Raymond Williams on Culture and Politics: An Introduction (Extract)

This week saw the publication of Culture and Politics: Class, Writing, Socialism, a new collection of essays by Raymond Williams. On the blog we have an exclusive short extract from the book’s introductory essay by editor Phil O’Brien. Culture and Politics, published by Verso, contains five previously unpublished essays alongside five uncollected pieces, including material on Herbert Read (a lost chapter from Culture and Society), Marxism, Popular Culture, working-class writing, Pierre Bourdieu, and modernism.

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Reminder: Call for Papers for Raymond Williams @ 100: A Centenary Conference

There’s just one week left to get abstracts and panel proposals in for ‘Raymond Williams @ 100: A Centenary Conference’ to be held in Manchester on Friday-Saturday 22-23 April 2022. They should be no longer than 250 words (1000 words for panels) and emailed to raymondwilliamssocietyrws@gmail.com by Friday 17th December. The finalised conference schedule will be announced in late January 2022.

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‘Raymond Williams at 100’ – A Panel Discussion

On Wednesday 17th November the society will host the final event in the online autumn series to celebrate Raymond Williams’s centenary. Our chair Ben Harker will be joined by Paul Stasi, the editor of a new book Raymond Williams at 100, alongside Madhu Krishnan and Anna Kornbluh, who have contributed chapters titled ‘Structures of Feeling, Late Capitalism and the Making of African Literature in the Global Literary Marketplace’ and ‘Mediation Metabolized’, respectively. Stasi’s chapter is on ‘Inexplicable Goodness: Raymond Williams, Charles Dickens and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness‘. The free talk will start at 6pm (GMT) and is hosted on Zoom with the link to join here. There’s no need to register, simply click on the relevant link at the start time.

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Daniel Hartley on Raymond Williams: ‘Crisis, Method, and Culture’

This Wednesday (October 13th), Daniel Hartley will deliver the second event in our Raymond Williams Centenary 2021 Online Autumn Series. Daniel will be discussing ‘Crisis, Method, and Culture’ in the work of Williams, focusing specifically on crisis as a mode of thinking about culture, via an engagement with class, Thomas Hardy, and Louis Althusser. He will also offer reflections on contemporary debates around the ‘Green New Deal’ and ‘re-peasantization’ struggles. The free talk will start at 6pm (BST) and is hosted on Zoom with the link to join here. There’s no need to register, simply click on the relevant link at the start time.

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CFP – Raymond Williams @ 100: A Centenary Conference

Hosted by the Raymond Williams Society, in collaboration with Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, ‘Raymond Williams @ 100: A Centenary Conference’ in Manchester on 22-23 April 2022 marks the culmination of a series of events to assess the relevance and reach of Williams’s work in his centenary year.

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‘When Was Modernism?’ by Raymond Williams

As part of the Raymond Williams centenary celebrations, the society is delighted to publish an extract from his renowned lecture ‘When Was Modernism?’, delivered as the Lewis Fry Memorial Lecture at the University of Bristol in March 1987. It’s a hugely influential essay but until now has only been available in ‘reconstructed’ form. That version, roughly a third of the length of the original lecture, was made by Fred Inglis from his own notes and those of Williams. It was published in 1989 in New Left Review and the posthumous collection Politics of Modernism. An unknown recording of the lecture was recently discovered and the complete version will be published in the forthcoming Culture and Politics: Class, Writing, Socialism – the first Williams book for more than three decades to include ‘new’ material.

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Raymond Williams Centenary Online Autumn Series

To celebrate Raymond Williams’s centenary this year (August 31st), the society is running a series of online events in the autumn. Lynsey Hanley will deliver the centenary lecture on Wednesday October 6th; Daniel Hartley will speak on Williams on Wednesday October 13th; and Anna Kornbluh, Madhu Krishnan, and Paul Stasi discuss Raymond Williams at 100 on Wednesday November 17th. All the events are free and start at 6pm. Joining details here. Subscribe to the society newsletter and follow our blog to keep up-to-date with further announcements.

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New Raymond Williams Resources

As Raymond Williams’s centenary year approaches in August, a number of new online resources have been released. The society has recently launched a YouTube channel to make Williams archive videos freely available, our friends at the Raymond Williams Foundation have started publishing a series of Williams ‘explainers’, and a new lecture has just been added to the SoundCloud page of Williams lectures.

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PODCAST: ‘Cambridge English and After’ – a lecture by Raymond Williams

On the blog for October we have the final podcast from the ‘Raymond Williams Tapes’ project. Funded by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust, over the past six months it has digitised and released recordings of Williams lecturing on Marxism, the industrial novel, education, ecosocialism, and nineteenth-century fiction. The last talk is on ‘Cambridge English and After’ from 1979.

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PODCAST: ‘Forms of English Fiction in 1848’ – a lecture by Raymond Williams

On the blog for September we have a recording of a Raymond Williams lecture on ‘Forms of English Fiction in 1848’ from 1977. It was first published by the University of Essex in 1978 and released a few years later by Verso in Writing in Society. The lecture you can listen to below was delivered at a conference titled ‘Sociology of Literature’ in Essex.

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