Radical Walking: protest, dissent, and crossing urban boundaries

Senate House | London | 17 February 2017

Walter Padley, ‘The Real Battle for Britain’, Socialist Britain Pamphlet No. 3
Walter Padley, ‘The Real Battle for Britain’, Socialist Britain Pamphlet No. 3; Image reproduced by kind permission of its owners, Independent Labour Publications – http://www.independentlabour.org.uk/

Date
17 Feb 2017, 09:30 to 17 Feb 2017, 19:00
Type
Conference / Symposium
Venue
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Description
This 1-day conference seeks to explore the relationship between walking and radicalism, from a range of perspectives, places, and periods. Walking allows radicals, whether self-acknowledged or not, to cross boundaries, challenge customs, redefine urban spaces, and physically express their opposition and beliefs.People have taken steps toward effecting change throughout the centuries, moving through urban spaces in support of rights, opportunities, and societal innovation. Walking has allowed those who advocate for reform to express radical goals and argue for social, political, and religious change. Radicalism has been understood most commonly in reference to the British Liberal Party’s stance on the reform of society and Parliament in the eighteenth-century. But, in recent years, scholars have also applied the term much more widely, from causes as diverse as peasant protests in medieval Japan, to more recent quests for the securing of civil rights. Walking allows radicals, whether self-acknowledged or not, to cross boundaries, challenge customs, redefine urban spaces, and physically express their opposition and beliefs.Price: £10Schedule9:30-10: coffee and registration

10-10:15: Welcome

10:15-11:15: Katrina Navickas, ‘Politics is movement: radical walking in 19th-century Britain’

11:15-11:30: break

11:30-1: Panel 1: Writing and Radical Walking

Christine Donovan, Anarchist Walking in Europe 1850 – 1910

Blake Morris, The Radical Romanticism of the Walking Library

Emma Hayward, Odd Women: Walking, The City and Literary Tradition

1-1.45: Lunch

1.45-3:15: Panel: Thinking and Radical Walking

Amy Westwell, Agrarian radicalism and a new radicalism

Nadia Valman, Walking in Margaret Harkness’ Whitechapel

David Stack, ‘A great pedestrian’: John Stuart Mill, the walking philosopher

3:15-3:25: break

3:25-4:25: panel 3: Challenging ideas through Radical Walking

Michael Eades, The ‘Dementia Walks’: everyday radicalism in Bloomsbury

Katherine Parker-Hay, A walk through the Bechdel Test

4:25-4.35: break

4.35-5:20: David Rosenberg, Putting the Past in Conversation with the Present: Footsteps through London’s immigrant East End

Wine reception

This conference is part of the Radical Voices season at Senate House Library and is run in collaboration between Senate House Library and the Passage project (Senate House Library, the Centre for Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research, and SAS Central).

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Call for Papers [closed]

People have taken steps toward effecting change throughout the centuries, moving through urban spaces in support of rights, opportunities, and societal innovation. Walking has allowed those who advocate for reform to express radical goals and argue for social, political, and religious change. Radicalism has been understood most commonly in reference to the British Liberal Party’s stance on the reform of society and Parliament in the eighteenth-century. But, in recent years, scholars have also applied the term much more widely, from causes as diverse as peasant protests in medieval Japan, to more recent quests for the securing of civil rights. Walking allows radicals, whether self-acknowledged or not, to cross boundaries, challenge customs, redefine urban spaces, and physically express their opposition and beliefs.

This 1-day conference seeks to explore the relationship between walking and radicalism, from a range of perspectives, places, and periods. Questions may include:

  • How has walking informed radical thinking or politics?
  • How has radical walking been written about?
  • Can the act of walking itself be radical? Was it radical in the past?
  • Is there a difference between urban and rural landscapes through the lens of radicalism? Was there a difference historically?
  • How has walking allowed social actors to transgress spatial boundaries?
  • What was the role of the physical body in the act of radical walking?

We invite abstracts of 200 words for 20-minute presentations. Deadline for submission: 14 October 2016 – please send to Jordan.Landes@london.ac.uk. The conference will entail a small fee of £10, which will provide for refreshments and lunch.

Radical Walking is a collaborative event, organised by Radical Voices and Passage, initiatives of Senate House Library and the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Radical Voices is an ongoing project in Senate House Library, seeking to celebrate and promote the collections of radical voices of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Revealing this strand in the library’s collections sheds light on enormously influential but subsequently neglected figures, campaigns and organisations. Passage is an interdisciplinary project with an interest in all manner of texts that describe London – its spaces, buildings and people – through the medium of walking. A collaboration between the Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, and Senate House Library, Passage examines how writers have described the act of walking around London in different periods, and at how different writers have used walking as a mechanism for achieving their aims. 

Radical Walking CFP Poster