First up, the "Exploring Culture" lectures at W5 in Belfast's Odyssey Complex:
Who were the Celts? Were there any Celts at all in the British Isles? Are Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Celtic nations?The inaugural lecture "The Ancient Island Celts – modern invention or rediscovery?" will be delivered by archaeologist Dr Simon James at 6pm on Thursday 11 November at W5 in the Odyssey Complex (be prompt, tea and coffee served from 5.30pm!):
The historical and scientific truth behind these questions will be explored in the inaugural lecture of a series launched today at W5 by Minister Nelson McCausland.
The ‘Exploring Culture’ lecture series aims to encourage discussion and analysis of issues relating to culture, identity and public understanding of the historical, social and scientific themes that shape society.
His research focuses on cultural identities, interactions, conflict and change in Old World societies. His work has considered how conceptions of the past impinge on the present, and how the present constrains views of the past. This includes how and why academics and public groups envisage and represent past societies as they do, through verbal discourses, ethnic stereotypes and visual clichés.It'll be chaired by the Beeb's William Crawley and the debate will be free to the general public.
Dr James believes there are serious difficulties with some of the common, basic assumptions of Celtic history. He writes that the concept of the Scots, Welsh, Irish and other groups in the British Isles being called 'Celtic' evolved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Simon James asks how far is it a rediscovery of a forgotten past reality? Or is it simply a modern invention, imposed on the past? His presentation will provide a highly visual and entertaining analysis of these issues.
Registration details can be accessed from the DCAL's site.
"This house believes that an English parliament is the last hope for a United Kingdom"
The English Speaking Union & The Campaign for an English Parliament invite anyone in the London area to their debate at:
English Speaking Union, Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street , London. W1J 5ED (Nearest tube: Green Park) on 24th November, 6.30 pm for 7.00pm.
No mention of tea and coffee;)
The Campaign for an English Parliament is proposing an adoption of a federal model of parliaments as the "last hope for the continuation of the United Kingdom".
Speakers for the CEP will include Scilla Cullen and (occasionally of this parish) David Wildgoose.
I'm presuming this is free as well and registration details can be had from Scilla Cullen here.
Any recordings or transcripts from either event would be gratefully received and, with permission, posted here.