Museum and Heritage publishing in 2015 – a few highlights

Managing cultural heritageIn the areas of museum policy we are pleased to publish two new titles this year, Managing Cultural Heritage by Luca Zan and colleagues and Copyrighting Creativity edited by Helle Porsdam, which explores the relationship between intellectual property, creativity and cultural heritage institutions.  In Kali Tzortzi’s excellent Museum Space she highlights the importance of museum architecture and display in shaping visitors’ experiences.

museums migration and identity in europeWe’re also publishing two more titles resulting from the MeLA project, Museums, Migration and Identity in Europe edited by Chris Whitehead and colleagues, and Cultural Networks in Migrating Heritage by Perla Innocenti. 9781472448132.PPC_PPCIn the area of education we’re delighted that Helen Chatterjee has returned to publish her next book with us, a collection with Leonie Hannan on Engaging the Senses: Object-Based Learning in Higher Education and in another collection From Museum Critique to the Critical Museum the authors discuss the ways in which the museum could use its collections, cultural authority and resources to give voice to the underprivileged, and take an active part in contemporary and controversial issues.

From museum critique to the critical museumOur 2015 museum and heritage studies catalogue is available to view on our website.   The catalogue showcases the breadth and depth of the Ashgate lists in museum theory and practice, collecting and museum history, art business and cultural management, and heritage studies more broadly.

There are many more titles to explore on the website with our history of material culture list growing in size and stature along with a clutch of new key titles in our Heritage, Culture and Identity series.

Whatever your professional job or academic discipline we hope that there will be many recent and new books to interest you.  If you are thinking of writing a book and have a proposal you’d like to discuss with us, even if at an early stage, please feel free to contact us.

The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music: The Interviews

Posted by Maxine Cook, Marketing Assistant

This week, James Saunders has uploaded his interview with Rhodri Davies.

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Interview with Rhodri Davies:

The work of the group of the younger generation of improvisers subsequently labelled New London Silence has been important to my own development as a composer. Their interest in quiet, carefully placed sounds came at a time when I was beginning to engage with similar material in my own notated work, and this was reinforced by knowing Rhodri Davies from his time as a postgraduate in Huddersfield in the mid-1990s. His interest in improvisation developed from around then – I was at his first improvised performance – and grew into a music which has been extremely influential over the past decade. His response to the prevailing conditions was to do the opposite, initially looking to small gestures and silence as a way of reassessing conventions, but more recently exploring a wider palette of sounds, expanding the scope of his instrumental preparations. He describes this as a gradual process, one which developed organically: it is mirrored by his approach to group work, where his strategy is to challenge himself to work against the grain. This is not to say he is deliberately reactionary: these trajectories are creatively necessary to stimulate change. Davies also works regularly with notated music, and has commissioned much new work for the harp. He draws a clear line between his work as an improviser and his expectation of notated music written for him however. The music’s identity must not be reliant on a mining of his resources as an improviser, a view echoed by other practitioners concerned about the appropriation of their work by composers.

The interview was conducted by telephone on 9 October 2007

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The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental MusicRead the full interview here.

All the interviews from James Saunders can be found in The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music.

June 2015 anniversaries: Magna Carta and Waterloo

Posted by Hattie Wilson, Senior Marketing Executive

With two important anniversaries coming in June, we thought that we should update you on the special events that are planned throughout the world to honour these landmark moments in European history.

Magna Carta

On the 15th June 1215, the Magna Carta was agreed by King John of England at Runnymede. This important document is now held by the British Library and the cathedrals of Lincoln and Salisbury. On 3rd February this year, the four original texts were displayed together by the British Library for one day only.

To celebrate 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta, British artist Cornelia Parker has been commissioned to create a new piece for the British Library. This is to be unveiled on 15th May and displayed until July. Additionally, Lincoln Castle have built a new visitors centre which displays the original text from 1215 alongside the second issue of the Magna Carta: The Charter of the Forest.

Royal Holloway has built a Magna Carta themed app for the anniversary. Students made Runnymede Explored which explains the history of the Great Charter and the associated historical sites.

Magna Carta events include a range of diverse and exciting projects, from The Globe staging Shakespeare’s King John to a series of international lectures. You can find out more about the Magna Carta events by clicking here.

Ashgate publishes a range of titles exploring the history of law from the medieval period right through to the twentieth century. You can view the full list of titles here, or there are a few relevant titles listed below:

  • King John (Mis)Remembered
  • Ideas and Solidarities of the Medieval Laity
  • The Theory and Practice of Revolt in Medieval England
  • Rulership and Rebellion in the Anglo-Norman World
  • Imprisoning Medieval Women
  • Bridging the Medieval-Modern Divide
  • Law as Profession and Practice in Medieval Europe
  • The Profession and Practice of Medieval Canon Law
  • Conflict in Medieval Europe
  • Ritual, Text and Law
  • Bishops, Texts and the Use of Canon Law
  • Feud, Violence and Practice
  • Alternate Histories and the Early Modern Topical Cluster of King John Plays
  • Markets, Trade and Economic Development in England and Europe, 1050-1550

Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on 18th June 1815, just south of Brussels. Commemorative events are taking place throughout Europe, including a large-scale re-enactment on the bicentenary itself, with thousands of actors, horses and canons. The English Heritage have a special ‘Waterloo 1815’ exhibition displayed at Wellington Arch, which includes handwritten orders from Wellington, his sword and a pair of original ‘Wellington boots’. The Royal Museums Greenwich, Windsor Castle and the National Portrait Museum are just some of those with special events devoted to the Battle, Wellington or Napoleon. To view a full list of the planned dedicated collections and events, simply visit the National Army Museum’s website.

Ashgate publish a number of titles on the Battle of Waterloo, and on Maritime History  generally. Below are a few suggested titles, or you can click here for more on Maritime History.

  • Inside Napoleonic France
  • Resisting Napoleon
  • Staging the Peninsular War
  • Naval Court Martial, 1793-1815
  • Representing the Royal Navy

A fresh view of religion and society in the Diocese of St Davids since the Reformation

This is a guest post from Professor William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University, editor of Religion and Society in the Diocese of St Davids 1485–2011

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The post-Reformation diocese of St Davids may not at first sight seem a particularly prepossessing topic for a collection of essays. The city of St Davids, with a population of just 1,600 today, lies over seventy miles west of Swansea in beautiful but remote countryside. The diocese of which it is the capital spread over much of south Wales until it was divided in the 1920s. But however remote and distant from the metropolitan centres of England and Wales it was, the diocese was a religious crucible in the post-Reformation centuries. Despite being the place from which Henry Tudor invaded the country in 1485, and in which some Tudor ancestors were buried, St Davids did not avoid the turbulence of the Reformation. Robert Ferrar, bishop in 1555, was burnt in Carmarthen for his stubborn Protestantism. In the following century the diocese was the home of the translation into Welsh of the Prayerbook, for five years it was part of William Laud’s high church ‘laboratory’ as bishop and the source of Rhys Pritchard’s highly influential hymns, Cannwyll y Cymry.

Perhaps more astonishing is how the diocese became the home for three major religious movements: the Welsh Puritan movement of the seventeenth century, the evangelical ‘revival’ of the eighteenth century which made Wales the stronghold of Calvinistic Methodism for two centuries and (in addition to a string of minor revivals in the nineteenth century), the 1904-5 Evan Roberts revival. The reason why the people of South Wales became so committed to revival is unclear but the enthusiasm for them and the effect they had on the lives of the poor has perhaps been underestimated. Equally underestimated is the interest that ordinary people in Wales took in theology and theological differences. Even today many Welsh villages have three, four or five chapels of different denominations; in the past this meant that tradition, teaching, family and other ties drew the past one chapel to worship at another. It is one of the condescensions of history to assume that, in the past, matters of theology and religious ideas were ‘beyond’ the reach of most people. In fact the diocese was home to a long succession of distinguished theologians (Jeremy Taylor, George Bull, Daniel Rowland, Howell Harris, Connop Thirwall, Rowland Williams ). It also housed a series of significant theological institutions: Trefecca College, the United Theological College at Aberystwyth, the Carmarthen Academy, the Memorial College at Brecon and St David’s College, Lampeter. It probably offered more theological educational opportunities than any area in the rest of Britain.

One of the ways in which Welshmen and women identified with their religious and political traditions was through the celebration of St Davids Day and in the nineteenth century, as mass participation in public events grew, the day and the saint were appropriated by all sorts of religious and political groups keen to demonstrate their popularity and association with Wales through celebration of St Davids Day. So groups of all political, social and religious complexion wrapped themselves in the black and yellow flag of St Davids.

In such an environment, disestablishment of the Anglican Church became a ‘project’ of the Nonconformist churches and the Liberal Party. Like other aspects of Welsh history it has become the source of many myths. One of which is to overlook that, despite other claims, the true architect of the new Church in Wales was Bishop John Owen of St Davids –who even came up with the name ‘Church in Wales.’

Religion and society in St DavidsAll these themes, and more, are the subject of essays in Religion and Society of the Diocese of St Davids 1485-2011, edited by John Morgan-Guy and me. And the story is brought up to date with a final essay on the diocese since 1926, surveying the bishops and the principal changes in the area in the last century.

Professor William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University

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The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music: The Interviews

Posted by Maxine Cook, Marketing Assistant

This week, James Saunders has uploaded his interview with Alvin Lucier.

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Interview with Alvin Lucier:

I initially met Alvin Lucier in Ostrava at the first New Music Days, organized by Peter Kotik. His work had fascinated me for some time, so it was a great opportunity to find out more in person. Lucier has been central to developments in experimental electronic music since the 1960s, with a focus on acoustic phenomena as the material and subject matter for much of his earlier work. From pieces like I am sitting in a room (1969) in which the continual playback and recording of a text in the same space reinforces the room’s overtones to create a throbbing harmonic drone, to Still Lives (2003), which sets piano notes against slow sliding sine tones to create variable beating patterns, their audibility is framed by his compositional approach. Subsequent work has tended to draw on these techniques and instrumentalize them to various degrees, such as with Diamonds (1999) for three orchestras where the violins replace the sine waves. Whilst in Lucier’s work processes are articulated with extreme clarity, it is music which constantly confounds expectations. It is of course possible to read his scores and gain an understanding of the principles involved, but it is only through the acoustic reality of the sounding result that the music emerges. One of the questions posed by the work of all the interviewees here is a consideration of how we listen, and this is in many ways most clearly exemplified by Lucier.

The interview took place at Dartington College of Arts on 14 November 2007.

Read the full interview here.

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The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental MusicAll the interviews from James Saunders can be found in The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music.

Space, Knowledge and Power – Guest Podcast by Jeremy Crampton and Stuart Elden

Space Knowledge and PowerPosted by Emily Ferro, Marketing Coordinator

Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography by Jeremy Crampton and Stuart Elden has been chosen by our editors as having played a significant part in the building and reputation of our Geography list. In the years since publication, the authors have had a chance to reflect on their work and the process of publishing.

This book takes a close look at the work of Michel Foucault, featuring contributions by key figures such as David Harvey, Chris Philo, Sara Mills, Nigel Thrift, John Agnew, Thomas Flynn and Matthew Hannah. In the podcast below, recorded in Chicago, at the Swissôtel, the editors of this influential book discuss their experiences and motivations in publishing their work. They also reflect on the impact their research has had, and look to future endeavors.

To hear about the authors’ experiences, you can listen to the podcast here:

For more information about Space, Knowledge and Power, please visit www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754646556. Here, you will find information, reviews, contents, and a chance to look inside the book’s pages.

CFP: Allusion, Indirection, Enigma: Flirting with Early Modern Uncertainty

Posted by Bret Rothstein

Call for papers: Allusion, Indirection, Enigma: Flirting with Early Modern Uncertainty

Renaissance Society of America (Boston, March 31–April 2, 2016) #RSA16

Session organized by Bret Rothstein, Indiana University – Bloomington

Please send an abstract (up to 150 words) and a 300-word vita by May 31, 2015 to brothste@indiana.edu

Augustine may have believed in validity in interpretation, but the history of early modern Europe is thick with texts, objects, and ideas that seem to move in a very different direction. A striking number of images, texts, behaviors, musical scores, buildings, and even naturally-occurring objects seem designed, in a sense, to send the mind in any direction but the supposedly “right” one. (The matter becomes especially interesting with respect to “jokes of nature,” which might speak to a kind of divine mischief.) But why might this be the case? What was the value of getting things – very loosely conceived – wrong? In an attempt to begin answering such questions, this session is dedicated to the study of interpretive challenges, from theatrical productions to mathematical treatises, and from art works to naturally occurring objects. Its purpose is to promote conversation among scholars from across a range of disciplines about the social and cultural value of interpretation’s ugly stepchildren (confusion, misperception, ambivalence, and incomprehension, among others).

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Bret Rothstein teaches in the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington, and is the editor for Ashgate’s Cultures of Play series.