The Festival of Britain in the regions and the nations
Call for Papers Date:
Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain. The main Festival site was on the South Bank in London, yet untold numbers of events occurred across the United Kingdom. The University of Huddersfield is currently funding a project on the Festival of Britain in the industrial north. As part of this project, we intend to hold an academic conference and an exhibition in the summer of 2011. In the spirit of cooperation and coordination, we are asking for expressions of interest in participation, as well as for information about other events that explore the Festival OUTSIDE London, with the potential for these to link up as a series of events.
The Land Travelling Exhibition loaded on to more than one hundred lorries set up its exhibits in cities across England and HMS Campania brought other examples of British design to a number of ports in England, Wales and Scotland. There was a ‘Farm and Factory’ exhibition in Northern Ireland, and there were festival committees in Wales and Scotland. Arts Festivals were held in many cities, from Stratford, to York. Trowell in Nottinghamshire was given the honour of being the ‘Festival Village’, while other communities under a lesser glare of publicity, organised craft demonstrations, crowned Festival Queens and held street parties to celebrate their Festival year. Councils and local organisations used the Festival to reassess their civic identities, they tidied up, restored buildings of note, like the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, or commissioned new builds. Live architecture exhibitions showcased flats and housing estates, such as Speke on the outskirts of Liverpool. London may have had the Southbank, but the Festival's locus was not just the South East of England.
The historiography of the Festival has tended, like the Festival itself, to be dominated by metropolitan imperatives. We intend to ensure that commemorations of the Festival next year, both academic and popular, do not follow the same pattern.
We welcome contact from scholars in all disciplines at any career stage.
Caterina Benincasa and Prof Paul Ward
University of Huddersfield
Huddersfield HD1 3DH
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