When scholars investigate the spreading of news, print plays a dominant role and if manuscript comes into play at all it is usually in the form of the newsletter. Letters usually take a back seat. This begs the question, what kind of news did people send by the post and what kind of ties did it create between centre and locality? This chapter uses the letters sent to Theophilus Hastings, the 7th Earl of Huntingdon, to answer this question. An inspection of these letters reveals two kinds of news correspondents and two kinds of news that circulated through letters. Hastings received his news from official correspondents, individuals from whom he solicited news and only news, and from family dependants during their travels. However, this conduit for news worked both ways. News from the locality mattered as much as ‘Citie News’. When Hastings travelled to London dependants sent him ‘Countrie News’ or ‘home news’. This type of news is often left unexamined. However, it was just as important for Hastings to be up to date on the politics of the parish as it was for him to know the politics of the nation.

in Connecting centre and locality

This chapter examines the transmission of news in, through and about Newgate prison in the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite rebellion. Although Newgate was not located in the provinces, the prison’s special structure of governance, its famously exotic customs, the difficulty of access to it and the high concentration of prisoners from Scotland and the northern counties that it housed after 1715 justify treating it conceptually as a ‘locality’. Newgate was at once psychologically distant from the coffee houses that comprised London's public sphere and yet seen by a wider public as the site and source of important political knowledge that impacted the legitimacy of the new regime. The news out of Newgate covered a wide range of topics: the alleged abuse of the ‘Jacobite Jew’ Frances Francia by Townsend to extort information, the general laxity or brutality of the prison wardens, the courage or cowardice or impudent debauchery of prisoners awaiting death or reprieve, the ‘truth’ about the Jacobite defeat at Preston. This chapter asks what news the denizens of Newgate had access to, and what news they themselves produced or recycled, and at why and how news about Newgate would reach a wider public.

in Connecting centre and locality
Beholding young people’s experiences and expressions of care through oral history performance

This co-authored chapter represents a collaboration between the authors in the context of an international, multi-sited (Toronto, Athens, Coventry, Lucknow, Tainan), ethnographic research project, Youth, Theatre, Radical Hope and the Ethical Imaginary, which investigated how specific theatre-making practices (verbatim, oral history performance, devising) with young people might provoke caretaking of their own and others’ lives. This chapter focuses on the UK site, specifically a partnership between the University of Warwick, the Belgrade Theatre and Coventry Youth Services. Centring on the aesthetic processes of co-creating oral history performance, the chapter considers the particular caregiving and care receiving relationships between adults and young people, and among young people themselves. Emerging from this process was the extraordinary political awakening of one youth participant whose particular experience of being a foster child in the national care system made its way into the rehearsal room and ultimately motivated his campaign to oppose proposed cuts to local youth services. This chapter reflects on this micro, localised story of youth civic engagement by considering how the playful, relational and affective dimensions of theatre making might provoke forms of engaged citizenship worth considering in times of increasing social unrest.

in Performing care
Open Access (free)
New perspectives on socially engaged performance

The book advances our understanding of performance as a mode of caring and explores the relationship between socially engaged performance and care. It creates a dialogue between theatre and performance, care ethics and other disciplinary areas such as youth and disability studies, nursing, criminal justice and social care. Challenging existing debates in this area by rethinking the caring encounter as a performed, embodied experience and interrogating the boundaries between care practice and performance, the book engages with a wide range of different care performances drawn from interdisciplinary and international settings. Drawing on interdisciplinary debates, the edited collection examines how the field of performance and the aesthetic and ethico-political structures that determine its relationship with the social might be challenged by an examination of inter-human care. It interrogates how performance might be understood as caring or uncaring, careless or careful, and correlatively how care can be conceptualised as artful, aesthetic, authentic or even ‘fake’ and ‘staged’. Through a focus on care and performance, the contributors in the book consider how performance operates as a mode of caring for others and how dialogical debates between the theory and practice of care and performance making might foster a greater understanding of how the caring encounter is embodied and experienced.

Open Access (free)
Fluidity and reciprocity in the performance of caring in Fevered Sleep’s Men & Girls Dance

This chapter examines Men & Girls Dance, a dance-based performance piece by Fevered Sleep that brings together a group of male professional contemporary dancers and girls who dance for fun. Through modes of performed caring and its use of carefully negotiated moments of reciprocity and interrelationalilty, the piece both foreshadows and explores some of the anxieties that proliferate the socially imagined site of the encounter between men and girls, offering care as a way of rethinking this. Drawing on the experiences of the dancers and the relationships of trust and mutual dependency that have been developed through the creative process, Men & Girls Dance establishes a playful, exploratory and exhilaratingly aesthetic, while also addressing the suspicions and anxieties that frame many quotidian exchanges between men and girls. Through a tender performance of togetherness, the performance makes visible new forms of ‘caring knowledge’ (Hamington, 2004) and repositions the dynamics of power and vulnerability that predetermine our perception of men’s encounters with girls. In so doing, in Men & Girls Dance, I argue, care becomes performed and reimagined, repositioned as something fluid, reciprocal and that ultimately emerges as a force of resistance to the restrictive discourses that shape masculinity and girlhood today. 

in Performing care

This chapter expands on the idea of ‘aesthetics of care’ laid out in Chapter 2 and argues for an ethics based on our interdependency. Rather than independence as a source of ethical ambition, it proposes an ethics that accepts interdependence as a starting point for a mutual and relational basis for a more just society. The second half of the chapter then illustrates care aesthetics through three examples of practice – a theatre game and a theatre workshop for young children by the London Bubble Theatre and a performance by Peggy Shaw, directed by Lois Weaver.

in Performing care
Constructions of self and other in parliamentary debate

Chapter 6 argues that British political debate on the proscription or banning of terrorist contribute to a process of identity formation. The process is one in which the UK self – or components thereof such as Parliament and parliamentarians – is distinguished from various terrorist others. Proscription debates – and the banning of terrorist groups – are, therefore, performative in that they confer illegitimacy on their target(s): producing particular organisations and their members as ‘unacceptable in this country’. In doing this, moreover, they (re-)produce the United Kingdom as a particular type of political entity with specific – and, very explicitly, liberal, democratic – attributes and characteristics. This sets up a relatively straightforward antagonistic relationship between, on the one hand, a liberal, open and responsible UK self which is mindful of cultural and religious difference, and both cautious and moderate in its actions. And, on the other, a series of illiberal, irrational and extremist terrorist others who remain steadfast in their determination to wage immoral violences against states such as the UK and their publics. Importantly, although there are – again – examples of genuine dissent in these debates, critics of proscription or its application tend to reproduce rather than contest this binary relationship, by appealing for the UK to be truer to its own self-identity.

in Banning them, securing us?
Historical, geographical and political dynamics

This chapter situates the British use of proscription in its international context. Our core argument is that the increasingly expansive global deployment of proscription or blacklisting powers in the contemporary period is a product both of desperate legislative responses to al Qaeda’s precipitous emergence in the late 1990s and 2000s, and – at the same time – a continuity of long-standing precedents of political control. The chapter begins by exploring the use of proscription by colonial authorities in the early twentieth century, especially in attempts to contain emancipatory movements, and the increased hardening of political processes to communism in the post-war period which involved exclusions of local communist movements across states in the global North. In its second part, the chapter sets out the prevailing proscription frameworks employed by the UN and EU along with those of a selection of important states. This, we suggest, underscores the influence of the United Kingdom’s proscription laws on other countries. In the final part of the chapter, we consider how scholars have responded to the contemporary wave of blacklisting laws. Here we engage with a range of scholarships including in law, political science and sociology to unpack prominent criticisms of proscription’s efficacy and ethics.

in Banning them, securing us?
A tough but necessary measure?

This chapter traces the historical roots of various powers which have facilitated the designation and/or exclusion of specific enemies of the state or society. This is a partly genealogical exercise in which we return to the murky origins of outlawry on the British Isles, and reflect on proscription's gradual displacement of such powers as the principal means of political exclusion. The chapter begins by exploring the importance of outlawry to early medieval society as an instrument of social control, criminal justice and monarchical power, before showing how proscription is woven throughout Parliament’s history as a means of consolidating authority: first, in the proscription of Royalists and Jacobites and then later in the prohibitions of political reformist groups in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The chapter then turns to twentieth-century expressions of proscription: first, as a means of control employed by colonial authorities; second, in response to the spectre of fascism in the 1930s and 1940s; and, third, as a precursor and reaction to the maelstrom of violence throughout the Northern Ireland conflict. The chapter ends by reflecting on the contemporary deployment of proscription under the regime introduced through the Terrorism Act 2000. Here we explore today’s proscription powers, the process of their enactment, and the manner in which proscription has unfolded since 2000. We conclude by sketching the core principles of political exclusion as these have evolved through the British state’s encounters with diverse political foes over the centuries.

in Banning them, securing us?

This chapter examines hitherto unknown sources relating to provincial popular mobilisation in support of the ‘Leveller’ agenda in 1648. One of the chief goals is to explore a little-studied phenomenon – rural support for the Leveller programme. It will do so by exploring a region, the south-west, that has been almost entirely neglected in scholarship on concerted radical political mobilisation (David Underdown, the region’s leading historian, overlooked this material, arguing that there was no discernible Leveller petitioning activity in the area). The chapter aims to work out the underlying sources of support for this agenda, and to map the connections between mobilisation in the localities and more familiar Leveller activities in London. More broadly, the chapter seeks to clarify the relationship between Leveller agitation and the broader political revolution of 1648–49. It will be demonstrated that the coalition of militant parliamentarians who supported the ‘Leveller’ agitation in the south-west was essentially coextensive with the constituency pushing for regicide and political revolution; moreover, after the regicide, this radical parliamentarian network supplied critical local infrastructure and backing for the republican and protectoral regimes of the 1650s. The chapter thus aims to explore the popular and local basis for political revolution and republicanism.

in Connecting centre and locality