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Professors Maggie Snowling and Kate Nation have been awarded a two year grant from the John Fell Fund and The Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund for “The Dyslexia History project”. The project is jointly awarded to William Whyte, Professor of Social and Architectural History. The project will support two post-docs in a cross division initiative between Humanities and the Medical Sciences Division.

Dyslexia is the subject of intensive research by psychologists and educationalists. It has not, however, been studied by historians. Yet dyslexia has a history, even if it is one that has yet to be told. The first paper was published in the British Medical Journal in 1896, and in the last fifty years there have been significant advances both in understanding its causes and in finding ways of remediating it. At the same time, people with dyslexia and, still more, the parents of children who are dyslexic have campaigned for better treatment. Both these trends have shaped public policy and practice in schools. There is also a history to be written about the experience of being dyslexic. This project focuses on four strands: the science of reading, the politics of dyslexia, everyday dyslexia to capture the voices of those with the condition and the creation of a dyslexia archive.

Congratulations to all involved for this exciting new award!