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Culture, Heritage and Society (Gonisogeth, Ertach ha Kowethas)

The Red River: A Polluted River Explored Through Poetry

Dr John Wedgwood Clarke

 

Key Points

  • The poetry-led project explores the history and contemporary significance of the Red River that runs between Camborne and Redruth
  • It is an exploration of environmental damage and recovery in the context of Cornish identities and the global impact of tin mining 

View the project here >>

The Importance of Cornish Identity in West Penwith

Gweniver Orchard, Prof Jane Wills 

Key Points

  • This dissertation study explores the experiences of different generations of residents in West Penwith
  • The results suggest there are generational differences in the strength of Cornish identity, with older individuals being more likely to have the stronger native identity
  • The study also demonstrates the complexities of dual or nested identities, with a clear distinction between Cornish folk self-identifying as Cornish and Not English

Read the full study here >>

Celebrating Cornish Identity and Innovation 

Will Coleman, Edward Rowe, Marcus Alleyne, Kate Milan, Karen Hudson-Edwards  

Key points:

  • We celebrated Cornwall’s unique heritage and identity at a special St Piran’s Day event.
  • Our speakers gave talks about diversity, identity and what it currently means to be Cornish.
  • We also found out about circular economy, mining and energy innovation in Cornwall.

» Watch the recording here

Stories in Transition

Sarah Bulmer (Project Lead) 

Key points:

» Read more about this project

Cornwall’s Global Communication Heritage

Key points:

  • Focus placed on the ordinary men who operated the submarine cable network
  • A bottom-up approach to research that differed from other museum displays, television documentaries and popular histories that concentrate on the ‘heroic’ inventors
  • 59,783 people visited the museum whilst the exhibition ran and the online presence of the museum was increased

» Read more about this project

Language and Society Unit

Lucy Ellis (Unit Lead) and Garry Tregidga, University of Exeter
Mark Trevethan, Cornish Language Office, Cornwall Council

Key aims:

  • To develop and draw together existing scholarly research on contemporary language use (synchronic linguistics) and language use and development over time (diachronic linguistics).
  • To provide an ongoing independent linguistic evaluation of the policy and planning processes of the Cornish Language programme.
  • To describe the distinctive accent and dialect patterns of English spoken in Cornwall and to increase understanding and awareness of the retention and regeneration of its usage.

» Read more about this project

The Role of Methodism in Cornish Cultures, c.1830-1930

Kate Leyshon, Adrian Bailey, David Harvey.

Key findings

  • Methodist religious identities were forged as part and parcel of a Christian social movement, given expression through communal celebrations and pioneering institutions for mutual improvement.
  • The several sects of Methodism, well represented in Cornwall, competed and collaborated around issues such as the 1902 Local Education Act and the temperance movement until the main sects unified in 1932.
  • Methodism was striving to establish itself as a national church to rival that of the Church of England by directing the energies of the industrial working class around specific visions of embodied moral virtue and rational recreations.

» Find out more about this project

Dispatches from Penzance: J.A. Rogers and the Place of Cornish ‘Race Relations’ in African American Historiography

Madeleine Midgley

Key findings

  • The study highlights Cornwall's connection to African American historiography in the inter-war period
  • Raises the profile of J.A.Rogers and the issue of race in relation to the United Kingdom
  • Explores Roger's visit to Cornwall in the context of the wider history of the time including music, politics and labour disputes of the time.

» Read more about this project

Footprints of Cornish Gold

Key points:

  • The 3600-year-old Nebra Sky Disk is now known to be forged from Cornish gold (and Cornish tin)
  • Many other Early Bronze Age artefacts right across Europe are also now being shown to be made from Cornish gold (and/or tin)
  • Contrary to accepted theory, it now seems that early developments Cornish tin streaming, metallurgy and trading practices may have ‘kick-started’ the entire European Bronze Age.

» Read more about this project

The Cornish Diaspora

Key findings:

  • Mass emigration from Cornwall in the century 1815-1914 created a dynamic transnational identity, in which ethnicity (‘the myth of Cousin Jack’) was often deployed as a social and economic strategy
  • Cornish emigrants played a significant role in the expansion of the international mining frontier and its attendant labour market, practices and technology
  • Cornish emigrants were often visible in the social, economic and political life of host societies, especially in the anglosphere

» Read more about this project

Mullion Harbour and Making Sense of Transience

Caitlin DeSilvey, the Environment and Sustainability Institute

Key Findings:

  • The story of Mullion Harbour shows us that there are creative alternatives to heritage preservation and protection, which acknowledge historical value while embracing change.
  • The paper uses archival and ethnographical sources to explore different ways of seeing Mullion Cove and understanding its history.
  • As climate and coastal change accelerates, we will need new ways of understanding dynamic landscapes and making sense of change over time.

» Read more about this project

The Torrey Canyon Disaster, Everyday Life, and the Greening of Britain.

Tim Cooper, Humanities, University of Exeter, Cornwall.

Key Findings:

  • The impacts of ‘mega-events’ on environmental consciousness may have been exaggerated
  • Oral histories of the Torey Canyon disaster off the Isles of Scilly show a much more complicated relationship with environmental movements than simply that the effects on wildlife trigger conservationism.
  • Although people were deeply concerned about the suffering of the wildlife, people did not necessarily associate this with ‘green’ ideas or environmentalism.

» Read more about this project

Cornish Maritime Churches

Jo Esra, Victoria Jenner, Rebecca Orchard and Garry Tregidga (project lead), The Institute of Cornish Studies.

Key points:

  • Explores the history of Cornwall’s maritime churches from the distant past to the present day
  • Combines oral history with the use of film, photography and historic documents
  • Dissemination through an interactive website alongside written publications

» Read more about this project

Cornish carols: Heritage in California and South Australia

Kate Neale, University of Exeter

Key Findings:

  • Cornish carols remain a part of diaspora communities in both California and South Australia.
  • Heritage is not static, but is part of a process, or dialogue between the past and the present.
  • The cultural meanings and significances given to heritage shift over time.

» Read more about this project

Cornish Story

Key points:

  • An educational organisation that works in association with the Institute of Cornish Studies to investigate the cultural heritage of Cornwall and its global diaspora.
  • Combines written articles, oral history, music, photography, poetry and film on an online dissemination platform.
  • Supports interdisciplinary research in the field of Cornish Studies at the community level through a programme based on democratic scholarship.

» Read more about this project

Celtic Revival

Key points:

  • What accounts for the revival of interest in Cornwall’s culture and heritage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
  • How does Cornwall compare to the experience of the other Celtic nations?
  • What was the legacy of this period for subsequent developments in Cornwall’s cultural and political history?

» Read more about this project

Connecting Cornwall: The Lives and Careers of the 'Ordinary' Men Behind the British Submarine Cable Network

Professor Richard Noakes (Project Lead)

Key findings

  • The project focused on the lives and aspirations of the ordinary men who worked at Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and operated the Victorian and Edwardian British submarine cable network.
  • Raised the profile of Porthcurno Telegraph Museum and paved the way for future research-based collaborations.
  • Explored and exhibited the history of the men who operated the 'nervous system' of the British empire, while also helping to improve the museum's online presence, archive and visitor experience.

» Read more about this project