Union and Disunion in the Nineteenth Century

Chartist Demonstration, Newport 1839. Image credit: By People's History Museum (People's History Museum) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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    Day 1: Babbage Building / Day 2: Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University

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The first international conference hosted by Plymouth Nineteenth Century Studies (PUNCS) began on the day of the Brexit referendum, and commentators have seen that event in the context of other signs of anti-globalisation and in a landscape of violent disintegrations or forcible integrations in the 21st century. 

This interdisciplinary conference in June 2017, exploring acts of union and disunion in local, national and international nineteenth-century settings, from Plymouth to the United States, takes place on the first anniversary of this momentous decision.

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Lucy Riall (European University Institute, Florence and Birbkeck College and author of works including Under the Volcano: Revolution in a Sicilian Town and Garibaldi. Invention of a Hero) speaking about union and imperialism from continental European perspectives in the late-19th century.
  • Dr Gordon Pentland (University of Edinburgh, and author / editor of The Spirit of the Union: Popular Politics in Scotland, 1815-1820 and Radicalism, Reform and National Identity in Scotland, 1820-1833) speaking on Union, Scotland and the British Isles.
  • Dr Laura Schwartz (University of Warwick), speaking on women’s trade unions in late-19th century and Edwardian Britain, drawing on her recent work on the Domestic Workers’ Union of Great Britain and Ireland.

Themes already represented in the conference schedule include: American and British responses to the American Civil War; unions of enslaved couples at the end of slavery in the USA; cultural tourism, after the Irish Act of Union, in the early 19th century; cartels in the typographic industry; Scottish governance and the Conservative Party in the mid-19th century.


Early Bird

  • £110.00 - Early Bird registration is available until 27 April 2017
  • The price includes the proceedings, conference pack, tea breaks, and lunches on 22 and 23 June 2017


  • Student (non Plymouth University): £30.00
  • Student (Plymouth University): £20.00
  • Late fee: £170

Additional items (optional): £23 for three courses and a drink at The Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club.

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