"The BBC claim to have discovered a new type, the 'middlebrow'. It consists of people who are hoping that some day they will get used to the stuff they ought to like."
Punch, 23 December 1925.
Courtesy of Oregon State Library
The Middlebrow Network is an AHRC-funded project that provides a focus for research on the loaded and disreputable term 'middlebrow' and the areas of cultural production it purports to represent. The network is both transatlantic and interdisciplinary: we work to foster discussion and collaboration across geographical and disciplinary divides.
During the AHRC-funded period of the project (2008-2010), we arranged network events and publications designed to stimulate debate about the term 'middlebrow' itself, considering how it is understood in different fields, whether it necessarily implies aspiration and imitation, and how its definitions travel across the Atlantic. Another aim is to advance interdisciplinary research into the material production, dissemination and reception of middlebrow films, music, books and journals, and into middlebrow and middle-class taste.
Since 2010, our primary activity has shifted towards knowledge exchange, with funding from Sheffield Hallam University. Please see our 'Special Collection' pages for details.
So far, our network includes over 320 academics, archivists, independent scholars and editors, working in the disciplines of history, English and American literature, comparative literature, film studies, art history, book history and music. Researchers who can expand this range of disciplines would be very welcome to contact us.
Database of Researchers
One of the most important elements of our work is putting people in touch via our searchable database of researchers in the field. You can add details of your research interests, current projects and publications to our database of researchers.
Join the Mailing List
To join our mailing list to receive details of planned events, calls for papers, new publications etc. email David Rush at: middlebrow [at] hotmail.co.uk.
A pdf version of our A4 flyer can be downloaded for printing and display.