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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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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