Keskowsow St. Piran’s Day Event At Institute of Cornish Studies

The Institute of Cornish Studies, based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus will be running a free public event on St. Piran’s Day (5th March) showcasing the research that some of its postgraduate cohort are presently working on.

The event, entitled Keskowsow (Cornish for ‘Conversations’), will take place from midday in the Yellow Seminar Room at The Exchange Building, and includes a complimentary lunch of Cornish fayre. It is an opportunity to gather together to celebrate St. Piran’s Day, listen to presentations by the postgraduates who are researching elements of the Celtic identity, family history and the Cornish language, as well as viewing a new short film on the role of Henry Jenner on the revival of Cornish.

Andrew Climo will be discussing his research into Cornwall’s unique identity and examining whether Cornwall parallels national identities such as Wales, Scotland and Eire, or if it is just an aberrant ‘Celt-ish’ corner of England. Phili Mills’ talk, entitled ‘What’s in a Name? Is your surname Cornish? Does where you live have a Cornish language name?’ examines how knowing if your family is Cornish and where they came from helps to piece together your family history and cultural identity.  Mills will highlight how understanding surnames and place names unravels what ancestors did, where they lived, and if they spoke Cornish allied to the fact that place names explain the topography, habitat and people associated with the location. Ben Gilby’s research, funded by the Cornwall Heritage Trust, is entitled ‘The Cornish Language from the Late Eighteenth Century to the Early Twentieth Century’. Ben will be discussing the early stages of his work on uncovering who was using Cornish in the era, particularly in the 19th Century when the language was originally believed by some to have died out. All of the postgraduate students will include a question and answer element to their talks.

The event will close with an opportunity for those attending to be among the first to view the short documentary film in the Cornish language, Hwedhel Henry Jenner (The Henry Jenner Story) about the role of Henry Jenner in the revival of the Cornish language and Cornwall’s Celtic identity.  The film has been made with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Dasserghi Kernewek project which looks at the Cornish language revival.  The film will be introduced by one of the film makers, Charlie Fripp, and the Cornish Language Lead who commissioned the film, Mark Trevethan.

Those wishing to attend should email cornishstudies@exeter.ac.uk to reserve their free place.

A poster advertising the event can be accessed here: Keskowsow Poster.docx

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