Next weekend sees two conferences take place that will be of great interest to those interested in Regional Culture and Identity, as the Association of Celtic Students Annual Conference takes place at the Penryn Campus of the University of Exeter, and Mebyon Kernow hold their Spring Conference in Bodmin.
It has to be said that it is unfortunate to say the least that both events are taking place at the same time, as there are many people who would, ideally, like to attend both.
In terms of the Mebyon Kernow Conference, this is the party’s first potential large scale rallying cry ahead of the forthcoming General Election, in which the ‘Sons of Cornwall’ will be aiming to produce their best ever Westminster election performance. There are some excellent sessions ahead on the Saturday, with Mebyon Kernow’s councillor, and St. Ives PPC Rob Simmons outlining their General Election Manifesto at 10:20am, before Truro & Falmouth PPC Councillor Stephen Richardson provides an overview of their latest version of the ‘Towards A National Assembly of Cornwall’ document – a session which will also include advising campaigners on how to deal with “myths and misdirections on the doorstep”.
There will then follow a presentation by Jorgas Papadakis, who is representing the European Free Alliance. The EFA is a body which will interest those of you who are Regional Geographers or Geopolitics experts, as it is an umbrella organisation which gathers 40 nationalist, regionalist and autonomous parties throughout the EU, and represents stateless nations, regions and traditional minorities in Europe. Fortified by a lunch of Pasties and other local fayre, the afternoon session will kick off with a bang, as Hanterhir (meaning ‘half-long’), a Redruth folk rock act play a short set before Party Leader Dick Cole makes his keynote address. The Conference will end with a ‘Question Time’ session featuring four Mebyon Kernow PPCs – Councillor Dr. Loveday Jenkin (Camborne, Redruth & Hayle), Councillor Andrew Long (South-East Cornwall), Stephen Richardson (Truro & Falmouth) and Councillor Rob Simmons (St. Ives).
Saturday 21st March is also the opening day of the 2015 Association of Celtic Students Annual Conference, and there are a number of excellent presentations on Cornwall over the two days. At 9:20am, the gathering opens with Dr. Oliver Padel of Cambridge University presenting a paper entitled What’s Celtic About Cornwall? The period from 11:00 – 12:00 contains three successive papers of interest on Cornish Culture & Identity – first Lowenna Hoskin of Ediburgh University presenting on Minority Status For Cornwall ahead of a paper by myself on Sustainable Devolution For Cornwall (although due to my having an operation this coming week, I will be unable to present it in person, sadly) and Christopher Lewin from Aberystwyth University with a paper entitled Yn Ghaelg as y Chornish: co-soylaghey daa aa-vioghey (Manx and Cornish: comparing two revivals). At 2:20pm, Dr. Garry Tregidga of the University of Exeter will be making a keynote address on Future Directions in Celtic Studies.
Whilst I have only listed those papers of immediate focus on Cornwall, the whole two days looks to outstanding gathering of those actively researching the Celtic Nations of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.
I will post on this blog the PowerPoint for my own paper for the Conference later next week, but remain very frustrated that my health in the immediate short term period prevents me from being there in person.