Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Lecture at Newcastle University: ‘Parochialism – a defence’

Henry Daysh Inaugural Lecture, ‘Parochialism – a defence’, by Professor John Tomaney
Clore Suite, Great North Museum: 11th January, 2012, 4pm

“In this paper I present a defence of parochialism against the claims of cosmopolitanism and in the context of debates about the relational accounts of place. Against normative claims that local attachments and territorial sense of belonging lead to exclusion and cultural atrophy the paper suggests that the local, its cultures and solidarities, are a moral starting and a locus of ecological concern in all human societies and at all moments of history. I explore this idea by reference to art and literature, especially poetry. This analysis suggests the local identities should be understood contextually; there is no necessary relation between local forms of identity and practices of exclusion. The paper shows how the virtue of parochialism is expressed in art with a universal appeal. I conclude therefore that we need more detailed studies of real local identities, which avoid a presumption of disdain.” Professor John Tomaney.

This event is part of a programme of activities celebrating the 35th Anniversary of CURDS in 2012.

For more information visit the Newcastle University

Thursday, 8 December 2011

'Pictures from Hopper' launch

Neil Campbell will introduce his new collection of short stories Pictures from Hopper at 6pm in Gallery North, Northumbria University on Tuesday, December 13th. Neil's stories are inspired by the works of Edward Hopper and engage with issues of place and location. For more on this collection visit:

Monday, 5 December 2011

Readings for 9th December 2011

Emails have been sent out with this week's readings, also available online:

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Race', from English Traits (1856).
Paul Giles, 'Transnationalism and Classic American Literature', PMLA, 118 (2003), pp. 62-67.

We hope these readings will prompt discussion of transatlantic space, race, literary tradition, and the influence of the spatial turn on our understanding of these categories.