Northerners: From the Ice Age to the Present Day

Posted on: September 11th, 2023 by mlpEditor

How have northerners shaped the world we live in today?

Brian Groom, author of the bestselling Northerners: A History, From the Ice Age to the Present Day, will outline 180 million years of history showing how the north’s people have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways.

Manchester was at the heart of it, from the Roman era to becoming the nineteenth century’s ‘shock city’. Brian will show how the past echoes down the centuries and explore what northernness means today and the crucial role that Manchester and the north can play in Britain’s future.

Northern England, fashioned by waves of migration, invasions and battles, has had a profound impact on European culture and the global economy. It was not just the Industrial Revolution, viewed by economic historians as the key event in human history – and in which Manchester played a globally decisive role. At least six Roman emperors ruled for a period from the north. And the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre.

Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontes and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport’s biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop.

Join us at this Lit & Phil Local event to celebrate the history and future of the north, and northernness!


**This is a ‘Lit & Phil Local’ event. Priority booking is offered to local communities.**

Manchester Voices

Posted on: July 13th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

Dr Rob Drummond explores the accents, dialects and identities of Greater Manchester.

Dr Rob Drummond is the man behind ‘Manchester Voices’, the largest sociolinguistics project to examine the spoken language of Greater Manchester.

His talk tackles intriguing questions such as: Does the way we speak relate to who we are? How different are accents and dialects across Greater Manchester? Do our voices suggest older loyalties to Lancashire and Cheshire? He’ll also explain why understanding how language works is valuable to everyone.

Rob’s research team used online research and Geographic Information System software to examine archive recordings of local people born around 1900. At the same time, they collected and investigated current linguistic data in the Accent Van, their mobile recording booth.

The findings reveal a deep, complex relationship between spoken language and a sense of identity. They offer new insights into how acutely aware many people are of how they use language. And they show that accent diversity is alive and well across the region. Although sadly, some cherished dialect terms are beginning to fade.

Rob’s research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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