Live streaming of Stuart Hall Conference: 28/11/14


See the Goldsmiths site for more information.



It’s been a while since RSN has organised any events: Ben Harker took up a new post at the University of Manchester, and Elinor and Jen were finishing PhDs. Thanks to the generous support of the Raymond Williams Society we have some funding to put on a day conference in the centre of Manchester on a Saturday in May 2015.

‘Raymond Williams Now’ will ask questions about the continuing relevance of Williams’ work in criticism, politics, and creative projects. (I was going to write ‘creative writing’ but remembered reading this week about Ruth Beale’s ‘Performing Keywords‘. Why always writing? Ruth and Amy Feneck contributed to RSN3 in February 2013 with their talk ‘The Alternative School of Economics: Art Practice, Politics and Education’.)

The conference will aim to provoke genuine assessments on Williams’ legacy, on subjects including but not limited to:

adult education; ecology; feminism; media; Williams and Wales; the May Day Manifesto; post-colonial and global Williams; science fiction; the public intellectual; Williams and the politics of criticism; Williams as novelist and playwright; ‘old’ and ‘new’ lefts.

Recent meditations on British cultural studies have covered Stuart Hall and the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. We want to give Williams his due but also to discover the places for new growth. As Williams stated himself in Marxism and Literature (OUP, 1977: p. 116)

much of the most accessible and influential work of the counter-hegemony is historical: the recovery of discarded areas, or the redress of selective and reductive interpretations. But this in turn has little effect unless the lines to the present […] are clearly and actively traced.

Clearly, academia does not have (and is unlikely to develop) a monopoly on creating ‘lines to the present’ — drawing links between what Williams would call ‘residual’ social, political, creative forms and contemporary concerns. Contributions from people with other backgrounds will therefore be extremely welcome. Costs will be kept as low as possible to enable people without generous travel bursaries to attend.

We would also like to break somewhat with the traditional conference format, maybe no keynotes and a more participatory aspect? What would you appreciate: discussion sessions on key texts? Round table discussion instead of keynotes?

It’s early days as we have yet to finalise the date but wanted to give our followers advanced warning. Please email us if you want to join the mailing list: raymondwilliamsnow2015[at]

I have enjoyed writing this post and hope to engage with the blog more regularly in the future. A personal blog doesn’t hold much appeal for me but a group one exploring common interests does. I have just finished my PhD and imagine that not having access to a research community would start to bite after a while. Hopefully, RSN events and this forum will provide us and others with stimulation.

Please let us know if you would like to contribute guest posts, as Chris Witter did in the previous post.

by Jen Morgan

Forthcoming RSN Events

We’re pleased to announced three Radical Studies events in Salford during the next academic year.

On Wednesday 17th October 2012 we will be hosting Andy Merrifield, author of Magical Marxism and intellectual biographies of John Berger and Guy Debord. Our postgraduate speaker will be Joseph Maslen (Edge Hill), who’ll be speaker about representations of ageing Communists in popular fiction. The event will take place at the Working Class Movement Library from 3-5pm, followed by drinks at the Crescent Pub.

On Wednesday February 13th 2013, we’ll have an all-postgraduate event, showcasing new research by emerging researchers in radical studies. Further details will be posted in due course.

Finally on Wednesday 24th April, Cathy Clay (Nottingham Trent) will be presenting on her AHRC-funded research into the left-wing, feminist interwar journal, Time and Tide. WCML, 3-5PM.

If you’d like to get in touch with us or join our email list:

We’re also keen to hear from anyone who’d like to contribute a guest blog post to this site: let us know if you’re interested.