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Bangor Conference on the Restoration, 2024: Reconciliation and its failures in the Stuart world, 1658-1715
We are delighted to announce the dates and theme for the Bangor Conference on the Restoration, 2024. It will be held from lunchtime on Tuesday 23 July to lunchtime on Thursday 25 July next summer; and will centre on discussion of the theme: Reconciliation and its failures in the Stuart world, 1658-1715 (the ‘Stuart world’ includes Britain, Ireland, overseas settlements and trade networks, and those parts of Europe with links to the Stuart realms). A full manifesto appears below. As always, we invite anyone with an interest in the period – from any discipline – to beautiful Eryri / Snowdonia for what have always been fascinating, inclusive, and friendly, discussions – and also hope people will enjoy Bangor University’s famous hospitality.
If you have questions, or an idea for a 20 minute paper, or want to set up a panel of 2-3 such papers, please get in touch with Tony Claydon at email@example.com. The aim of the conference has always been to stimulate thought and exchange of ideas – so ‘think-pieces’ have always been as welcome as reports on latest research. Please do forward this message to anyone you think might be interested, and who might not have heard about the Bangor Conferences.
A full conference website will be established in the next few weeks. The plenary papers will be:
Martin Dzelzainis (Leicester): Four Elegies and a Funeral: negotiating the Restoration
William Pettigrew (Lancaster): Royal African Companies: Trading in Enslaved Africans to Unify Restoration Society
Valerie Rumbold (Birmingham): Awkward print: making the unreconciled Swift
Alasdair Raffe (Edinburgh): Reconciliation and Fragmentation in Scottish Protestantism, 1660-1715
The Bangor Conference on the Restoration 2024: Reconciliation and its failures in the Stuart World, 1658-1715
The period 1658-1715 was, of course, marked by conflict, and by polarising memories of conflict, in the Stuart world. But reconciliation – achieved, attempted, unsuccessful, and resisted – was, of necessity, also an important dimension of the age. When society had been so ruptured by events such as the restoration, the early 1660s religious settlement, the exclusion crisis and the emergence of bitter party strife, the 1688-9 revolution, and the Hanoverian succession, many groups felt an urgent need to heal division or to find way of working with old enemies; and failures to do this determined the course of later conflicts. Forms of reconciliation shaped political thought, popular assumptions, and both literary and visual culture. The healing of division and the resolution of disharmony were central to Christian notions of church and salvation; to contract theories of the origins of government; to advocacy of religious toleration and comprehension; to genres of literature which stressed the re-emergence of harmony after rupture, and synthesis after polarisation; to emerging pragmatic approaches to politics; to international peace treaties and the building of foreign alliances; and to a myriad of other social, political, cultural, and artistic forms.
Reconciliation, of course, also operated at personal, family, and community, levels. In contrast, the inability to bind people together also affected human relationships, and resistance to reconciliation fostered movements as diverse as post-1660 republicanism, dissent, Jacobitism, Scots and Irish nationalism, colonial resistance and resistance to colonialism; and resulted in the formative European warfare of these decades. Arguably, efforts to end division, and the effects of their frustration, were the crucial factors shaping the late Stuart world. In 2024, the Bangor Conference on the Restoration will explore this theme: not only examining specific instances, but attempting, perhaps, to understand how actors in the age conceived reconciliation. How, and how far, did they think reknitting society was possible or even desirable; how far can we gain new insights into the period by thinking about reconciliation as a theme?
Image: Wiki Commons – Public Domain