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INTERWAR-RURAL-HISTORY  April 2006

INTERWAR-RURAL-HISTORY April 2006

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Subject:

Upcoming IRHRG events

From:

No Name <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Interwar Rural History Mailing List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 28 Apr 2006 16:19:27 +0100

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (170 lines) , LancasterFlyer.doc (170 lines)

A reminder about two upcoming events. The first is our next seminar 
meeting, where we will be pointing the way towards what we hope will be a 
less southern bias by holding in Lancaster. As usual the emphasis will be 
on informal discussion and an interdisciplinary approach. The meeting will 
start at 2 00 pm on Wednesday 5 July at Lancaster University, hosted by the 
Department of History. It will take place in the Senior Common Room, 
Furness Building, and refreshments will be provided at a small charge. All 
postgraduate students and Friends of the University’s Centre for North-West 
Regional Studies are warmly welcomed, together with members of the Interwar 
Rural History Research Group (IRHRG) able to access this venue.

The IRHRG represents an interdisciplinary group of scholars who are 
actively researching the interwar countryside. It holds regular regional 
meetings in order to discuss work in progress and new developments in an 
area of relatively neglected academic enquiry. The aims and a brief history 
of the Group to date are available on its Website at 
htttp://www.irhrg.org.uk and will also be explained at the meeting.

In observance of the IRHRG remit, the following programme will cover a 
range of disciplines and should be of interest to local, regional and other 
historians, geographers, and students of literature/theatre studies/ 
performing arts.

2 00 Welcome by Dr. Mike Winstanley, University of Lancaster and Dr. Jeremy 
Burchardt (IRHRG chair), University of Reading.

‘Common land between the wars: national and regional perspectives’ - Dr. 
Eleanor Straughton, Research Associate, Department of History, Lancaster 
University.

Questions and discussion

3 00 Refreshments 

‘Three negotiations; pageant/masque; present/past; urban/rural; 
non-canonical theatre and perceptions in interwar England’ - Professor Mick 
Wallis, Professor of Performance and Culture, School of Performance and 
Cultural Industries, University of Leeds.

Questions and discussion

4 00 pm     Close

If you are interested in attending please complete the attached slip and 
return it to Lynne Thompson, 72, Crag Bank Road, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 
9BS after 24 April 2006, or email her at [log in to unmask] She will 
then send you more detailed directions. Since there is no attendance fee, 
advance booking is essential and the closing date will be Friday, 30 June, 
2006.


I /we wish to attend the IRHRG Meeting at Lancaster University on 5 July

Name(s) (please print) …………………………………………………………….

Address………………………………………………………………………………

Telephone no………………………………………………………………………

Email address………………………………………………………………………..




The second event is our international conference. The deadline for 
responses to the CFP has now been extended to 1st June. For those of you 
who missed it first time around, here is the CFP. We chose the theme to be 
not only (we hope) as stimulating as possible but also wide-ranging and 
inclusive, and would like to think that many of you on this list would be 
in a position of offer papers. I will certainly be doing so myself.

Rethinking the rural: land and the nation in the 1920s and 1930s

An Interwar Rural History Research Group International Conference

Call for papers 

The 1920s and 1930s were a key period in the emergence of new relationships 
between land and the nation. The agricultural depression – one of the first 
truly global economic events – provoked different reactions in different 
countries, but everywhere it influenced shifts in attitudes towards the 
rural sector, and in the place of the countryside within national 
economies. Alongside the economic travails of farming in many countries, 
this was also a period of interesting reconfigurations in the relationship 
between landscape and national identity, and reformulations of the meanings 
and significance attached to folk culture and rural society. New demands on 
land use for resources such as building land, water, wood and minerals, 
radically altered agricultural landscapes in the interests of 
urbanisation/suburbanisation, industrialisation, and 
transport/communications infrastructure, pressures which led to increasing 
state involvement in rural life and often to a sense of the countryside as 
something under threat from modernity.

Over the past five years, the Interwar Rural History Research Group, an 
informal interdisciplinary group of scholars in the UK, has focused 
attention on the history of a period which had been relatively neglected by 
rural historians. Conferences organised by the IRHRG in 2002 and 2004 
provided opportunities to question some of the prevailing assumptions about 
the interwar years: about the experience of agricultural depression and 
about the problems faced by rural communities and the rural environment 
itself. The 2004 conference encouraged a comparative element to the 
discussion, looking beyond a close focus on the history of rural England. 
The current call for papers hopes to open up this discussion further in the 
context of an international conference, exploring the international 
dimensions to many of these domestic experiences and offering a forum to 
compare and contrast particular national histories. Political ideologies 
during this period often drew explicit connections between the nation and 
the land. The conference will pose the question of whether histories of the 
rural nation must be bound by national peculiarity, or whether it is 
possible to establish new research agendas based on comparative study and 
international perspectives.

The range of issues embraced by ‘land and the nation’ goes to the heart of 
many of the central aspects of economics, politics and culture in the 1920s 
and 1930s. Contributors are encouraged to put forward proposals that 
reflect their own research interests in this area, and which engage with 
the broad themes of the conference. Amongst the questions that the 
conference is likely to address are: · Is it adequate to characterise the 
1920s and 1930s as an era of agricultural depression? What were the actual 
experiences? How were particular sectors / particular countries able to 
buck the global trends? · What was the impact of, and what influenced 
literary and visual representations of the countryside in the period? What 
role did they play, for example, in establishing agricultural depression as 
a dominant trope? · How important were rural landscapes within national 
identities and political rhetorics? Did such politicised images have any 
connection to the ‘real’ countryside? · How did contrasting experiences, 
memories and commemoration of the First World War affect the place of 
landscape within the national psyche? · How varied were notions of what 
constituted the rural idyll? What influenced the different forms which this 
might take (from the tame, settled landscape, to the wilderness and the 
sublime)? How far, and how effectively were these ideals challenged? · How 
effective were political organisations in promoting the interests of rural 
people? How distinctive was politics in the country from in the town? · How 
did governments in different countries react to falling world food prices? 
What different forms did government intervention take, and how successful 
was that intervention? · What accounts for the varying success with which 
agriculture and the rural nation were mobilised as political issues in 
different countries? · How did different countries experience the growth of 
domestic tourism and the development of the countryside as a pleasure 
ground for the town? · How did preservationist and environmentalist 
movements develop? Were these as non-political as they often claimed to be? 
Were such movements necessarily nostalgic?

The conference will be held at Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, 
UK, from 4 – 6 January, 2007. It is sponsored by the British Agricultural 
History Society. Keynote speakers include Dr Jan Bieleman (University of 
Wageningen), Professor David Danbom (North Dakota State University), 
Professor Kate Darian-Smith (University of Melbourne) and Professor Alun 
Howkins (University of Sussex)

Potential contributors are asked to send an abstract of c.300 words to 
[log in to unmask] by 1 June 2006.

See also our website at http://www.irhrg.org.uk

Dr Caitlin Adams, Witan Hall college, Reading
Dr Paul Brassley, University of Plymouth
Dr Jeremy Burchardt, University of Reading
Dr Keith Grieves, Kingston University
Dr Clare Griffiths, University of Sheffield
Dr Anne Meredith
Professor Keith Snell, University of Leicester
Dr Lynne Thompson
Professor Mick Wallis, University of Leeds

* Apologies for cross-posting *



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