Tag Archives: religion

Rebellious Writing: Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power (Call for Chapters)

Rebellious Writing

CALL FOR CHAPTERS FOR EDITED VOLUME

Rebellious Writing:
Marginalised Edwardians and the Struggle for Symbolic Power

Edited by Lauren O’ Hagan, Cardiff University

This volume will explore ‘ordinary writing’ – that is, ‘writing that is typically unseen or ignored and is primarily defined by its status as discardable’[1] – as an important new way in which to approach the power and identity of marginalised groups in Edwardian Britain (1901-1914). The Edwardian era is often described as a period of intense social conflict and upheaval marked by a heightened awareness of class consciousness, inequality and poverty. Vast social, political and economic changes led to an increasing mobilisation of the lower classes and women, while also bringing about a rise in the number of anarchists and revolutionaries. Many of these changes, in turn, created an increasing distrust of and hostility towards the ‘other’: foreigners, Catholics, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the poor were all the target of widespread discrimination. Despite their internal differences, all of these groups had one thing in common: they used writing in a bid to voice resistance and obtain symbolic forms of power.

The editor invites chapter proposals involving high quality research drawing on diverse methodologies that advance the study of ordinary writing as a rebellious act of power in Edwardian Britain. In particular, research related to any of the following groups or inscriptive acts are welcomed:

  • The working classes; Irish nationalists; suffragettes; children; prisoners; socialists/communists; workhouse poor; Catholics; Jews; foreigners, particularly Germans and Eastern Europeans; gypsies; homosexuals; black people
  • Postcards; coins; schoolbooks; graffiti; marching banners; political posters; diaries; autograph books; calling cards; visitors’ books; scrapbooks; embroidery

Continue reading

Advertisements

In the Words of Arnold Bennett (9): On Belief

Hornsey High Street, 1873

Hornsey High Street, 1873

‘She could never say, with joyous fervour: “I believe!” At best she could only assert that she did not disbelieve – and was she so sure even of that? No! Belief had been denied to her; and to dream of consolation from religion was sentimentally womanish; even in her indifference she preferred straightforward, honest damnation to the soft self-deceptions of feminine religiosity. Ah! If she could have been a Roman Catholic, genuine and convinced […] But she was not a Roman Catholic. She could no more become a Roman Catholic than she could become the queen of some romantic Latin country of palaces and cathedrals. She was a young provincial girl staying in a boarding-house at Hornsey, on the Great Northern line out of London, and she was suffering from a nervous breakdown. Such was the exterior common sense of the situation.’ (Hilda Lessways, 1911)

This quotation is the ninth part of a series dedicated to the work of the great Edwardian writer Arnold Bennett (1867-1931), on whom we will be co-hosting a symposium (‘Arnold Bennett and His Circle’) at Keele University on 17th-18th October. More details here.