Why Pageants?

Twentieth-century pageants were vibrant and colourful representations of popular culture. Hundreds of pageants – many involving thousands of participants – took place all over Britain in the first half of the twentieth century. The rich combination of story, history, and legend attracted incredible national attention, but today the pageant genre remains an understudied topic of scholarship. This project seeks to encourage new, diverse scholarship into this interdisciplinary art form through conferences, concerts, and publications. Look for future events on Twitter with #20thcentpageants

17 June 2019 St Andrews Conference

A massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who attended our conference. We will continue updating this space with photographs, recordings, and information from the day in due course. Contact pg58@st-andrews.ac.uk with any questions about the event.

Unless otherwise specified, all events will take place at the School of English, Kennedy Hall on The Scores. Directions available in the Conference Google Map.

Follow the conference on Twitter #20thcentpageants and @ptgordon25. Please contact the conference organiser, Parker T. Gordon (pg58@st-andrews.ac.uk) with any questions.

10:00 Check in (with tea and coffee)

10:30 Welcome

10:45 Keynote Address from Professor Paul Readman (King’s College London): ‘Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2020: Identity, Community and the Performance of the Past’

11:45 Historical Pageant Materials Exhibition at the University Special Collections Martyr’s Kirk Library

12:30 Catered Lunch

13:45 Panel: Modernist Writers and the Pageant Genre in Novels and Poetry: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Charles Williams, and W. H. Auden

  • Josh Phillips (University of Glasgow): Woolf’s Wartime Pageant for Peace: Between the Acts, ‘Anon’ and ‘The Reader,’ and the Staging of Literary History
  • Tom Poynor (University of St Andrews): The Heavenly Pageant of Descent into Hell
  • Isobel Montgomery Campbell (Martin Shaw Trust): The Business of Art: The Making of The Rock and Judgement at Chelmsford

15:15 Martin Shaw: From the Church to the Theatre: Free Public Concert of Martin Shaw’s Pageant Play Music at the St Leonard’s Chapel

16:10 Round Table Discussion

  • Dr Angela Bartie (University of Edinburgh)
  • Parker T. Gordon (University of St Andrews)

16:50 Closing Remarks

Professor Paul Readman (King’s College London), and Dr Angela Bartie (University of Edinburgh) are both researchers for the pageant database The Redress of the Past.

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