Leeds Cultural Conversations series gets off to a topical start
Discussing both the history of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) since its launch in 1985, and its changing aims, Bianchini, Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning at our University and an integral member of the steering group for Metera 2019, delivered to a packed lecture theatre at the city’s art gallery. His talk included examples of how different European cities have used the ECoC to produce cultural, economic and social change and how Leeds can learn from the success and failures of their predecessors.
The talk follows in the wake of Leeds City Council's decision to bid for the 2023 European Capital of Culture and the recent announcement of the steering group.
Susan Watkins, Director of the Centre for Culture and the Arts, said: “It was great to have a full house for the first talk in the series of Leeds Cultural Conversations. Franco's talk made it clear that successful winning cites have to challenge anti-European feeling, be regional and international at the same time, and also include plans for a lasting economic and cultural legacy.”
Abi Mitchell, Arts Officer (Projects) for Arts Development at Leeds City Council, added: “The first Leeds Cultural Conversation was a brilliant success, bringing the conversation about culture to the heart of the city. With such a great reception from the audience we are anticipating a lively and thought provoking series of talks and look forward to bringing this richly diverse programme to the city.”
The hour-long lunchtime talks, sponsored by Palgrave Macmillan, will run from September 2015 to May 2016 and are to be held in some of the city’s most iconic buildings, including the Town Hall.
The series continues on Wednesday 7 October at the Thoresby Room, Leeds City Museum when Dr Emily Marshall, Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature at Leeds Beckett, will be discussing: ‘It's not all sequins and bikinis. Power, performance and play in the Leeds and Trinidad Carnival’.
Following the demise of the traditional Midnight Robber, who once exemplified many of the practices which were central to Caribbean carnival culture, Dr Marshall will be asking to what extent contemporary Caribbean carnival practices in Leeds and Trinidad continue to provide a challenge to officialdom – or do they, paradoxically, reinstate the rules?
For more information on the series please visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/LCC.
The full list of talks is:
‘What is the European Capital of Culture and what it can do for a City?’ – Professor Franco Bianchini, Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning. Wednesday 9 September 2015 12.30pm, Henry Moore lecture Theatre, Leeds Art Gallery.
‘It's not all sequins and bikinis. Power, performance and play in the Leeds and Trinidad carnival.’ - Dr Emily Marshall, Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature. Wednesday 7 October 2015 12.30pm, Thoresby Room, Leeds City Museum.
‘Retaking the Commons: culture, politics, and the public realm.’ - Dr Andrew Lawson, Reader in American Literature, and Dr Katy Shaw, Principal Lecturer in English Literature. Wednesday 11 November 2015 12.30pm, Sullivan Room, Leeds Town Hall.
‘Doing urban history in an urban world’ - Dr Shane Ewen, Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural History. Wednesday 9 December 2015 12.30pm, Sullivan Room, Leeds Town Hall.
‘The real Fagin: the life and crimes of William Sheen’ - Dr Heather Shore, Reader in History. Wednesday 13 January 2015 12.30pm, Albert Room, Leeds Town Hall.
‘Pride of place: LGBTQ histories and heritage’ - Professor Alison Oram, Professor of Social and Cultural History. Wednesday 10 February 2016 12.30pm, Albert Room, Leeds Town Hall.
‘Women, visibility and playful acts’ - Dr Liz Stirling, Dr Casey Orr, Jo Hassall and Laura Robinson. Wednesday 9 March 2016 12.30pm, Albert Room, Leeds Town Hall.
‘Cooking without a clock: women, domesticity and timekeeping in nineteenth century Europe.’ - Dr Rachel Rich, Senior Lecturer in European History. Wednesday 13 April 2016 12.30pm, Denny Room, Leeds City Museum.
‘Eastern European ‘show trials’ of the 1950s: the Slansky case’ - Dr Kelly Hignett, Senior Lecturer in History. Wednesday 11 May 2016 12.30pm, Court Room, Leeds Town Hall.