Within the last few days, I have heard that a session proposal put forward by myself, three other Institute of Cornish Studies students and Dr. Alan M. Kent has been accepted for the 2018 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Annual International Conference in August at Cardiff University.
The RGS-IBG International Conference is an annual gathering of the world’s leading geographers, and each year well over a thousand delegates from countries all over the world gather together over three days attending sessions which focus on what the RGS-IBG consider to be the most important geographical issues at the present time. Therefore, we are exceptionally proud that our session has been accepted.
Entitled ‘Changing Geographies of Cornwall and Cornish Identity’, our session attempts to explore the fact that Cornwall is a land within the United Kingdom with a unique identity. “It is and is not an English county. It is and it is not mentioned in the same breath as Wales, Scotland and Eire” (Kent: 2000: p11). The synopsis of our session asserts:
“This palatinate duchy territory enjoys the burgeoning status of its unique indigenous culture, language and heritage amid battles to win recognition from wider Governmental authorities despite being awarded Minority Status under the Council for Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 2014. Allied with conflicts over second home ownership and the population of indigenous Cornish people falling below 50%. The area is still without a devolved assembly and threats persist of a cross-border Parliamentary constituency with Devon. Why is this important? Why does Cornwall’s separate identity matter? With the backdrop of calls for greater autonomy in Europe over the past couple of years, this session aims to explore Cornwall’s unique status within the UK, why the Cornish want to gain greater recognition as a nation and who the groups are that are aiming to gain it.”
Over the course of our session, five papers are to be delivered:
Phili Mills (MRes – Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter) – Place Names; Changing Identities and Landscapes.
Tom Fidler (Phd – Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter) – Cornwall’s Multiple Identities – The Fractured Landscape of Identity in Cornwall.
Dr. Alan M. Kent (The Open University & The University of La Caruna, Galicia – The Festive State: A New Geography of Festivals in Cornwall.
Andrew Climo (MPhil/PhD – Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter) – Does Cornwall Parallel Wales, Scotland and Eire in Terms of its Onomastic Traditions?
Ben Gilby (MPhil/PhD – Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter) – The Contemporary Renaissance of Kernowek – The Indigenous Cornish Language.
Nearer the time, further information on each of the papers that we are to present will appear on this blog.