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Twenty-First Warwick Symposium on Parish Research

Parish and Performance

A hybrid day conference on Saturday 13 May 2023

at the Institute of Advanced Studies on the University of Warwick's central campus co-organized by
Beat Kümin (Warwick History / My-Parish) & John Craig (Simon Fraser / Records of Early English Drama)
with Daniel Gettings and Maria Tauber (Warwick History)

Report by Daria Akhapkina (CSR Warwick) for H/SOZ/KULT [pdf Version]

Thames at Richmond

‘The Thames at Richmond, with the Old Royal Palace’
(unknown Flemish school, early 17thC). © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Keynote Address
'a strange perswasion': English parish performances and the Records of Early English Drama
Peter Greenfield (Professor Emeritus of English, University of Puget Sound, Washington)

Peter Greenfield has edited Gloucestershire and (with Jane Cowling) Hampshire for Records of Early English Drama and is currently part of the team editing the records of Norwich. He has also published on local dramatic activity outside London and on traveling performers. 

Parishes were and are performative spaces. From the staging of plays and games to the conduct of ceremonies, parish culture has always included elements of oral, musical, mimetic and other types of public display. The twenty-first Parish Symposium, co-sponsored by My-Parish and Records of Early English Drama (with its REED Online platform), focused on the participants, occasions, evolutions and meanings of such activities, showcasing papers from an international set of speakers ranging across a wide geographical and chronological spectrum.

As detailed in the full programme, we were pleased to offer sessions on music / dance, drama and processions alongside contributions consisting / inclusive of elements of performance. In-person and virtual participants included PGR students, independent scholars and senior academics from a range of disciplinary backgrounds and countries.

F2F Participants

In-person delegates discussing the opening keynote by Peter Greenfield. Pic: BK.

Full Symposium Programme & Poster

Revisit the Day's Proceeding via #PaSymp23

Symposium Report by Daria Akhapkina (CSR Warwick) for H/SOZ/KULT [pdf Version]

 Organizers Online Participants

Co-organizers and online participants of the 21st Parish Symposium on 13 May 2023. Pics: P. Marshall & BK.

! We look forward to seeing you again at the 22nd Symposium:
'Parish Memory' on 4 May 2023 (tbc) !

Varsity Sociability

Keynote, speakers, chairs & organizers perform sociability at the Varsity pub. Pic: BK.


My Parish Logo



We are grateful for the continued support of Warwick's Humanities Research Centre

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Parish Symposium Poster




Performative elements in our papers on homilies & parochial tyranny. Pics: BK.



Michael Heaney is cited in 'Morris is a creature of its own' (Guardian) & has just published The Ancient English Morris Dance.

Klaas van Gelder explores local lordship & joyous entries in more detail in the Low Countries Historical Review

Dress rehearsal video of 'Heaven and Earth in a Little Space', a performance in All Saints North St York (April 2022, as discussed in Tom Straszewski's paper)