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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PODCAST: Raymond Williams reading ‘You’re A Marxist, Aren’t You?’

The Raymond Williams Society blog for May features the first in a monthly series of podcasts from a new project on some recently discovered Williams recordings.

Phil O’Brien writes…

As I announced on the blog in February, I’m working on a project to digitise and make available for the first time a collection of previously unpublished recordings of Raymond Williams lectures. The first to be released is a tape from 1975 of Williams reading ‘You’re A Marxist, Aren’t You?’.

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The Border Country of Class: Lynsey Hanley and Raymond Williams

On the blog for April we have an interview with writer Lynsey Hanley. The author of two books on class and working-class life, Lynsey was also involved in the 2009 re-issue of Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy. What follows is an edited extract from an in-depth interview, conducted by Phil O’Brien in Liverpool back in January, which appears in the forthcoming issue of Key Words. This year’s journal, co-edited by Phil and Nicola Wilson, is on working-class writing; it will include, amongst a range of articles covering the 1930s to the twenty-first century, an unpublished essay by Williams on the working-class novel after 1945. To receive your copy this autumn, please subscribe to the Raymond Williams Society.

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Radical Resources: Sheila Rowbotham on Raymond Williams

On the Raymond Williams Society blog for March we have a review by Sheila Rowbotham of Williams’s 1983 book Towards 2000. Originally titled ‘Picking up the Pieces’, it first appeared in New Socialist in October 1985. Williams was on the advisory board of the defunct Labour Party magazine and contributed such essays as ‘Mining the Meaning: Key Words in the Miners’ Strike’ and ‘Walking Backwards into the Future (both later featuring in the 1989 collection Resources of Hope). Here Sheila discusses the importance of Towards 2000 at a time of demoralisation and defeat for the Left in 1980s Britain.

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