“Cultivating Britons” Conference held at Brookes

A one-day interdisciplinary conference took place at Brookes on 19 September 2008 entitled "Cultivating Britons: Culture and Identity in Britain, 1901-1936". The event was organised jointly by Alexandra Wilson (Music) and two historian colleagues: Alex Windscheffel (RHUL) and Ruth Clayton Windscheffel (Oxford). The aim of the conference was to examine ruptures and continuities in the social and cultural life of Britain in the first three and a half decades of the twentieth century and to explore the extent to which attempts to "cultivate Britons" (often regarded as a distinctively Victorian endeavour) continued into and metamorphosed during the early twentieth century. 33 delegates attended the conference and the range of disciplines represented included History, English Literature, Music, Theology, Art History and Publishing. The twelve papers presented covered topics as diverse as First World War propaganda; the interwar Dictionary of National Biography; gender and the politics of respectability; blackface minstrelsy in the British police; and Jewish youth work. The conference organisers hope to arrange future "Cultivating Britons" events.

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