This week is a mix of news and reports on specific projects or events. As a start, I thought I would mention that Dr Diane Heath has had a favourable report back from her initial application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Consequently, she and Penny Bernard have now started to fill in the main form – fingers crossed that they are successful for their wonderful ‘Medieval Animals’ project.
We are now just over a month away from the online Tudors and Stuarts 2021 History Weekend on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March, which is extremely exciting. We are looking forward to welcoming virtually such a fantastic group of speakers who will be covering some fascinating topics, including Alec Ryrie on just how the Tudors cemented their new Church, Amy Blakeway on that explosive relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and her cousin Mary Queen of Scots, and Onyeka Nubia’s exploration of the black presence in Tudor England. Please to check out these talks and all the others at https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/tudors-stuarts and come and join us for what promises to be a brilliant and stimulating weekend. All things being well, I’ll be doing a piece on KMTV next Wednesday on the Weekend, please do look out for this.
Stop Press: the Centre’s first online event on Wednesday 25 November at 7pm, the FREE Kentish Book Culture book launch, is now up on the university’s website and can be booked at: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-culture/event-details.aspx?instance=332606 Please note that the booking email will contain the text ‘You will receive access details for the event nearer the time.’ Kellie will email out the URL and instructions a day or two in advance to give people who haven’t used Teams before a chance to get to grips with it. Moreover, if you have used Zoom, it is not that different and any experience you have had with one system will be useful for the other.
Stop press – Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend moved to the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 March 2021, and, as I said last week, it will be a virtual affair, and our speakers will include Professor Alec Ryrie, an expert on the Reformation, and Professor Andy Wood, a brilliant ‘history from below’ early modernist. This week I have also been in talks with Craig Dadds at the Canterbury Christ Church University bookshop, and even though we don’t know exactly what form it will take, Craig does want an online bookshop in some form for the History Weekend.
Having caught up with Dr Claire Bartram, as Co-Director of the Centre, and Dr Diane Heath, the Centre’s Research Fellow, I thought I would report on their involvement with the forthcoming Medieval Pageant on Saturday 4 July (the closest Saturday to the Translation of St Thomas on 7 July), which this year will be a virtual experience: https://www.canterburybid.co.uk/canterbury-medieval-pageant/ . Working with the Medieval Pageant team, Claire has been liaising between them and the Creative Writing staff and students at CCCU on some short creative pieces that relate to Thomas Becket.
Thanks firstly to Dr Diane Heath for last week’s blog, and today I thought I would start with Professor Louise Wilkinson’s virtual ‘Farewell’ last Friday where she was joined by most members from History, several members of the School of Humanities administration team and Dr Harriet Kersey from CCCU Research, who is a former doctoral student of Louise’s. As all agreed, it is a great pity that such a great scholar and lovely, caring person is leaving CCCU after about sixteen years, but as her parents will still be here in Canterbury for the time being, we haven’t ‘lost’ her completely. Consequently, there will be a ‘proper Farewell’ once the lockdown is over when she will be given a rather special gift to mark everyone’s appreciation of what she has done for History and the university more widely.
I thought I would start by saying that the university, like other educational institutions, is keeping abreast of the advice coming from Government in the current circumstances. Consequently, as and when I have anything definite, I’ll let you know regarding upcoming Centre events, and we will similarly inform those involved whether as speakers, attendees, volunteers etc. However, in the meantime individual vigilance is obviously important and there is plenty of information through official channels, including NHS England and other public health and safety organisations.
This week I’m exploring what we have planned for 2020.
I’m going to concentrate on the Medieval Pageant this week because it has now become a major day in Canterbury’s calendar, and once again Professor Louise Wilkinson led a team of staff and students from CCCU to bring family-friendly activities to those on the city trail, but first I want to bring other matters to your attention.
It won’t be long before we are into the Centre’s autumn events, and, as well as the Nightingale Lecture mentioned last week, it is with great pleasure that I want to let you know that Dr Rachel Koopmans has agreed to give the annual Becket Lecture in either November or early December, when she will discuss her new and exciting findings regarding the Becket miracle windows.