27th Mar 2019 9:00am-5:30pm

Room 309, Edward Street, University of Brighton

Postindustrial imaginaries: beyond progress, memory and loss

Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories Annual Symposium

Room 309, 154-155 Edward Street, University of Brighton

The postindustrial is tethered to powerful cultural imaginaries. From “smokestack nostalgia” and its elegies to Fordist labour and the certainties of modernity, to evocations of ruined landscapes and the toxic wastes of endtimes, the term does clear political-aesthetic work.

This symposium seeks to trouble and unsettle the idea of the postindustrial. Interdisciplinary in nature, it will involve a series of provocations by invited speakers. Presentations will consider the ways in which these spaces are imagined, temporalised and represented. The symposium will stimulate debate across the humanities and social sciences, bringing together scholars from literature, history, cultural geography, environmental humanities, archaeology, heritage policy, anthropology and sociology to engage with these debates.


9:00 – 9:30 Arrival, tea and coffee
9:30 – 9:45 Introduction by Graham Dawson (Director of the Centre for Memory Narrative and Histories, University of Brighton) and Stephen Maddison (Head of the School of Humanities, University of Brighton)
9:45 – 10:45 Morning Keynote.
Tim Strangleman (University of Kent): Imagining the half-life of deindustrialisation

10:45 – 11:00 Tea and coffee break
11:00 – 12:30 Panel One: Unmooring nostalgia: affect, temporality and postindustrial histories
Louise Purbrick (University of Brighton). Deindustrialisation and globalisation: another history of Latin America in East London.

Sean O’Connell (Queen’s University Belfast). Memory and the troubles with a lower case T in Belfast’s Sailortown.

Fearghus Roulston and Gari Gomez Alfaro (University of Brighton). Nostalgia for ‘HMP Divis’ and ‘HMP Rossville’: Memories of the everyday in Northern Ireland’s high rise flats.

Miranda Iossifidis (Newcastle University). Assembling Deptford’s contested fictional futures.

12:30 -1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:30 Afternoon Keynote.
Valerie Walkerdine, Cardiff University. Affect, gender and community in the South Wales Valleys

2:30 – 4:00 Panel 2: Quotidian rhythms and postindustrial spaces
Leila Dawney (University of Brighton). Atomic cities and analogue dreams: on infrastructural remains.

Kate Monson (University of Brighton). Accidental flourishing from Occidental oblivion: Oil refinery becoming rainforest at Canvey Wick.

Arvid van Dam (University of Leeds). Time without progress: Unmaking and the futurity of ruins.

John Nagle (University of Aberdeen). The ghosts of postwar urban reconstruction: non-sectarian movements in Beirut and Belfast City Centres.

4:00 – 4:30 Tea and coffee
4:30 – 5:30 Panel discussion – summing up and emergent themes.