Representing Revolution: Russia in 1917

To mark the centenary of the October Revolution, Dumfries TUC, in partnership with the local Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre (RBCFT), the Scottish Labour History Society and the Scottish Morning Star Campaign Committee is organising Representing Revolution, a programme of American, British, French and Russian (Soviet) films to explore how the October Revolution has been presented in film.

The event will take place over the weekend of Friday-Sunday, 27-29 October at RBCFT and guest speakers, including Professor John Foster (Glasgow), Professor Lesley Milne (Nottingham) and Dr David Archibald (Glasgow), will introduce and lead discussions on the films, which comprise Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981), Sergei Eisenstein’s October (1928), David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago (1965/6), Chris Marker’s The Last Bolshevik (1993), Nikita Mikhalkov’s At Home Among Strangers (1974) and Vsevelod Pudovkin’s The End of St Petersburg (1927).

Further details here:



We are delighted to announce details of this year’s postgraduate essay prize:

The Raymond Williams Society postgraduate essay competition, now in its sixth year, is open to anyone studying for a higher degree (masters or doctoral) in the UK or elsewhere, or who graduated no earlier than 31 July 2015. The prize for the winning entry is 100 GBP and a year’s subscription to the Society. The winning essay will also be published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Key Words. The competition aims to encourage a new generation of scholars working in the tradition of cultural materialism, especially those whose research is rooted in the work of Raymond Williams.

Entries should be 5-7,000 words in length, including endnotes, which should normally be kept to a minimum. Entries must follow the Key Words Style Notes for contributors. The Style Notes, and information about previous winning entries, can be found elsewhere on our website.

Entries should be sent to Dr Emily Cuming at

They should be accompanied by a brief coversheet with the following details: Name, Postal address, Email address, Institutional affiliation, Current or most recent programme of study, Date of graduation (if applicable), Title of essay, Word count. Please ask your supervisor to send us an email confirming your status. We also request that you confirm the article is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The closing date for entries is 1 September 2017.

The Simon Dentith Memorial Prize 2016

We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s 2016 Raymond Williams Society Postgraduate Essay Competition (the Simon Dentith Memorial Prize) is Laura McCormick Kilbride.

Readers were impressed by the focus and sophistication of her essay, ‘The New Catholic Left: Language, Liturgy and Literature in Slant Magazine, 1964-1970’.

Laura completed her doctorate at St John’s College, Cambridge in October 2015 and has since been elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at Peterhouse, Cambridge.

Congratulations Laura.

Crossing Borders Conference – November 5 2016

Crossing Borders: a conference on art and literature to accompany:

Four Painters in Raymond Williams’ Border Country

at MOMA Machynlleth

Saturday 5 November 2016

This one-day conference considers depictions by artists and writers of everyday life and the borders between people, whether national, local, social or generational. It accompanies the exhibition Four Painters in Raymond Williams’ Border Country, which features contemporaries of Williams working in South Wales from the 1930s to the 1950s: Joan Baker, Charles Burton, John Elwyn and Bert Isaac. The speakers include academics, curators, artists, and writers. £15 (£10 unwaged) includes tea and coffee

To register please go to ‘Events’ at

 For queries contact or 01654 703355

Continue reading Crossing Borders Conference – November 5 2016

Annual Lecture and AGM

rws-2016-lecture-poster-page-001Preceding the lecture will be the Raymond Williams Society’s AGM and therefore this is official notice of this year’s call for nominations onto the executive committee. We welcome anyone wanting to get actively involved with the running of the society.

Please email nominations to by 12 November. Each nomination will need to have a proposer and seconder. The AGM takes places at 12.30pm in Wesley Memorial Church, Oxford.

If possible, will those intending to attend the lecture please email so we can get an idea of numbers. It is not essential but will be much appreciated and will help with our planning on the day.

Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society – Call for Papers

Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society

Crowds_and_party-cover-80bfee089594c8b63e1b5f56ede13c37.jpgInternational Conference, Manchester, 8-10 June 2017

(Deadline for abstracts: 1 December 2016)

Key-note speakers

Jodi Dean, Professor of Political Science, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York. Author of books including Crowds and Party (2016), The Communist Horizon (2011), Democracy and other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009)

Stathis Kouvelakis, Reader in Political Theory, King’s College, London and former member of Syriza’s Central Committee. Author of Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx (2003)

Kevin Morgan, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Manchester. Author of books including Bolshevism, Syndicalism and the General Strike: The Lost Internationalist World of A.A. Purcell (2013), Labour Legends and Russian Gold (2006), The Webbs and Soviet Communism (2006). Continue reading Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society – Call for Papers

Border Country – touring art exhibition

‘Finiau: Four painters in Raymond Williams’ Border Country’


An art exhibition curated by Peter Wakelin in order to honour Raymond Williams’ 1960 novel Border Country is currently on tour. Featuring the work of four of Williams’ contemporaries (Joan Baker, Charles Burton, John Elwyn, and Bert Isaac), the exhibition recently featured at the 2016 National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny. It has since been to Wrexham and will also be held in Machynlleth and Chepstow.

‘Finiau: Four painters in Raymond Williams’ Border Country’ will be at MOMA Machynlleth (17 September-19 November) and will then move on to Chepstow Museum (26 November-26 February).

A 64-page booklet by Peter Wakelin is available at the exhibitions or from Art Works of Abergavenny, price £7.50 including postage:

For more information:

Raymond Williams: Popular Music and Subculture – conference report (10/6/16)

As a response to the significant revival of interest in the diverse legacy of Raymond Williams, this day conference sought to consider productive but little explored connections between Williams and the study of subcultures, popular music and social change.

A lively and productive day, with 31 attendees and 9 speakers, the event at Friends’ Meeting House in central Manchester was attended by a mixture of academics, students and cultural producers. There was also a representative of Social Science Centre Manchester, a new initiative that aims to provide free, co-operative higher education evening classes open to all.


RWS report
Speakers (L to R) – Rhian E. Jones, Pete Dale (chairing), David Wilkinson and Steve Hanson.

Continue reading Raymond Williams: Popular Music and Subculture – conference report (10/6/16)

Post(?)-Conflict: Images from Northern Ireland, 2012-2016

1-16 July 2016, The Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool

The description of Northern Ireland as a ‘post-conflict’ society has to be treated with scepticism. For while there is no sustained, high-level campaign of armed conflict of the sort witnessed between 1969-1996, the place remains riven by fundamental forms of division and antagonism – sectarian, social, historical, political and psychic. The photographs displayed in this exhibition, taken between 2012-2016, focus on the ways in which the representation of symbolic, cultural and physical conflict plays a role in everyday life.

2nd class citizens

The photographs in the exhibition are part of a collection of more than 20,000 images, mostly of murals, dating from 1979. Approximately 4,500 photographs are available in a fully searchable and downloadable historical archive hosted by the Claremont Colleges Digital Library:

Tony Crowley was born and brought up in Liverpool. He is Professor of English at the University of Leeds ( and has taught in a number of universities in the United States and the United Kingdom.

British Communism and Commitment

peoples-history-museum-manchester-c2a9-zedphoto-comThe ‘British Communism and Commitment’ day-school was held on 9th June 2016 in the Labour History Archive and Study Centre at the People’s History Museum, Manchester, part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Wars of Position: Communism and Civil Society.’

It brought together former party activists and researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines to analyse the complexities of commitment in the British Communist Party over its seventy-year history (1920-1991). The day-school also marked the opening to researchers of new CPGB-related archive material, including the papers of Monty Johnstone (1928-2007).


Please direct any questions to Ben Harker at