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Senior Research Seminar: Professor Elizabeth Edwards

When Nov 17, 2017
from 04:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Edmund Leach Room Department of Social Anthropology Free School Lane, Cambridged
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Professor Elizabeth Edwards (Visiting Professor, V&A Research Institute)

On photographs, ritual, and performance: ethnographic approaches to English Historical Pageants in early c20th England


The early twentieth century saw a craze for historical pageants, popular re-enactments of the history of a locality. These ranged from large and elaborate spectacles to small village efforts. I shall argue that the making of these events had ‘ritual-like’ qualities in their preparation (making and writing) the pageant itself (the liminal space of the past in the present) and re-aggregation, the sense of social cohesion and reinforcement of civic identities generated. In particular I consider the role of photography in performing and perpetuating these processes and the social efficacy of the pageants.

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