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 September 15th; 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, with joining details released on our website in due course. 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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Part Three: ‘From Production to Livelihood – Raymond Williams on Ecosocialism’

The third and final part of our mini-series on Raymond Williams, ecology, and socialism is an article by Peter Hill. Skilfully drawing out the central themes of Williams’s essays on ecosocialism, exemplified by parts one and two of this week’s special feature, Peter offers readings of the wider engagements with production and livelihood found across books such as The Country and the City (1973), Television: Technology and Cultural Form (1974), and Towards 2000 (1983).

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Part Two: ‘Ecology and the Labour Movement’ by Raymond Williams

Part Two of our special feature on ‘Raymond Williams and Ecosocialism’ is the transcription of a talk titled ‘Ecology and the Labour Movement’ given by Williams to the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA) in Letchworth on 2nd June 1984. It was first uploaded to YouTube by Richard Wise who, along with the Williams Estate, has given the society permission to publish its transcription. The lecture – parts of which are drawn from Towards 2000 (1983) – has been transcribed by Peter Hill who has also written a response to Williams’s writings on ecology and socialism which will be published tomorrow on the blog.

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Part One: ‘Ecology and Socialism’ – a lecture by Raymond Williams (PODCAST)

To mark what would have been Raymond Williams’s 99th birthday today, we’re launching a three-part series titled ‘Raymond Williams and Ecosocialism’. First up is a recording of ‘Ecology and Socialism’, a lecture given to the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA) on 28th June 1980.

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Raymond Williams and Working-Class Writing

On the Raymond Williams Society blog for August we have an extract from the Introduction to this year’s Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism. It’s a special issue on ‘Working-Class Writing’ and features essays by Katie Beswick, Susie Panesar, Matti Ron, Raymond Williams, and Jack Windle as well as interviews with John Goodridge and Lynsey Hanley. In the preview below, co-editors Phil O’Brien and Nicola Wilson set up the issue’s focus by examining Williams’s writing on class and the novel. The full essay-length Introduction also discusses Wales and Welsh industrial fiction, Marxism, Buchi Emecheta, Isabel Waidner, and the contemporary debates around working-class writing and publishing. To make sure you receive your copy of Key Words, published in the autumn, join the society here.

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PODCAST: ‘Education and Social Democracy’ – a talk by Raymond Williams

The latest podcast of lectures by Raymond Williams has now been released. This month’s is an unpublished lecture from 1978 in which Williams discusses – as part of a talk titled ‘Education and Social Democracy’ – working-class and adult education alongside the Labour Party, work, and humanism. 

Phil O’Brien writes…

This latest recording captures what I want the Raymond Williams Recordings project to do: make available, for free, a rich archive of unheard material, some of which will be familiar from its published form, some of which is being heard for the first time in more than four decades.

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PODCAST: ‘The Welsh Industrial Novel’ – a lecture by Raymond Williams

This month on the Raymond Williams Society blog we continue with our coverage of a new project to digitise recordings of lectures by Raymond Williams.

Phil O’Brien writes…

The second instalment of the ‘Raymond Williams Tapes’ podcast is a recording of Williams delivering a 1977 lecture in Aberystwyth on ‘The Welsh Industrial Novel’.  It is better known from the version given as the inaugural Gwyn Jones Lecture in 1978, first published by University College Cardiff Press a year later and collected in Culture and Materialism (1980). The recording below captures – along with the humour in some of Williams’s observations – an attempt to map out the contours of what were memorably labelled industrial novels in Culture and Society (1958).

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