Cornerstone Heritage events

Land ahoy! Talks on maritime history and heritage

28 November 2020, 10:00–11:45 (online event)

Explore underwater heritage and naval history with experts from the University of Plymouth – filmed on location at several of Plymouth’s most renowned maritime landmarks.

The Land ahoy! talks are an exciting opportunity for all to learn more about the people that work to protect our seas. 

The disaster that obscured near catastrophe: a fresh examination of the German S-Boat attack on Exercise Tiger (April 1944)
Join Dr Harry Bennett, Associate Professor in History, as he provides new evidence on the 1944 Exercise Tiger and German attack on convoy T4 which resulted in the deaths of over 600 American service personnel. A captivating insight to what the newest research has revealed.

Women and the navy in the Age of Sail: a historical perspective
This fascinating talk explores the history of naval women in the 17th and 18th centuries. Dr Elaine Murphy, Associate Professor of Maritime History, discusses the women's experiences and interactions with the Royal Navy, from women who went to sea on men-of-war to the women who worked in the naval dockyards.

‘Never before has sea-power played a greater part’: The First World War in maritime perspective
When we think of the First World War, we often think of the trenches of the Western Front and the battlefields of the Somme and Passchendaele. This talk will offer a different perspective, placing it in a global context and highlighting the critical role played by the Royal Navy and allied navies. Louis Halewood, Philip Nicholas Lecturer in Maritime History, explores a new interpretation of the ways in which sea power mattered in the early 20th century.

Protecting the UK's Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH)
The UK has a rich UCH, ranging from pre-history to 20th-century military conflicts, situated in its territorial waters. This interesting conversation with Jason Lowther, Associate Head of School (Law), and Mike Williams, Visiting Professor and elected Chair of Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, explores the ways in which we protect heritage assets, how we enforce that protection, and how we can work to improve protection as UK waters become more heavily exploited.

Read more and book your place


Narrative Knowing in Heritage and Travel – call for papers

Zoom Conference Thursday 27 May 2021, 9:00 to 17:00 (UTC+1 = BST)

Writers such as W G Sebald and Sven Lindqvist employed literary travel writing to emotionally and psychologically translate their fieldwork experiences into their writings about place, while Walter Benjamin combined ideas of narrative knowing with practices that offer public engagement and impact for his ideas. This conference explores how methods of contemporary literary travel writing can be brought into the work of academic researchers, writers and professionals in the fields of cultural heritage interpretation.

Proposals for papers are invited from researchers and from heritage and tourism practitioners that explore narrative non-fiction as a literary form or as professional practice for writing about place. Established academics and postgraduate or doctoral researchers are encouraged to submit their proposals. Further, pedagogic approaches to teaching interpretative and writing practices for these fields are also encouraged.

We are delighted to announce our Keynote speaker, literary travel writer and pyschogeographer Gareth E Rees, author of Unofficial Britain: Journeys through Unexpected Places (2020),  Carpark Life (2019) and the Marshland: Dreams and Nightmares on the edge of London  (2013).

Deadline for Proposals is midnight UTC on December 15, 2020.

Proposals must include the title of the paper, author’s name, email and affiliation. Please include a description of the paper in up to 300 words plus two or three indicative bibliographic references.

Please email proposals to: Dr Charlie Mansfield, Co-Director, Cornerstone Heritage Research Centre, University of Plymouth. Email

In addition, the conference plans to display posters digitally, in A0-size, single-slide landscape format in PowerPoint, for delegates to download and view offline.  Please propose these by email in a Word document with the title of the poster, name, email and affiliation and brief description of the work plus two indicative bibliographic references.

Conference language: English. Zoom will be used.

Please follow conference announcements on our Twitter Channel.

11:00 am Wednesday 2 September 2020 

Jane Webb talks through:

  • heritage after Walter Benjamin
  • stories of place
  • urban walks.

11:00 am Wednesday 9 September 2020

Zoe Roberts talks through:

  • grounded theory
  • NVivo coding.

Please register with the email address that you prefer to use for MS Team Meetings, and we will send you an invite with a link to the session.

For the new academic year we are planning a postgraduate symposium and in 2021 an online conference.