English & Welsh Diaspora: Regional Cultures, Disparate Voices, Remembered Lives

April 13-16, 2011, Loughborough University

 Keynote and Plenary Speakers:

John Barrell, York University, Roger Ebbatson, Lancaster University, Nick Groom, Exeter University, Ronald Hutton, Bristol University, Bridget Keegan, Creighton University, Donna Landry, University of Kent, Ruth Robbins, Leeds Metropolitan University

Performers, musicians and artists provisionally booked:


Others to be announced. In addition to conference panels, there will be music and related workshops.
While the histories of Scots and Irish rural and local culture are well documented, and Celtic tradition celebrated, less explored are the traditional ways of life of English and Welsh rural or local communities and identities in terms of diasporic event. ‘English & Welsh Diaspora’ aims to address all aspects of rural and regional experience, consciousness, and representation of displacement, dispossession, the transformation or destruction of communities, the idea of community, across a millennium of change and loss, from the Norman Invasion and the Harrowing of the North, the loss of Welsh and the decline of the language community in Wales, to more recent historical and cultural events, such as the closure of mines and factories, the gentrification of villages, and the closure of post offices. There will, in addition be the exploration of the historical transformation of the landscape, the relation of land to identity, regional as opposed to national identity, folklore, folk practices and oral tradition through song, dance, story-telling and forms of ritual and seasonal Practice.

Papers are welcome from all humanities disciplines, including, but not restricted to, English, History, Geography, Cultural Studies. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Representations of agricultural labouring classes; regional narratives and representations; Brythonic traditions; George Eliot & the midlands; landscape and identity; traditional song; folklore and belief; seasonal ritual and practice, oral traditions; enclosure; myth and tradition; changing ways of life; John Clare; the English or Welsh village; Thomas Hardy; dispossession & displacement; the remains of Anglo-Saxon culture & language; riots, rebellion, & protest; agricultural & labouring class poetry; William Cobbett’s rural rides; cricket & rural life; local and communal subjectivities; ‘documentary literature’ from Woodforde to Blythe; mummers & Morris; de-Cymrisization; modern rural life; parish records & local history; disappearance of the Welsh language; the Poor law; cultural memory & oral tradition; charity & the poor; politics & policing; rural & regional dialect; parish life; gypsies, witches, poachers, highwaymen & other demonized groups; rural crafts.
Proposals of 200- 250 words are invited (deadline 30th September 2010)For further details, or to send a proposal, please contact Julian Wolfreys:([email protected])