Readings and Representations of the Seventeenth Century

‘Such Total and Prodigious Alteration’/‘The Wounds May Be Again Bound Up’: Readings and Representations of the Seventeenth Century’

An academic conference to be held in Chetham’s Library, Manchester, 28th-29th January,

A  forum for researchers in all disciplines whose work spans all or any part of the long seventeenth
century. We also encourage papers discussing subsequent representations of  the
period in all areas of culture.

Confirmed speakers include:

Rosanna Cox (Kent),
Jeremy Gregory (Manchester),
Helen Pierce (York),
George Southcombe (Oxford),
Jeremy Tambling (Manchester),
Edward Vallance (Roehampton)

Abstracts of 300-500 words to be sent to James Smith (Manchester) and Joel Swann (Keele) by 15th
October 2010:

CFP here.

Published in: on June 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rate my SCR!

Photo Nicholas Laughlin via Flickr

I *really* hope this will turn into a popular strand on the blog.

While ‘enjoying’ a vegetable moussaka the other day in Roehampton’s near-empty senior common room, I was struck by the great variation in staff facilities across the universities I have worked at in my career so far.

When I worked at the University of Sheffield, scarcely a week went by without at least one visit to ‘Sticky House’ (Staff House) for a meat and potato pie followed by one of the unctuous steamed puddings -with custard, of course,- that gave it its nickname. But the writing was already on the specials board. Staff House soon closed. By the time I moved to the University of Manchester in 2002, it was clear that the rot had already set in. What currently purports to be Manchester’s Senior Common Room is ‘a deli style operation’ (staff canteen) where you can, at most, get a bowl of thin, lukewarm soup. Not the kind of sustenance to support serious thinking or high level research.

No. 5 Abercromby Square, University of Liverpool seemed a welcome return to proper staff dining – a downstairs bar and coffee shop and an upstairs staff dining room serving reasonable fish, chips and mushy peas. Soon, of course, words like  ‘pannini’ and ‘bistro’ were being bandied about. The downstairs bar now only serves coffee, tea and soft drinks. Upstairs at no. 5 Liverpool academics are now threatened with something called ‘beef tagine’. The rumour mill suggests that the whole establishment soon might be threatened with a fate worse than death, conversion into another one of Liverpool’s empty ’boutique’ hotels.

The SCR is an institution under siege but pockets of resistance remain, even outside the oak-panelled rooms of Oxbridge colleges.

The University of Reading’s SCR website leads the way. Not only does it have a ‘Wine Shop’ and a ‘Wine Cellar’ but also offers ‘tutored staff wine tastings’. Top of the pile, though, must be the Royal College of Arts’ Senior Common Room Billing itself as ‘one of the best kept secrets in London’, the RCA SCR offers staff ‘a delicious three-course meal at lunchtime’ and a ‘lounge area’ to loosen your waistband in afterwards.

These are just a few examples. There must be other academic food heroes out there, even if in the UK most HEIs can’t match the University of Hong Kong’s three staff restaurants offering spectacular views of Victoria harbour.

Let’s hear those nominations!

Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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Royalist Religion programme 11 September

Programme below for this workshop featuring yours truly:

Royalist Religion Provisional programme, 11 September

Royalist Religion

Provisional programme

Workshop, September 11 2009, JRUL Deansgate

Arrival, coffee from 9.30


Anthony Milton (Sheffield), ‘Royalist divines and the king’s conscience in the 1640s’



Ted Vallance (Liverpool), ‘Robert Sanderson’s use of amended prayer book services’

Marie-Louise Coolahan (Galway), ‘Royalism and the 1641 Depositions’

Jason McElligott (TCD), ‘Massacre, Infanticide and Psalm 137 in Early-Modern England’

1-2 Lunch


Lloyd Bowen (Cardiff), ‘Royalist Ministers and the Royalist Message, 1642-9′

Sue Wiseman (Birkbeck), ‘Vaughan and cat baptism’



Molly Murray (Columbia),

Iain McClure (Birkbeck), ‘The development of interiority in Eikon Basilike

Radical Manchester: William Gladstone, Feargus O’Connor … er… Hazel Blears?

I found this quite some time ago. Leaving aside the fact that apart from Ernest Jones, none of the historic ‘radicals’ listed really have obvious Mancunian connections, I couldn’t help feeling that it was maybe a bit presumptious to include Hazel alongside Gladstone. Perhaps the authors of the page meant that she had developed a radical re-intepretation of the law concerning capital gains tax.

Royalist and Radical Religion, 1640-1660

This new research network has a blog over here detailing upcoming events.

First up, a talk by Professor Nigel Smith on 22 January on ‘Radicalism, Royalism and the Literary Canon’, video-conferencing suite, Kilburn Building, University of Manchester.

There will be a postgraduate masterclass led by Professor Smith immediately after the lecture. All welcome.

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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CFP: Representing the British Civil Wars

Call for Papers

Representing the British Civil Wars 1660-2009: Adaptation, Reflection, Transmission, Debate

University of Manchester, 4-6 December, 2009

This conference considers the ways in which the conflict period of the 1640s and 1650s have been manifest in culture, political thought, historiography and popular imagination, from Southey’s Life of Oliver Cromwell to Clarendon, from To Kill a King to the imminent film of Paradise Lost. The conference looks at cultural appropriation and the ways in which particular representational tropes have been developed and perpetuated.

Sessions and panels might consider immediate post-Restoration versions of the conflict, or consider how radical theories of liberty and rights influenced political philosophy during the eighteenth century. Why is the notion of civil dispute still so potent in British culture, and why is the Cavalier/ Roundhead binary so difficult to get rid of? How have the complexities of the conflict been represented? What of the complex and continuing historiography? Which cultural clichés have become associated with the wars of this period? How have writers, dramatists, novelists, poets and filmmakers adapted texts from the time and how have they imagined the period?

Papers might consider the versions of the war found in popular novels, in drama, in film and in poetry, portraiture and song. Of particular interest might be the following: Iain Pears, David Kinloch, Cromwell, Witchfinder General, Great Britons, Tristram Hunt, popular historical writing, The Devil’s Whore, Scott’s Woodstock, Antonia Fraser, documentary series, docudrama, By the Sword Divided, historiographical paradigms (conflict/ contention, civil war/ revolution/ war of three kingdoms), wargames, boardgames, adaptation, bespoke computer game hacks, museums and exhibits.

Please send abstracts (300 words) or panel proposals by April 30 to