Whose Regional and Local Histories?

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Date / time: 11 September - 12 September, All day

Teesside University

Whose Regional and Local Histories?

The Centre for Regional and Local History (CRLHR) at Teesside University is holding a conference on 11 and 12 September 2015 to mark its twentieth anniversary. It will be held at the university and it will address questions of how history is written, disseminated and consumed in today’s society.

 Throughout its existence the CRLHR has engaged with public history – since recast as ‘free history’ – which encompasses the full extent of activities that can be considered historical ranging from the written account to the inquisitive visitor to Hadrian’s Wall and enthusiastic consumers of Wolf Hall in all its mediums. By expanding the understanding of history beyond the work done by professional academics, archivists, curators and heritage officers the practice itself has been reinvigorated as the emphasis continues to shift towards public engagement and intellectual enjoyment. Within universities and cultural institutions the exchange of knowledge between those who earn their living as purveyors of history and those in wider society remains important. With expertise a vital part of historical dialogue, the function of academic historians has thus been re-imagined (rather than reduced) – not least as they connect with the local and regional environment. At the same time, the mounting pressure to maximise the economic potential of local heritage and to exploit the possibilities of cultural tourism, means that the relationship between the historian and the public has never been more freighted with obligation or ripe with opportunity. This anniversary conference will consider the role of the historian within today’s society. It will examine the relationships among historians, history societies, the heritage sector, cultural institutions and the arts in pursuing historical enquiry and disseminating historical knowledge. To this end the conference will be both an exploration of the changing face of regional and local history – particularly, but not exclusively, its relationship to public history – over the last twenty years and a look towards its future. The conference will bring together regional and local historians, from established scholars to graduate students. It will also welcome contributions from those who are involved in aspects of regional and local history from outside universities. Cultural themes of the conference will include industrial heritage, gender, religion, identities, minorities, methodologies.

Keynote speakers: Professor A. J. Pollard, Emeritus Professor of History, Teesside University;  Professor Andy Wood, Durham University

Friday 11 September
12.00 – 1.00 Registration and lunch
1.00 – 2.00 Tony Pollard (Emeritus professor, Teesside) ‘Twenty years of regional and local history at Teesside’
2.00 – 3.00 Identities
Graham Ford (Teesside) ‘History, heritage and the Bavarian Heimat (homeland)
Claire Maudling (Exeter) ‘Where do you think you are? The interface between repositories and academic history in creating local histories and identities in Devon’
3.00 – 3.30 Tea
3.30 – 5.00 Revelations
Amanda Phipps (Exeter) ‘Beyond remembrance and wreath laying: the historian’s role in the First World War centenary’
Cathryn McWilliams (Åbo Akademi) ‘”What you see is none of mine”: modern Belfast and the public face of Ann McCracken’
Ann Sheppard (Southern Illinois) ‘Lynching in the border states: newspaper coverage and change over time 1845-1945’
5.00 – 6.00 Wine reception
6.00 – 7.00 Andy Wood (Durham) ‘Landscape and popular memory in early modern England’
7.30 Dinner

Saturday 12 September
9.30 – 11.00 Radical histories or historical radicals
Steve Poole (UWE) ‘”Riots”, “risings” and “massacres”: dissonant heritage and the peculiarities of place’
Marcella Sutcliffe (Cambridge) ‘Transnational history, public history and collective emotions: new trajectories from a north-eastern perspective’
Charlie McGuire (Teesside) ‘Oral histories of the 1980s steel strike in Middlesbrough’

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee
11.30 – 1.00 Industrial heritages
Nigel Cavanagh (Sheffield) ‘Elsecar – a case study of heritage, history and collaboration’
Martha I Pallante and Donna M DeBlasio (Youngstown State), ‘Shout Youngstown!: industrial heritage preservation, interpretation and planning in Ohio’s Steel Valley’
Alan Spence (independent scholar) ‘Historical drama or dramatic history? A playwright’s journey into local history’
1.00 – 1.15 Diana Newton ‘The next twenty years of regional and local history at Teesside…’ / closing comments
1.15 Lunch

Further details and book visit