Dissenters and Evangelicals at The Leeds Library

Dissenters and Evangelicals Day Conference
The Leeds Library, Saturday 6 April 2013, 10.00-17.00

Registration is now open for the Dissenters and Evangelicals day conference at The Leeds Library on Saturday 6 April.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, communities of Dissenters and Evangelical Anglicans played a key role in setting the political agenda, transforming literary taste, and founding cultural institutions such as academies and libraries. They included some of the most important intellectuals of the period. This conference will investigate the creative impact of these religious groups. It will take place in the Leeds Library, a proprietary subscription library founded in 1768. During his time as a Dissenting Minister in Leeds, the scientist and theologian Joseph Priestley acted as the Library’s first secretary and second president, and therefore the conference will begin with a panel exploring his significance.
The conference is part of a series of events organised by the AHRC-funded research network, Creative Communities, 1750-1830. The network is based in the School of English at the University of Leeds, in association with the University of Southampton and University College London. The Principal Investigator is Dr David Higgins and the Co-Investigator is Professor John Whale (both University of Leeds).

Confirmed speakers include:
Professor Stephen Bygrave (University of Southampton), ‘“Hallowed by the occasion of the meeting”: Priestley, Barbauld and Community’
Professor Les Woodcock (Priestley Society), ‘Joseph Priestley: Mixing a Religious Faith with Creativity in Science’
Rachel Webster (University of Leeds), ‘In writing to you I feel my heart open’: Hannah More, Spiritual Mentorship and the Abolition of the Slave Trade’
Naomi Billingsley (University of Manchester), ‘Creativity as Community: Images of Christian Activity in Blake’s Biblical Illustrations’
Dr Steven Burley (Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies), ‘Religious Toleration and Religious Tension: New College, Hackney and the Unitarians’
Joanna Wharton (University of York), ‘Inscription and Exchange: Barbauld’s Object Poems’
The event will close with a roundtable discussion featuring responses from Professor Jon Mee (University of Warwick) and Professor John Whale (University of Leeds).

Registration is free, but places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
To register, and for any other queries, please contact cassie.ulph@googlemail.com.

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Postgraduate Bursaries Awarded

We are pleased to announce that Will Bowers (UCL) and Matthew Ward (University of St. Andrews) are the recipients of the Creative Communities postgraduate bursaries.  Will and Matthew will each receive £300 pounds to enable them to participate in the network.

In recognition of the high quality of applications, two further bursaries of £100 have been awarded to Laure Philip and Jennifer Wilkes, who are both postgraduate research students at the University of Warwick.

Congratulations to all four applicants.

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Postgraduate Bursaries

Creative Communities, 1750-1830 is an AHRC-funded Research Network based in the School of English at the University of Leeds, in partnership with the University of Southampton and University College London. Dr David Higgins is the Principal Investigator and Professor John Whale is the Co-Investigator. We are pleased to offer two bursaries of £300 to enable postgraduate students to participate in the network. 

Recent scholarly work has begun to question the individualistic approach to cultural production by considering how social structures and relationships have encouraged creativity. Creative Communities seeks to advance our understanding of the relationship between creativity and community by focusing on key historical case studies. It will examine how connections between members of a community, and between different communities, can enhance creativity. At the same time, it will subject those key terms to rigorous historical investigation. The network will bring together established and early career researchers, as well as non-academic stakeholders, from a range of institutions, to debate a number of key questions about the relationship between creativity and community. How can a ‘creative economy’ enhance communal well-being? What is the balance of local and national in a successful creative community? How did communities of the past creatively interact? Above all, what lessons may be learned from understanding these past examples? What kinds of creative generosity can grow from this communal emphasis?

5-6 April 2013: Dissenters and Evangelicals (Leeds)

This workshop, in association with the Priestley Society and the Thoresby Society, will seek to understand the significance of Dissenting communities in fostering creativity, and will also examine the under-explored creativity of other faith communities in the period, such as Anglicans, Catholics, and Jews.

20-21 September 2013: London’s Creative Institutions, 1750-1830 (UCL)

We will investigate the connected communities generated by London’s cultural institutions and ask how did different stakeholders within them interacted in creative ways? To what extent did this lead to the production of a distinctive metropolitan identity? The workshop will also reflect on the continuing influence of these institutions in the twenty-first century city.

24-25 January 2014: Regional Networks of Creativity (Southampton/Chawton)

How did regional networks – comprised of individuals such as publishers and patrons, or institutions such as periodicals and friendship groups – support creative endeavour? How far did the provinces offer a parallel culture or one running counter to the dominance of the metropolis? The workshop will reassess the nature of creativity in a context of contested civic and regional identities in order to learn from the example of late Georgian England.

We envisage that the bursaries will enable postgraduate students to participate in one or more of the workshops. Applicants must be studying for a PhD at a HEI in the United Kingdom. To apply, please send a two-page CV, and a covering email (500 words max) explaining how being part of the network would help your research, to the Network Administrator, Cassie Ulph (cassie.ulph@googlemail.com). 

For enquiries about the project and/or applying for a bursary, please email David Higgins (d.higgins@leeds.ac.uk).

The deadline for applications is 4pm on Monday 26 November 2012.

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Research Network on Creative Communities, 1750-1830

Creative Communities, 1750-1830 is an AHRC-funded Research Network based in the School of English at the University of Leeds, in partnership with the University of Southampton and University College London. Dr David Higgins is the Principal Investigator and Professor John Whale is the Co-Investigator.

Focusing on historical case studies, the network will examine how connections between members of a community, and between different communities, can enhance creativity. At the same time, it will subject those key terms to rigorous investigation. The network will bring together established and early career researchers, as well as non-academic stakeholders, from a range of institutions, to debate key questions about the relationship between creativity and community.

Creative Communities will run from October 2012 to March 2014. It will include three workshops: Dissenters and Evangelicals(Leeds) in April 2013; London’s Creative Institutions (UCL) in September 2013; and Regional Networks (Southampton) in January 2014.

For further information, please email David Higgins (d.higgins@leeds.ac.uk).

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