The University of Brighton in Hastings, supported by the Raymond Williams Society, is pleased to announce a two day conference in Hastings on 18th-19th September 2013 to celebrate Williams’ contributions to media and cultural studies and to our understanding of television as cultural form and practice, and Logie Baird’s innovations in technology and broadcasting.  The conference takes its title from Raymond Williams’ 1974 book, Television, Technology and Cultural Form. This conference will address both men’s relationship to Hastings, the town in which both spent a key part of their working lives. Williams worked in Hastings, as an adult education tutor, while John Logie Baird’s early experiments in television technology took place in Hastings.  It was in Hastings that he built the world’s first working television set and the first television pictures were transmitted from his workshop on Queen’s Parade in 1924. This conference builds on the successful conference held at the University of Brighton’s campus in Hastings in 2011 which celebrated Raymond Williams and Robert Tressell, 50 years of The Long Revolution and the centenary of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

The 2013 conference again seeks to create a multi-disciplinary forum in which academics, researchers, television practitioners, trade unionists and local historians can explore the impact and legacy of Williams and Logie Baird on contemporary research and practice in the field of television.

Confirmed keynote speakers: 

Professor Stuart Laing – Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, and author of Representations of working class life

Mike Dibb – award-winning filmmaker, his work includes the ground breaking television series Ways of Seeing and he is the director of The Country and the City (Where we live now 60), with Raymond Williams

Jean Seaton – Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster and the official historian of the BBC.  Her work includes Carnage and the Media, Power without Responsibility, with James Curran, and she edited, with Ben Pimlott, The Media in British Politics.  She is an editor of Political Quarterly and the Director of the Orwell Prize.

Trevor Griffiths – renowned playwright, whose work for the stage includes the plays The Country, Comedians, and A New World:  A Life of Thomas Paine, for film, the screenplays for Reds and Fatherland (director, Ken Loach);  his television work includes All Good Men and the socialist serial drama Bill Brand:-

in conversation with

Jack Shepherd – writer, director, actor, who has acted on stage and in television in plays by writers who include David Storey, John Arden and Trevor Griffiths; he played the title role in Bill Brand.  His own plays include In Lambeth  and Holding Fire!

We are keen to invite submissions from researchers across the social sciences, literary and cultural studies and from practitioners and activists concerned with these issues.

We invite submissions that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Ownership and control
  • The future of national televisions
  • The role of the BBC
  • Television, lifestyle and consumption
  • New technologies and new patterns of viewing
  • Forms of television drama
  • The politics of television and politics on television
  • Television and the public sphere
  • Television in an age of austerity

Submissions may be in a variety of formats including posters, verbal presentations and workshops.

Please send abstracts of 150 words to Sarah Chapman [email protected] including with your submission your presentation title and format, author names, institutional affiliations, email address and a contact phone number.