'Slavery and Country Houses in Gloucestershire'

Issue date: 20 October 2005

Talks@Watershed – Wednesday 2 November 2005 18.30

Historian, Madge Dresser, from the University of the West of England, will give a talk as part of the Talks@Watershed series, organised by UWE’s Centre for Critical Theory about ‘Slavery and Country Houses in Gloucestershire’ on Wednesday 2 November at 18.30.

Gloucestershire country houses are part of our Heritage industry”, said Madge, “Admired for their architectural charm, their rootedness in the local community and their role as the rural retreats of the aristocracy they have seldom been considered in a global context. But a surprising number of the country’s stately homes have links to the slave plantations of the British Caribbean.”

Madge’s talk will consider the complex relationship existing between bucolic gentility and the brutality of the Atlantic slave economy.

Madge Dresser teaches and researches cultural history, her research expertise focuses on racial, religious and ethnic difference. Her book Slavery Obscured, published in 2001 led her to act as consultant for websites dealing with the slave trade. She edited the eighteenth century Diary of Sarah Fox in 2003 and co-edited The Making of Modern Bristol in 1996. Her expertise is regularly sourced by the media. This summer she presented and helped to research Radio 4 programme, one of the ‘Bricks and Mortals’ series which imaginatively focused on a Bristol street’s connections with slavery and racialism from the 1700s through to the end of the 1800’s. Madge was also historical consultant to Bristol City Museum’s ‘Respectable Trade’ Exhibition on Slavery in 1999, co-authored Bristol’s ‘Slavery Trail’ and has provided original research for two popular websites - http://www.portcities.org.uk and http://www.historyfootsteps.net.

She is currently project leader of a £120,000 Lottery-funded project on ‘Immigrants, identity and the city: 1001 years of ethnic minorities in Bristol, c. 1001-2001’, part of a national project called ‘England’s Past for Everyone,’ sponsored by London University’s Institute of Historical Research.

Tickets for the talk are free but places are limited. Call Watershed box office on 0117 927 5100 or for more information call Centre for Critical Theory at UWE on 0117 32 84321, or e-mail cct@uwe.ac.uk.


Editor’s notes

The Centre for Critical Theory has established café culture with a series of talks at the Watershed exploring issues and ideas from a local context. The talks are open to all.

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