Unencompassing the Archipelago

from herma ness

Where is the South West? The North? The East or the North East? The far West?   Perspectives from participants working within different fields and coastlines will offer contrasting and mutually illuminating views on the geography, culture and local environments of these islands.  The Day will include contributions from leading artists, poets, prose writers, scholars, critics, art historians, musicians, modern linguists, cultural historians and geographers, and is open to anyone with an interest in the physical and cultural life of the unnameable Archipelago.  

Participants include Norman Ackroyd RA, Nick Groom, Andrew Kahn, Robert Macfarlane, Kirsteen McCue,  Andrew McNeillie, Philip Marsden, Patrick McGuinness, Bernard O'Donoghue, Seamus Perry, Angharad Price, Tim Robinson, Fiona Stafford

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Unencompassing the Archipelago Programme

9.30-10 Registration and Coffee (exhibition of Norman Ackroyd’s books, items from Somerville collections, and materials relating to Archipelago, on show throughout the day).

10 Welcome John Brannigan, Andrew McNeillie, Fiona Stafford (Flora Anderson Hall)

PLENARY: Norman Ackroyd RA, on his Archipelagic Art (Chair: Nicholas Allen)

IN ALL DIRECTIONS: Parallel Panels

11.15-12.45pm West Far West (Chair: Philip Schwyzer)

‘On Writing in Welsh’ (Angharad Price)

‘People and Place, Nation and Environment: The Poetry of R. S. Thomas and the Arts of M. E. Eldridge and Kyffin Williams (Andrew McNeillie)

‘Aran on film, 1934: Robert Flaherty’s Oidhche Sheanchais and Norris Davidson’s Damhsa Árann’ (Deirdre Ní Chonghaile)

‘Lynette Roberts: Machine Age Mabinogion’ (Patrick MacGuinness)

11.15-12.45pm South South West (Chair: Robert Macfarlane)

‘Buried History: South West Romanticism and the Catachthonic Past’(Nick Groom)

'Kindling Thresholds and Saving Seadoors: the Coastal Vision of W.S. Graham' (Jos Smith)

‘Jack Clemo's 'ghostly kingdom': a Sensory Archipelago’ (Luke Thompson)

‘Other Edens: Gardens of the South west, from Beara to Barra’ (Fiona Stafford)

11.15-12.45pm Centrepoints and Taking Bearings (Chair: tbc)

‘Wordsworth’s Heart of Hearts’ (Judyta Frodyma)

‘The Edinburgh and Ettrick Shepherd (Meiko O’Halloran)

‘Ronald Lockley’s Archipelagraphy’ (Damian Walford Davies)

‘Ghost Capitals’ (Peter Davidson)

12.45-1.45 pm Lunch

1.45 PLENARY: Philip Marsden ‘Places that aren’t there: mythical islands and imaginary places along the Atlantic Seaboard’  (Chair: Nick Groom)

IN ALL DIRECTIONS: Parallel Panels

2.45pm-4.15pm North North West (Chair: Alan Riach)

‘Highland and Island Space’  (Murdo MacDonald)

‘Hughes’s Elmet and What Remains’  (Seamus Perry)

‘Burns, Hogg and Singing the North’ (Kirsteen McCue)

‘Heaney’s North’  (Bernard O’Donoghue)

2.45pm-4.15pm East North East (Chair: Erin Lafford)

‘Poet of the cul-de-sac: signposts to John Clare in contemporary landscapes’ (Simon Kovesi)

‘On the water’s edge’: Yeats, Joyce, Beckett and Archipelagic Modernism’ (John Brannigan)

‘‘The Zhivago Complex: Thoughts on Russian Poets and Cold War Literary Politics’ (Andrew Kahn)

' “The Northumbrian tongue travel has not taken from me” ': Basil Bunting's translated voice’  (Paul Batchelor)

2.45-4.15pm Islands through time (Chair: Katharine Cockin)

‘Local news from Roman Britain’ (Peter Stothard)

'Misplaced Islands: Ireland and the Archipelago'  (Nicholas Allen)

‘Orwell and Jura’ (David Dwan)

'Melding together climate science, social sciences, humanities and the arts' (Rob Allan)

4.15pm Tea

4.45 Film: Man of Aran (with Tim Robinson introduced by Jos Smith)

6pm Reception (Brittain Williams Room) 

End of Day Conference

8.15pm Evening Celebration of Archipelago (for details, see Unencompassing Evening)

(NB. There will be no official conference dinner – please feel free to organise amongst yourselves – see Accommodation for suggested restaurants)


Organisers: Fiona Stafford, Andrew McNeillie, Bernard O'Donoghue


Environmental Humanities

Contact name: Fiona Stafford
Contact email: fiona.stafford@some.ox.ac.uk
Website: Unencompassing the Archipelago
Audience: Open to all


Environmental HumanitiesTORCH Programmes