarterly, 2012.

Special issue on 'Cambridge English and China: A Conversation.
Yin Qiping writes about RW and 'Space, Cultural Materialism and Structure of Feeling'.

The Long Revolution Revisited’. Michael Rustin.Soundings 35, Spring 2007.

In this article Mike Rustin argues that Williams' political and intellectual project summarised by the term 'long revolution', has not been lost in the adverse conditions of recent years, and remains an objective to which progressive efforts need to renew commitment. However Rustin sees public or civic learning as having contracted even as higher education as grown.


Teaching culture: the long revolution in cultural studies National Institute of Adult Continuing Education 
 Nannette Aldred ed  ISBN 1862010455

This book contains a range of contributions, some describing practical interventions of the form anticipated by the Federation while others go on to raise theoretical questions concerning teaching, politics, and making effective interventions. 

"Raymond Williams's Communicative Ideal" by Daniel Hartley
Revisiting three key texts, published sixty years ago. What do they have to say to us today? 
Three blog posts by Emeritus Professor at Loughborough University David Buckingham

Raymond Williams discussion panel : Politics and Letters

Geoff Dyer leads a discussion with Nikil Saval & Jenny Davidson on British author Raymond Williams.

Experiencing the world of Raymond Williams’ Border Country for the first time

An article in 'Nation Cymru' Aug 15 2021

I’ve come late to Border Country, Raymond Williams’ semi-autobiographical novel, published in 1960, two years before I was born. I find it remarkable that I’ve never come across it before, as its themes of journeys, political change, nature, landscape and ‘Welshness’ are ones that I embrace. Taking it at face value, it’s a simple tale, so what makes this ‘simple tale’ resonate so deeply?

Three abstracts of papers in the European Journal of Cultural Studies - Jun/ Jul 2021

First contact: Reading Raymond Williams

A life lasts longer than the body through which it moves: An introduction to a special Cultural Commons section on Raymond Williams

Raymond Williams: Tomorrow is also yesterday’s day

Derek Tatton Interview for Radio Swindon 2010

Derek outlines the impact of Raymond Williams on 20th century cultural life. What the aims are of the Raymond Williams Foundation. What we are doing in the Learning Revolution Discussion Circles project and what type of informal discussion groups are operating throughout the UK

Derek Tatton interview
00:00 / 05:54
Border Country:Raymond Williams inAdult Education
Edited by John Mcllroy and Sallie Westwood

This volume brings together a collection of writings from 1946-61 by Raymond Williams, a British university adult educator. Section 1 is a brief account by McIlroy of Williams' involvement in teaching adults, his intellectual influences, and the relationship of his educational and intellectual life to his personal experience and political concerns. Section 2 is a selection of Williams' published work that documents his chief intellectual concerns. It presents 14 writings ranging from pieces in the journals "Politics and Letters" and "The Critic" through early essays on the theme of culture and society to his review of "The Uses of Literacy," an extended dialogue with Richard Hoggart, and a contemporary evaluation of the New Left. Section 3 illustrates the changing curriculum and methods of literature teaching in university adult education and illuminates, in 12 articles on teaching culture and environment, public expression and film criticism, the beginnings of today's cultural studies. Section 4 is a series of 15 essays in which Williams analyzes contemporary controversies and concerns in adult education and reflects on the philosophy and purpose of adult education. Section 5, Retrospect and Prospect, contains an essay by McIlroy integrating Williams' intellectual production with his role as a tutor in adult education and a discussion by Westwood of Williams' later book, "Towards 2000." An index is provided. (YLB)

Recordings of lectures exploring the work of Raymond Williams
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education at Canterbury Christ Church University held a series of online open lectures April to Sept 2021

1. Linden West - Border Country: Community, democracy, and lifelong education. A dialogue with Raymond Williams.
We live in distressing times: of pandemic, ecological crisis, authoritarianism and fractiousness. I explore how Raymond Williams might speak to us in our present distress and discontent. Born in 1921, on the border between Wales and England, he was a prolific writer, crossing literal and imaginative borders: rural and urban, literary and historical, fiction and social analysis, political and academic. He sought to understand capitalism and authoritarianism, in various guises, and how communities, democracy and education might flourish. He offers us vibrant resources of hope in a perplexed world.
2. Ian Jasper - Raymond William’s ‘Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society’
The motif ‘culture is ordinary’ played a huge part in the development of Raymond Williams’ life work. His examinations of the interplay of ‘ordinary’ and ‘higher’ culture, his studies of ‘media’, his political activity, and his determination to remain culturally linked to his boyhood home of Pandy are themes around which his extraordinary output evolved. Within the wealth of his work the book ‘Keywords’ occupies a special place. Williams believed that by tracing the historical development of key words in the English language it was possible to examine the rifts in the cultural worlds in which they were embedded. The result is much more than an etymological treatise, it is a revelation of the inner life of the words we use. The intention of this lecture is to reveal how this inner life of the lexicon also reveals to us the inner worlds of the people whose words they are.

3. David Hitchcock - The historical development of 'education' as an end to poverty
One of many threads weaving through the astounding and varied scholarship of Raymond Williams was (ideal) community, its formation, and who might be excluded from it. Since at least the advent of Christian humanism, and following Plato, Europeans have considered the central place of education in the formation of ideal communities. This lecture will consider certain strands of the historical development of education as an engine of social mobility, and particularly as an end to poverty. Sometimes, as with utopian literature or radical Enlightenment proposals for the creation of universal citizenries, this impulse to use education as a prime vehicle for radical betterment is obvious. What is less obvious are the hidden uses to which these ideals are put: education as social betterment for whom and to what ends remain urgent questions, and between history and Raymond William's work we can offer some answers.

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