To a degree this follows on from last time in that again there is a maritime theme to this short blog. Firstly, although I wasn’t able to attend this year, I have a brief report from Dr Martin Watts about Whitstable Harbour Day, which took place last Saturday. As an ex-merchant seaman, Martin is keen to promote all things nautical and, as he says, it was another excellent day.
Before I come to ‘Maritime Kent though the Ages’ this weekend and the great array of speakers, I thought I would very briefly mention that I attended two of the sessions last Saturday of the University of Kent’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival that featured six speakers from Canterbury Christ Church University.
This week I want to catch up with events involving History and the Centre over the last week, but will leave Dr Mark Hutchinson’s paper to the Staff-Postgraduate Research Seminar until next week because three events is enough for one blog. The three events I have focused on are: the Kent history postgraduates’ workshop, the ‘‘Sense of Place’: Imagination and the landscapes of Kent’ symposium (I missed the excursion on the following day) and the talk given by Professor Brent Nelson and his colleague from the University of Saskatchewan, who are in Canterbury with their students to look at the Bargrave collection.
We are now just a fortnight away from the Tudors and Stuarts Weekend and excitement is growing as we look forward to welcoming speakers such as Alison Weir, David Starkey, Janina Ramirez, Glenn Richardson and Anna Keay to Canterbury Christ Church.
This week has brought to the fore some different issues, albeit underpinning many of the lectures and discussions has again been the value to society of knowing and understanding the past, whether this is locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.
I thought that this week and next would follow the example of the Roman god Janus and look back this week and forward next week into 2017. Consequently, the blog today will offer a brief summary of events organised or involving the Centre during 2016 to provide a flavour of the types of activities various members undertook under the Centre’s head, Professor Jackie Eales.
I called in at the Box Office in Augustine House this week to leave more leaflets for the Early Medieval Kent conference – Ruth Duckworth had run out there, and also to deliver leaflets for the Nightingale Lecture ‘Wartime Farm Revisited’ that will be given by Professor John Martin. Ruth checked the booking for the conference for me and these are climbing nicely, so we shall have a good audience on Saturday 10 September, although there is still plenty of space for more people.
Keeping with the idea of excitement at conferences among participants – speakers and audience, yesterday I was at the Centre’s ‘Richborough through the Ages’ conference, hence the photo above. Perhaps one of the major differences between last week and this was that the MEMS conference at Kent University was by definition to a great degree inward looking as far as the university community is concerned – it was by academics at various stages in their careers for an audience that was roughly comparable.
I thought this week I would provide photos from two events that I attended over the last three days because they involved several people – staff and students – from Canterbury Christ Church. However before I get to that I thought I would share with you other matters, and the prospect of an exciting event next Saturday. It is now just six days before the ‘Richborough Through the Ages’ conference and Dr Martin Watts and I will be sorting out the final details early next week. Numbers have greatly exceeded expectations and it will be great to welcome a hundred or so participants what to looks like a very exciting programme exploring Richborough down the centuries, including its very important role during the Great War. In addition, I would just like to point out that Early Medieval Kent 800–1220 was published by Boydell yesterday – a major milestone in terms of the Kent History Project (primarily funded by Kent County Council) that is now complete. As I have mentioned before, there will be a one-day conference to mark this publication on Saturday 10 September at Canterbury Christ Church. Details of this event will follow shortly. Among the contributors to this volume is Dr Diane Heath, who has taught on the History undergraduate programme at Christ Church over the last few years, and this publication marks Diane’s second article this week. On Thursday she received notification that her essay on Burnellus, a rather special ass in terms of medieval beast literature, has been published in the South Atlantic Review. This is an excellent achievement.
I’m going to begin with a couple of buildings, although I’ll save Canterbury Cathedral’s great south window until next week except I will thank Heather Newton for showing me around the window this morning – an amazing piece of engineering and craftsmanship. Also before I get to the other building, I’ll just mention that Dr Martin Watts now has over 90 people coming to the one-day conference he is holding later this month on ‘Richborough through the Ages’ in Old Sessions House. However he would be happy to see even more, so do have a look if you are new to the blog at www.canterbury.ac.uk/richborough for details.