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Events – Bath Spa University

The History and Heritage events programme reflects the community's broad spectrum of interests.

Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to staff, students and members of the public. Our public lectures are likely to be of broadest interest, while research seminars are intended primarily for staff and postgraduate students.

For further information about our events, please contact Professor Astrid Swenson.

2019 events

20 March - Dr Cassie Newland - The Zulu Telegraph

20 March 2019
4pm - 6pm

Dr Cassie Newland - Senior Lecturer in Public History, Bath Spa University

17 April - Dr Simon Mercieca - An Account by ‘al Muradi: Debating Islam in Malta in the Eighteenth Century

17 April 2019
4pm - 6pm 

Dr Simon Mercieca - Senior Lecturer in History, University of Malta

The debate between Islam and Christianity has all too often been deliberately swept under the carpet; the emphasis is on the ongoing conflict between these two faiths.

In this talk, Dr Mercieca will explore an account that contradicts this assertion - a work by ‘Al Muradi, a great Syrian Muslim scholar, which gives an account of a debate of a serene nature which took place in Malta in the eighteenth century.

8 May - Kate James - Mary Dawson’s Women: Newton Park College and the Origins of Bath Spa University

8 May 2019
4pm - 6pm 

Kate James - Associate Lecturerand PhD candidate in History, Bath Spa University

The post-second world war period in Britain is popularly viewed as an era of female domesticity, in which a woman's primary role was in homemaking. As a result, the 1950s have come to be seen as a low-point of women’s agency.

This paper will present the idea that whilst this image has come to dominate, the lived experience - at least for some women - was quite different. Female teachers, in high demand in the years after the war, were able to marry and continue to work, and could combine their career with looking after their children. They saw themselves as having control over their own lives; and here, in Bath, their ambitions and aspirations were shaped by Mary Dawson, the first principal of Newton Park College.

Who were these women? What were their experiences, as they made their way through their training and out into the world?

29 May - Cassie Newland - Bloomsbury Fields

29 May 2019
4pm - 6pm 

From the 1680s to the late 1700s the Long Fields of Bloomsbury were notorious as the scenes of robbery, murder, and every species of depravity and wickedness (Rimbault, Notes and Queries, 14:2 Feb 1850, 217).

Tamed, paved and swiftly overtaken in the irresistible expansion of the West End, the fields were replaced by townhouses for the gentry. But we know for physics that fields are infinite. Its strength may diminish over time and space yet the traces are never quite gone. Bloomsbury's fields are haunted by naked bathers, kite-cutting crones, duelling brothers and miracles on the very ground. The Long Fields are traces in legends and stories and names.

Today the fields of Bloomsbury are an overlapping venn-space of radio frequency fields. Bodies move promiscuously in and out of bought-and-paid-for energies. Wireless is given away free with coffee. Data is stolen. Persons project themselves, their fictions, their vices and their miracles through geolocated media, such as Grindr, Tindr, Findhr. A walk through Bloomsbury therefore means moving between the traces of old and new fields. We will walk the gradients, overlapping, boundaryless (and quite possibly a little bit lost).

5 June - Alison Carrol - In the Shadow of the Border: The Return of Alsace to France

5 June 2019
4pm - 6pm 

Alison Carrol - Senior Lecturer in European History, Brunel University London

In 1918, the end of the First World War triggered the return of Alsace and Lorraine to France after almost fifty years of annexation into the German Empire. Enthusiastic crowds in Paris and Alsace celebrated the return of the 'lost provinces,' but return proved far more difficult than expected. Over the following two decades, politicians, administrators, industrialists, cultural elites, and others grappled with the question of how to make the region French again.

By connecting the micro-history of the region with the 'macro' levels of national policy, international relations, and transnational networks, and with the cross-border flows of ideas, goods, people, and cultural products that shaped daily life in Alsace as its population grappled with the meaning of return to France, the talk reveals the multiple voices who contributed to the region's reintegration and underlines the ways in which regional populations and cross-border interactions have forged modern nations.

27 June - History and Heritage Researchers Conference

27 June 2019
2pm - 8pm

Keynote: Professor Astrid Swenson

This conference, organised around the theme of 'Research in Progress', will provide a space to share and discuss current research in a friendly and supportive environment. This gathering aims to be the first of an annual event. 

Our informal 'mini conference' is fast approaching.

Following the keynote from Professor Astrid Swenson, we have a fascinating line-up of speakers, who'll be sharing aspects of their latest research.

These include:

  • Dr Kevin Grieves on the development of a Digital Bath project
  • Rachel Smith on the Canning letters, one year into her PhD
  • Georgie Brown on the writing up stage of her PhD on Clerical Masculinity
  • Dr David Coast on his latest projects
  • Dr Sarah Morton on Legacies of Repatriation.

For more information contact And hold the date!

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