What do people mean when they say they are English?

23 Mar 2018
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from across the river Thames

Leading academics, politicians and commentators are to discuss what it means to be English at a one-day seminar hosted by the University of Winchester Centre for English Identity and Politics

English is the most widely shared national identity amongst English residents and the recent political choices of those who identify as English have diverged significantly from those who identify as British identifiers. In this seminar, a number of experts will share their understanding of the narratives of 'being English' and whether these are shared stories or are tempered by class, geography or race.

Professor John Denham, Head of the Centre for English Identity and Politics, said: “National identities are made up of the stories we share about a country and its people. But does 'being English' mean the same in Winchester as in Newcastle? Does class or ethnicity give you a different perspective? At a time when calls are growing for constitutional reform that would give England a stronger voice in Parliament and the Union, this seminar will ask whether we are talking about one 'England' or many.”

Well-known local speakers for the event include Councillor Satvir Kaur, lead member for Communities and Culture on Southampton City Council; Don John, race, equality consultant, former Race and Equality Officer for Southampton City Council and author of A Black History of Southampton; and Professor John Denham.

A number of internationally-renowned visiting academics will also be speaking. These include:

  • David McCrone, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and co-founder of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Governance
  • Anoop Nayak, Professor in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Newcastle
  • Sivamohan Valluvan, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick
  • Professor Katharine Tyler, Senior Lecturer (Anthropology) at the University of Exeter
  • Lisa McKenzie, Sociologist and Research Fellow at the London School of Economics
  • Robin Mann, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Bangor University

This seminar was organised by John Denham and Charlie Leddy-Owen, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth.

Stories of England takes place between 10am-5pm on Wednesday 28 March at the Paul Woodhouse Suite, Winchester Cathedral, 9 The Close, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9LS.

Places are free but booking is essential. Find out more and book your place: www.winchester.ac.uk/Storiesofengland

Press Office | +44 (0) 1962 827678 | press@winchester.ac.uk

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