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Reassessing the Penguin Specials

Sheffield Hallam University

Monday, 19 June 2017 from 12:00 to 17:30 (BST)

Reassessing the Penguin Specials

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Type End Quantity
General Admission 19 Jun 2017 Free  

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Event Details

In recognition of the generous gift of a full run of the ‘Penguin Specials’ from 1937 (S1) to 1961 (S192), Sheffield Hallam University is hosting a half-day event (starting with lunch) in the Norfolk Building, Room 210, on Monday 19 June 2017, to explore the overarching themes and the crusading style established by the Penguin Specials.

Featuring a lecture by renowned Specials expert Dean Blackburn of the University of Nottingham, it also draws on a range of other speakers, external and internal, who will share their passion for the Specials and locate them in their social and cultural context.

Papers include studies of the treatment of empire, identity, rural life, politics, and work and leisure in Britain by the Specials from the 1930s onwards. The event will highlight the major debates that were opened up by this important campaigning literature at a time of profound economic and social change.

The event is free, and the invitation is extended to interested Penguin Collectors Society members, Humanities, Politics and Sociology colleagues, and the Reading 1900-1950 reading group on a first-come-first-served basis. A buffet lunch and a wine reception is included. 

 Penguin Specials Programme 

  • 12 noon: lunch, then a tour of the Penguin Specials
  • 1pm Welcome by Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and announcements
  • 1.15pm Dean Blackburn (University of Nottingham)  - 'Using the Penguin Specials to Reassess Post-War British Politics'
  •  2.15pm Rohan McWilliam (Anglia-Ruskin University)- 'Must Labour Lose? Penguin Books, Social Democracy and Consumer Society, 1955-65'
  • 3. 15pm coffee break   
  • Internal speakers
  • 3.30pm Nicola Verdon (Sheffield Hallam University) - 'Agriculture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain: Food, Farming and Rural Life in the Penguin Specials'
  • 4.00pm Antony Taylor (Sheffield Hallam University) - 'Empire, Commonwealth and British Identity in the Penguin Specials'          
  • 4.30pm Q&A      
  • 5.00pm comments/reflections - Chris Hopkins  
  • 5.30pm close and Wine Reception
Do you have questions about Reassessing the Penguin Specials? Contact Sheffield Hallam University

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When & Where


Norfolk Building
Pond Street
(Room 210)
S1 1WB Sheffield
United Kingdom

Monday, 19 June 2017 from 12:00 to 17:30 (BST)


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