Going global: North East networks in the nineteenth century

Lunch and Workshop
1-4pm, 24 February 2016
Mining Institute, Newcastle

Organisers: Ella Dzelzainis, Máire Cross and Richard Clay

The story of the North East’s fall from it heights as a nineteenth-century industrial powerhouse is a familiar one. This discussion forum seeks to generate an alternative narrative: one that recognizes the North East’s centrality in the generation of alternative cultural networks – as an engine for the movement of the people, goods, services and knowledge that were essential to the expansion of empire, while acknowledging the complex legacies of imperialism.

To explore such a complex period of history requires bringing to bear expertise from across disciplines and across sectors. Significantly, a range of funding agencies (including Research Councils) are championing such modes of collaboration. Among the key questions this forum will explore are ‘should we seek funding to support a ‘Going global: North East’ project, who from, who will lead?’ How do attendees of the forum get and communicate a sense of the nineteenth century in a place? What happens if we think of the North East as a point of circulation and intersection, playing a part in the creation of the British Empire and being shaped by empires across the globe? Could more be made of the traces of the people who transformed the region and who transmitted its influence through international networks of culture (e.g., maritime, industrial, scientific, artistic, literary). But where do we find these traces and how do we go about thinking about them?

This event is an opportunity to explore such questions and to start mapping occluded and / or unexplored dimensions of the region that can sometimes remain isolated within the confines of museums, archives and universities.

Among the questions that could be addressed are the following:
• What verbal, visual, aural and/or material objects are there in our institutions that enable cultural recognition of the North East as a node of innovation and reception in a global network?
• How did the North East collect the world and how did the world collect the North East?
• How did regional developments in the maritime industry, finance capitalism, arts and culture, music and ideas circulate globally and contribute to the formation of empires(s)?
• How did the ingress and egress of people and their ideas shape the region and the relation between the local and the global?
• What radical and/or conservative cultural formations did the region give to and receive from imperial expansion?

To explore this theme we invite you to a workshop to be held in the Mining Institute on 24 February 2016. Speakers will include Matthew Grenby, Director of NUHRI, who will discuss Research beyond Boundaries and Richard Clay, Professor of Digital Humanities, on Working in Collaboration: Thinking A Bit Digitally.

The afternoon will begin with an informal lunch 1-2 pm to start getting to know one another. All participants will be invited to present their work to the group in a 2 minute talk so that we can get a sense of the breadth of expertise in the room. There will be a break out session to explore the theme of going global in the North East and how best to secure external funding for the delivery of an ambitious collaborative research project or projects.

Please register online by 8 February 2016 at: http://forms.ncl.ac.uk/view.php?id=9358 and direct any queries to Ella Dzelzainis at: ella.dzelzainis@ncl.ac.uk.

Supported by the HASS Faculty and NUHRI, Newcastle University and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Durham University.

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