Radical Walking: protest, dissent, and crossing urban boundaries

This one-day conference seeks to explore the relationship between walking and radicalism, from a range of perspectives, places, and periods. Walking allows radicals, whether self-acknowledged or not, to cross boundaries, challenge customs, redefine urban spaces, and physically express their opposition and beliefs.

People have taken steps toward effecting change throughout the centuries, moving through urban spaces in support of rights, opportunities, and societal innovation. Walking has allowed those who advocate for reform to express radical goals and argue for social, political, and religious change. Radicalism has been understood most commonly in reference to the British Liberal Party’s stance on the reform of society and Parliament in the eighteenth-century. But, in recent years, scholars have also applied the term much more widely, from causes as diverse as peasant protests in medieval Japan, to more recent quests for the securing of civil rights. Walking allows radicals, whether self-acknowledged or not, to cross boundaries, challenge customs, redefine urban spaces, and physically express their opposition and beliefs.

Price: £10

Schedule

9:30-10: Coffee and registration
10-10:15: Welcome
10:15-11:15: Katrina Navickas, ‘Politics is movement: radical walking in 19th-century Britain’
11:15-11:30: Break
11:30-1: Panel 1: Writing and Radical Walking

  • Christine Donovan, Anarchist Walking in Europe 1850 - 1910
  • Blake Morris, The Radical Romanticism of the Walking Library
  • Emma Hayward, Odd Women: Walking, The City and Literary Tradition

1-2: Lunch
2-3:30: Panel 2: Thinking and Radical Walking

  • Amy Westwell, Agrarian radicalism and a new radicalism 
  • Nadia Valman, Walking in Margaret Harkness’ Whitechapel 
  • David Stack, ‘A great pedestrian’: John Stuart Mill, the walking philosopher

3:30-3:45: Break
3:45-4:45: Panel 3: Challenging ideas through Radical Walking

  • Michael Eades, The ‘Dementia Walks’: everyday radicalism in Bloomsbury
  • Katherine Parker-Hay, A walk through the Bechdel Test 

4:45-5: Break
5-5:30: David Rosenberg, Putting the Past in Conversation with the Present: Footsteps through London’s immigrant East End
Wine reception 

This conference is part of the Radical Voices season at Senate House Library and is run in collaboration between Senate House Library and the Passage project (Senate House Library, the Centre for Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research, and SAS Central).

Event details