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Ruth Adams on Raymond Williams

On 20 September 2011 Dr Ruth Adams participated in a conference entitled ‘Raymond Williams and Robert Tressell in Hastings’, held at the University of Brighton’s Hastings campus. The conference marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Williams’ seminal Cultural Studies text The Long Revolution and the centenary of the death of Robert Tressell, author of the famous Socialist novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists; both writers having lived and worked in Hastings.

Ruth’s paper, ‘Cultural Materialism and Material Culture: Raymond Williams in the Museum’, gave an account of how she had employed Williams’ ideas as the basis of the methodology of her doctoral thesis, and made the case for the continuing relevance to British Cultural Studies of Raymond Williams, and the usefulness of his approach not just for literary subjects but also as a basis of critical analyses of the visual arts and their institutions.

Other speakers at the conference included the cultural theorists Jim McGuigan and John Storey, and the radical British playwright Howard Brenton, who recently adapted The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists for the stage.

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