Away from the Centre: Conceptualising the Regional and Rural (1850-1950)

An Arts and Humanities Symposium hosted by Durham University

Monday 10th May 2021 (online)

Representations of place and space in literature and the performing arts provide a rich field of enquiry into the ways in which writers, composers, and artists engage with and conceptualise their environments. In particular, artistic explorations of spaces away from metropolitan centres of social and cultural activity offer varied insights into the relationship between environment and power in the context of cultural works. Central concerns for scholars thinking about these ways in which place and power have been culturally determined in works depicting non-metropolitan spaces often revolve around descriptive, yet conceptually imprecise, terminology such as ‘locality’, ‘remoteness’, and/or ‘provincial’, resonant with numerous ambivalent connotations. This interdisciplinary symposium aims to interrogate these tensions between notions of separation and network within the power dynamics of places often defined as rural, regional, or peripheral, with specific attention paid to cultural work of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (1850-1950).

The event will open with a keynote conversation led by Dr Karin Koehler (School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, Bangor University) and Dr Sarah Fuchs (Department of Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University), followed by individual papers and culminating with a chaired roundtable discussion. We welcome abstracts for individual 20-minute papers from Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers within the Arts and Humanities working on relevant research across this period (1850-1950). Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following themes: 

·       Development and depiction of identity/identities within the rural and regional (including industrial, agrarian, and uncultivated spaces)

·       Representations of rurality and its relationship to nationhood, particularly within British and French contexts

·       The exploration of power dynamics within or between individuals and communities

·       Concepts of rapprochement and/or distancing between places and people

·       The function and representation of communication and networks of infrastructure               between communities and their inhabitants

·       Methodological approaches to theorising the rural or provincial in a body of work

We hope that this session will bring together researchers from various institutions, foster new collaborations, and provoke lively research conversations.

This event will take place virtually over Zoom.

Please send proposed titles and abstracts (250-words plus 50-word bio, including affiliation and year of study) to by 15th March 2021.

Symposium on Music, Education and Social Inclusion

London, 20th-21st July 2017

A symposium is to be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London on July 20th and 21st 2017 to launch the Music, Education and Social Inclusion Study Group under the auspices of the ICTM.

Founding members include musicians, senior scholars and academics from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, North America and Asia, reflecting the multicultural nature of the collective.

Historically excluded groups such as women and girls, ethnic minorities, vulnerabilities including disabilities and other marginalities have been systematically un- or under-represented in education, reflecting wider socially discriminatory practices that in turn are perpetrated and transmitted within the school system, shaping society at large beyond schools and academic institutions.

The symposium will focus on exploring multifaceted educational practices in relation to a wider spectrum of broader issues and thinking, such as:
• Education and Representation
• Issues of Identity in Education
• Social inclusion and Education
• Education and International Development
• Ethnomusicology, Transmission Practices (teaching/learning) and Social Inclusion
Other topics that might sit well within the broader agenda are welcome and encouraged.

Papers should be 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of discussion and Q&A. Abstracts should be from 200 to 250 words in length and written in English; other languages might be considered on a case-by-case basis and only where the level of English is not sufficient to express concepts fully.
Alternative presentations – other than individual papers – are welcome and length can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Submissions in other forms (such as video) should be no longer than 5 minutes.

In order to make participation inclusive, and aware that traveling might not be an option for many who are interested in participating, a limited number of remote presentations through Skype will be considered, so applicants are encouraged to apply even in case they might not be able to attend in person.

Deadline for submission of proposals is 20th March 2017; please submit abstracts to Keith Howard ( or Sara Selleri ( Participants will be notified by the end of April 2017.