Book launch for Mad Dogs and Englishness – House of Commons, Westminster,  5 Feburary 2018

Book launch for Mad Dogs and Englishness – House of Commons, Westminster,  5 Feburary 2018

[By Dr Carey Feliner – Senior Lecturer in Classical and Medieval History]

My chapter, ‘‘Rosy, Won’t You Please Come Home:’ Family, Home, and Cultural Identity in the Music of Ray Davies and the Kinks’’ (in Mark Donnelly, Lee Brooks and Richard Mills, eds., Mad Dogs and Englishness: Popular Music and English Identity. Bloomsbury Press.  2017 ) is the outcome of a similarly titled conference paper that I gave at  St Mary’s University College, London, 21 June 2013, coincidentally Ray Davies’s birthday. An account of that conference is somewhere on the History Department blog (submitted in 2013).

Back in December 2017, we were all contacted by one of the editors about the book launch, scheduled for February. One of the contributors (who also wrote the preface) had moved careers from the time of the conference (lecturer in sociology at Kingston University) to the time of publication (MP – Rupa Huq, (Ealing Central and Acton). So she arranged our book launch to be held at the House of Commons.  The editor said that there would be a round table discussion in addition to general mingling, so I wrote to him immediately and asked if I could be considered for one of the panellists. No immediate reply, but about a week before the launch, Richard Mills told me that they’d decided I’d be a good fit with the other panellists. So I got an invitation:

And I RSVP’d in agreement. The meeting was well-populated; probably about 75 people in attendance, journos, writers, MPs, and celebrities. When I was asked my opinion about the war between Blur and Oasis, I had to confess that I’d pretty much missed pop music in the ‘90s as I was out of action doing my PhD work. Ian Paisley’s son told me ‘You haven’t missed much.’

I checked to see if they wanted us speakers to have any opening statements or comments prepared, and was told, ‘Nope, you’re fine, just come along.’ Moments before we were herded to the table at the front of the room, Rupa took me to one side and said that after the introductions, she wanted me to take 15 minutes or so to introduce the book, its main themes, and a bit about my own contribution. I’m told what I said was erudite and witty, and that it set a good tone for the panel to launch with.

It was a bit hectic to be put on the spot like that, but this was fairly mild in comparison to being told that an additional, last-minute addition had been made to the panel. My chapter was on the Kinks and how they were received and marketed as ‘English’ in both Britain and abroad; fortunately there was an actual Kink on the panel (the last minute addition) to confirm my assertions.

Much of the talk was dominated by Paolo Hewitt and Stephen Millinder, but during the milling about part afterwards, quite a number of women came up to speak to me about how the two women in the panel didn’t get much of a chance to speak. So it was a good opportunity to continue the conversation afterwards.

Richard Mills, one of the editors, is a long-time colleague, and we discussed the possibility of a sequel: between the time we held the conference and the time of the book launch, Brexit, of course, happened – it and its subsequent impact have rendered a number of our chapters positively quaint. It would be nice to have a follow-up conference, maybe at Winchester this time around, if there is interest and pocket money to be found to help support it.

Some other photos from twitter:

  1. This one shows Richard Mills making some closing statements. At the table, me on the far left; Bob Henrit of the Kinks on the far right.


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Thanks to our chair @RupaHuq and panellists Carey Fleiner, @PaoloHewitt1, @StephenMal and @TheKinks drummer Bob Henrit for such a stimulating and informative discussion of Englishness and Pop at our book event last night @HouseofCommons


  1. Picture by Richard Mills, me talking to lead off the proceedings. You can tell I’m saying good things because I’m making important hand gestures.


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Mad Dogs & Englishness is in full flow at the House of Commons #MadDogs #HouseofCommons #Englishness


  1. Me looking dubious as Rupa introduces the panel

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A book, co-edited by three of our senior lecturers, was launched at the @HouseofCommons last week. Find out more …

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WRAP Project on Memory and Environment in Late Medieval England

One of the unique opportunities afforded to students at Winchester is the opportunity to develop their employability skills by assisting academics in their research. Oliver Bumby is one such BA history student who took up this opportunity earlier this year, working with Dr Gordon McKelvie on a project on ‘Memory and Environment in Late Medieval England’, which looks to develop some of the findings from the AHRC-funded ‘Mapping the Medieval Countryside’ project which was formerly hosted in the department.

Oliver has been kind enough to share his thoughts and reflections on this opportunity for developing his CV and why future students should consider applying for such projects.

“The WRAP projects gives any student to gain new skills that are much sort after by employers, but it also gives you the opportunity to experience what goes into producing much of the texts that are used throughout your degree.  All of the research’s take part in the WRAP projects are researching new and important areas of their field and this opportunity allows you to see if this is something you might want to go into after the end of your university career. Whilst the fact the Wrap projects are paid is always a factor that draws people in and it is a big advantage for any student, it also shows future employers that the work you underwent was something that was important and valuable to the researcher. Meaning that this internship is even more impressive to future employers. Practical skills are now one of the biggest things that employers look for in graduates but it is also one of the hardest things to come by for new graduates. The Wrap project gives you the opportunity to gain some much needed real-world experience whist still at university, this kind of experience is one that many employers are really looking for from new graduates. The WRAP projects are one of the best ways to improve you CV and get involved with some real research at the University of Winchester and is an opportunity not to be passed up.”

[The department would like to thank Oliver for his contribution to our blog.]

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Medieval Studies Day 2017

On Thursday 27 April 2017 the University of Winchester will hosted its third annual Medieval Studies Day as part of the university’s Research and Engagement week. Twelve scholars from various stages in their career from three separate departments presented aspects of their research to a large audience consisting of staff, students and members of the public with an interest in various aspects of medieval studies.

The one thing that came out most strongly was the wide range of topics that were covered – from the nature of carved cadavers in Britain and Ireland, to ideas of chivalric masculinity to the ‘natural’ evidence of prophetic animals such as wolves and ravens that crop up in Old English and Old Norse literature, to a discussion of Henry VII’s Chamber Books (part of a large research project hosted by the department). It was this diversity of topics and approaches that really made the day!

The department would like to thank all of those who attended and participated in this enjoyable day and we hope to host a similar event next year.

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New Work on the Kinks by Winchester Historian

Carey Fleiner has recently published an academic study of the 60s rock band The Kinks and the society that produced them, entitled The Kinks: A Thoroughly English Phenomenon. Though perhaps not as well remembered as some of their contemporaries such as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, The Kinks were one of the great bands to come out of Britain in the 60s, producing 24 studio albums between 1964 and 1996. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Lazy Sunday Afternoon should thank the Kinks for this.

The book also considers the influence of the Kinks in their broader cultural terms as an act that was quintessentially English and a mirror of and counterfoil to nearly five decades of British and American culture.

The book has received several positive reviews, including one from the Washington Post. As part of the publicity for the book Fleiner was interviewed on talk radio Europe, a link to which can be found here:

The interview with Carey Fleiner begins at 16 minutes 20 seconds.

Congratulations are very much in order for Carey for publishing this excellent book.

For those interested in the book further detail can be found here:

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Visit from Dr Andrew Sturtevant

From 20 to 25 March the department was delighted to host Dr Andrew Sturtevant of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Over the years many students from both Winchester and Wisconsin-Eau Claire have taken the opportunity to spend a semester at the other institution as part of an exchange programme. Staff from both institutions have also taken the opportunity for one week visits over the past few years.

Dr Sturtevant is an expert on Native America history during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and gave a fascinating paper on ‘Pontiac’s Other War’ to the department that week. He also spoke with various Winchester students about opportunities studying on exchange at Eau Claire and gave a guest lecture to the third year Genocide module on the Cherokee ethnic cleansing.

We hope Dr Sturtevant enjoyed his time at Winchester and we are glad that he could take time to visit us.

Sturtevant Lecture

Dr Andrew Sturtevant lecturing on Cherokee ethnic cleansing on Emiliano Perra’s genocide module.

(Photo courtesy of Emiliano Perra)

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Studying History at Winchester – Emma’s Experience

[By Emma Hinde]

My studies at the University of Winchester have had a profound impact on my chosen career. I studied a joint honours degree of English Literature and History graduating in 2014 which has provided me with a number of skills that I still draw upon in my everyday work life. The experience of completing my studies has helped to improve my analytic, writing and discussion skills as well as prioritisation of workload, confidence in presenting and independent work. These are all invaluable to my work as an Associate Marketing Manager at an academic publisher.

The University also provided me with a number of amazing opportunities that have boosted by CV and provided some invaluable experiences. I would definitely recommend the WRAP [Winchester Research Apprentice Project] scheme as this provided me with experience of the other side of academia whilst working with an active history research project. With help from the university volunteering department I got involved with a number of editorial related projects with local charities in the area, one of these projects led to a rebrand opportunity which sparked my interest in marketing as a career opportunity. A chance conversation with a lecturer led me to take an internship with Winchester University Press and Ashgate where I learnt more about both academic publishing and the marketing process which really helped when I started as a marketing assistant.

There are a number of other teams which were also really helpful especially in final year in the form of study skills and the career service. I found that I was struggling to achieve the grades I really wanted in my second year but the study skills team really helped with some useful hints and tips for essay writing, planning workloads and helping with exam and dissertation stress. The careers service was great at providing useful and constructive criticism on my CV as well as feedback on cover letters and providing practice for interviews. They also helped me to narrow down the career paths that I was interested in and provided information on networks and websites that would help in finding jobs.

Overall, my experience of the University of Winchester was particularly positive as it provided me with a number of great opportunities and experiences. My top tips for current students would be that its really ok to ask for help, talk to lecturers about your interests and take advantage of the support that is available from the University.

[Note – we would like to thank Emma for sharing her experiences of our department with you]

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Medieval Studies Day Thursday 27 April 2017

On Thursday 27 April 2017 the University of Winchester will host a full day interdisciplinary symposium on medieval studies during Research and Engagement week. This will be the third year that the event has run and showcases broad and varied interests of all lecturers, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students engaged in research on the medieval period.

The event will be held in St Alphege [SAB] 204.

The event is free and open to staff, students and members of the public. We do, however, ask you to register in advance in order to determine numbers for tea and coffee. Those interested in attending should email by 20 April 2017.

See below for the programme.

Session 1 – 9.30 to 11.00 – Perspectives on Death and Religion

Christina Welch – Comparing and Contrasting Late-Medieval Carved Cadavers in Ireland with those on mainland Britain

Angela Clark – Portable Altars and Domestic Chapels in the Diocese of Bath & Wells 1300-1500

Cindy Wood – ‘Henry V’s chantry chapel and the role of Henry VI’


11.00 to 11.20 – Tea/Coffee


Session 2 – 11.20 to 12.50 – Kingship and Queenship in Late Medieval England

Gordon McKelvie – ‘Maintaining the Tudor Affinity’

Samantha Harper – ‘The Chamber Books of Henry VII and Henry VIII’

Ellie Woodacre – ‘A key political pawn or an ever more distant relation? Evaluating Joan of Navarre’s long-term relationship with her natal family’


Lunch – 12.50 to 14.00

[Lunch not provided though there are various outlets nearby and on campus]


Session 3 – 14.00 to 15.30 – Texts and Memory

Eric Lacey – “Supernatural or just natural? Prophetic Animals in Old English and Old Norse literature”

Toni Griffiths – Remembering and Forgetting England’s Medieval Jews: Winchester as a Case Study

Karl Alvestad – Identity and trade: The cult of St Olaf in the Baltic in the 12th and 13th Century


15.30 to 15.50 – Tea/Coffee


Session 4 – 15.50 to 17.20 – War and Society

Matt Bennett – ‘Military masculinity and cross-cultural chivalry during the crusading era in England, France and Outremer, c.1100 – c.1250

Tom Wex – ‘And soo becam theves and manquellers’: Contemporary perceptions of violence and criminality among soldiers, 1449-1471 – a new interpretation.

Ryan Lavelle – “Lairs and Ramparts of Earthly Pride: Some (More) Reflections on Aristocratic and Royal Discontent in Early Medieval England and France”

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LGBT History Exhibition and Talks at Winchester Discovery Centre organised by the Modern History Research Centre

The Modern History Research Centre at the University of Winchester in partnership with Winchester Discovery Centre are happy to welcome you to the LGBT+ History Exhibition, which is on display at the Discovery Centre’s Wall Space until the 28th February 2017. This exhibition highlights current investigations taken by early-career researchers from different universities around the country. The panels explore historical perspectives, experiences and events of LGBT+ communities in modern history across different countries.
Please also join us for two free events on Friday 10th February at the Discovery Centre:
6:30-7:30pm, Discovery Centre’s Wall Space – LGBT+ History Exhibition: Discussion with exhibitors.
7:30-8:30pm, Discovery Centre’s Lecture Theatre – Public Lecture: Dr Emma Vickers(Liverpool John Moores University, author of Queen and Country: Same-sex desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945) – ‘Sanctuary or sissy? Male cross-dressing as entertainment in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945’: Following the end of the Second World War, revues like Pacific Showboat, Soldiers in Skirts, Forces Showboat, Misleading Ladies and Ralph Reader’s Gang Show capitalised on the appetite of audiences for ex-servicemen in drag. This lecture will consider how the populace of post-war Britain acquired their affection for ex-servicemen in drag through an examination of men in the British Armed Forces who informally cross dressed to entertain their colleagues during the Second World War. It will focus in particular on how these performances were understood by those who viewed them.
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Studying at the University of Winchester – Patrick’s Experience

[By Patrick Young]

I have nothing but positive things to say about my experiences at the University of Winchester. As an individual the History Faculty has helped me to reach new levels of thinking that allow me to draw upon a range of analytical skills. In practicality, this has helped me set and achieve new targets in both my personal and professional lives. I am certain that the majority of my classmates have also benefited in these ways.

It is important to note that learning cannot come without interest, and the wide variety of topics on offer are an essential part of the degree’s success. Though my BA was in History and the Medieval World, I was able to take modules on America, the Roman Empire, and many other fascinating periods of history. In addition, an essential understanding of the subject was provided with various core modules. These allowed me a true appreciation of history as a social science, and a proper understanding of the skills being taught.

As a mature student I felt that I often had different needs to younger members of the class and was lucky enough to find support whenever I required it. My tutors and other members of the faculty staff were an invaluable source of assistance and encouragement throughout my studies.

Looking back now I can see the course of my academic development. Having quickly learnt that I was not as clever as I had always assumed, the lecturers helped to guide my progression as a historian and as a writer. Though in two minds about taking a step up to a Masters, I discussed my concerns with my tutor and gained a new belief that I would be able to undertake this. I found it difficult at first and even questioned my ability to finish it but was given support at every stage. My ambition now is that I may be able to continue my stay by embarking on a PhD; certainly I feel like the University of Winchester is a very important part of life that I hope it will always be so.


[Note – we would like to thank Patrick for sharing his experiences of out department with you].

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Winchester: An Early Medieval Royal City Conference

The department is happy to announce that it will be hosting a conference entitled ‘Winchester: An Early Medieval Royal City’ between 9 and 12 July 2017.

Keynote speakers confirmed are Professor Martin Biddle (Emeritus Fellow, Hertford College Oxford; Director of Winchester Excavations Committee) Professor Barbara Yorke (Professor Emerita, University of Winchester, Visiting Professor, UCL)

Below is the Call for Papers for anyone interested in presenting.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Winchester: An Early Medieval Royal City
University of Winchester 9-12 July 2017
A multi- and interdisciplinary conference on the development of the city of Winchester, its cultural and political life, and its place in the early medieval world. Hosted by Winchester, The Royal City project team in association with the University of Winchester.
Proposals for 20-minute papers and themed sessions of three papers are invited on aspects of the Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman city of Winchester from the seventh to the twelfth centuries. These may include the structures of power and Winchester’s place in local/regional/national/global histories (e.g. the ‘Second Viking Age’ or the ‘Anarchy), communities within the city, Winchester’s ministers, representations of the Anglo-Saxon city in (early) medieval literature, the role of the city in the development of language and literature, comparative work on other early medieval royal cities (e.g. Leon, Cordoba), urban topography, or representations of the early medieval heritage of Winchester since the middle ages. The aim of the conference is to be both multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary, to think about the position of a city within a wider community, the communities of the city itself, and the perceptions of the city.
Please send a 200-word abstract and 1-page summary CV to by 13 February 2017. Contact and/or for enquiries.
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