General

Friday

Anatomy of a duel in Shakespeare’s England
Lloyd Bowen
Cardiff University
This talk discusses the best-documented duel in early modern England. This encounter occurred in Highgate on the morning of 21 April 1610 and left a young man dead, although whether he was a victim of a fair fight or a dastardly conspiracy was a question that hung over the duel’s subsequent legal investigation. Our knowledge of duelling in this period is partial and shaky, in no small measure because of the brief and fragmentary records that it usually leaves behind.
By contrast, a remarkable cache of legal evidence allows us to follow in detail the story behind this duel, from its origins in a property dispute, through the fight with swords in a Middlesex field, to a manhunt and a murder trial at King’s Bench. This story also takes us into the murky world of James I’s Court, where considerations of patronage and influence came to trump the imperatives of justice.
Friday – 10.30-11.30 – F1GLB

The impact of the ‘girl conchies’: female pacifism in World War II
Steve Illingworth
Historian
2022 sees the eightieth anniversary of Britain’s first female conscientious objectors. The very first ‘girl conchie’, as the press described her, was Joyce Allen of Bristol. When conscription for women became law for the first time in British history in December 1941, many women refused to comply and over 250 were imprisoned. This session will explore the story of female pacifists, often overlooked by historians, arguing that their actions made a significant impact on everyday life in Britain during World War II.
Friday – 10.30-11.30 – F1GVI

Visit to be confirmed
Friday – 10.30-12.45 – F1GVI

Patterns of migration in England’s medieval empire: the case of Ireland
Brendan Smith
University of Bristol
A new element was added to the long tradition of migration across the Irish Sea in the late twelfth century when the English Crown decided not only to conquer Ireland but also to colonise it. The permanent relocation of English lords, townsfolk, peasants and clergy changed the course of both Irish and English history. What induced people to move and how did they fare in their new homeland? How did England rule its first colony?
Friday – 11.45-12.45 – F2GBS

Discovering Bristol in 1480
Giles Darkes
Historic Towns Trust
This workshop will focus on the recently published Historic Towns Trust map of Bristol in 1480, and how the map can be used in historical research.
Friday – 11.45-12.45 – F2GGB

Mission France – the true history of the women of Special Operations Executive
Kate Vigurs
Historian and author
Hear the story of 39 women who were chosen to work in a secretive, clandestine and mainly male domain, Special Operations Executive (SOE), French section. Ranging from housewives to mothers, shop assistants to countesses, they were taught silent killing, instinctive shooting and sabotage, as well as survival tactics for life in Nazi-occupied France. They infiltrated behind enemy lines to work as couriers and wireless operators, operating undercover and beyond the protection of the Geneva Convention. Life expectancy was short, sometimes a mere six weeks, but these women worked and fought hard – often living in solitude with no friends or company; travelling hundreds of kilometres carrying vital yet incriminating information; receiving arms or vital supplies; and risking everything to make contact with SOE HQ over the radio waves.
Friday – 13.45-14.45 – F3GKV

Session to be confirmed
Amanda Power
University of Oxford
Friday – 13.45-14.45 – F3GAP

Walk to be confirmed
Friday – 15.30-17.30 – F4GAW

Special Session
Bristol: a city built on the wine trade

Evan Jones
University of Bristol
‘Sherry sack… is the first moisture given to infants in this city. It is also the entertainment of course which the courteous Bristolians present to all strangers when first visiting their city.’ Fuller, Histories of the Worthies of England (1662)

Wine was central to Bristol’s economy and culture for hundreds of years, being the chief import to the city from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. It was also widely drunk from infancy on; this is why sherry was also called ‘Bristol milk’. But what did people drink in England and why? How did the wine that was drunk change over the centuries and what can this tell us about British culture and society? This session will explore these questions while also introducing the audience to some of the types of drink involved, ranging from the English wines of the Middle Ages to the fortified wines of the eighteenth and ninteenth centuries.
Friday – 15.30-17.30 – F4GEJ

Saturday

Walk: Alleys, masts, merchants, markets, spires, towers and walls
Rob Pritchard
HA Bristol Branch
Join Rob Pritchard from the Bristol Branch on a medieval walk around Bristol’s back streets. This illustrated walk will take just over an hour and a half. Starting at the conference hotel and walking via Castle Park, St Peter’s Church and St Mary Le Port to Bristol Bridge, continuing to follow the line of the medieval city walls, Rob will provide an idiosyncratic view of the medieval history of Bristol.
Saturday – 10.30-12.45 – S1GVI

Session to be confirmed
Liam Liburd
Durham University
Saturday – 10.30-11.30 – S1GGL

Session to be confirmed
Ruby Lal
Emory University
Saturday – 10.30-11.30 – S1GRL

Rome in the world/the world in Rome
Lucy Donkin
University of Bristol
In many cultures, earth has been used to represent a place and make it present elsewhere. This talk explores how medieval and early modern Rome was connected with the rest of the world through the movement of soil to and from the city. Some interpretations of these transfers celebrated Rome’s imperial past or papal present; others challenged and appropriated the city’s authority in times of religious and political change.
Saturday – 11.45-12.45 – S2GLD

Learning to manage the media in wartime: the Burma campaigns, 1941-1945
Philip Woods
Historian and author
This talk will look at the various ways in which the British and US governments and their armies managed the media presentation of what has sometimes been described as a ‘forgotten war’. The Army learnt the lessons from mistakes made during the retreat from Burma in 1942, and by May 1943 had found the ‘perfect story’: that of General Wingate and the Chindits. In October, Lord Mountbatten took over as Supreme Commander
SEAC and made it a priority to improve media coverage of what was now an increasingly successful military operation. This talk examines the methods used and evaluates their effectiveness.
Saturday – 11.45-12.45 – S2GPW

Against the odds: 30 years of writing black British histories
Stephen Bourne
Historian and author
Stephen Bourne presents an informative and accessible overview of his work as an historian of black Britain. Starting in 1991, with his first book Aunt Esther’s Story, Stephen has managed, against the odds, to publish many books about the black British experience. These include Black Poppies, his acclaimed study of black servicemen in the First World War, which he has now adapted for children. His latest book is Deep Are the Roots, which celebrates the pioneers of black British theatre, beginning in 1825 when Ira Aldridge made history as the first black actor to play Othello in the United Kingdom.
Saturday – 15.00-16.00 – S3GSB

Session to be confirmed
Emily Winkler
University of Oxford
Owain Wyn Jones
Bangor University
Saturday – 15.00-16.00 – S3GEW

Kaiser Wilhelm II – the last German emperor
Katja Hoyer
Historian and author
When Wilhelm II began his reign over the German Empire in 1888, he inherited a divided realm. The young kaiser dreamed of uniting his people in a common quest for Germany’s ‘place in the sun’ – a venture that would end not only in devastation for the country but also in the destruction of the German monarchy. But is Kaiser Wilhelm really the villain in this story? The man remains as much of an enigma today as he was to his contemporaries. This talk aims to shed some light on the fascinating life and times of the last German emperor.
Saturday – 16.15-17.15 – S4GKH

‘Violent, refractory and noisy girls’: women and youth justice in Bristol
Laura Harrison and Rose Wallis
University of the West of England, Bristol
Red Lodge was the first reformatory school founded exclusively for young women. It was opened in Bristol in 1854 under the superintendence of Mary Carpenter, a leading female advocate of deprived and delinquent children in mid-nineteenth-century England. While reformatory schools were considered a new initiative to address the problem of juvenile delinquency, a range of organisations and institutions were established throughout the nineteenth century to reform ‘wayward’ or criminal girls and young women. In this talk, historians Laura Harrison and Rose Wallis will use the foundation and operation of Red Lodge and the Bristol Female Penitentiary to explore histories of women as activists and offenders, considering the development of youth justice in the nineteenth century and addressing how these historical perspectives can help us to critically reflect on young women’s experience of the criminal justice system today.
Saturday – 16.15-17.15 – S4GHW

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