Pack Up Your Troubles

Concert party called Turnip Tops presenting an act titled The Jollity Theatre at Montreuil, 20 March 1918© IWM (Q 8774).jpg

Concert party called Turnip Tops presenting an act titled The Jollity Theatre at Montreuil, 20 March 1918 © IWM (Q 8774)

I’m back from another great Gateways event: the Pack Up Your Troubles conference on performance cultures at the University of Kent. It was my first time in Canterbury and though I didn’t seem much of the town I saw plenty of the campus (getting lost there and back). I listened to many fascinating papers, presentations, and projects – way too many to list them all here. But I did tweet throughout the day, and I’ve created a storify from the hashtag. Leisure history is always a good bet, because the people who do it are so much fun!


Having helped to organize conferences in the past, I understand the need for concurrent panels when there are too many good papers to cram into a single program. However, it made for some pretty tough decision making and yesterday I would have been glad to see all the panels, including the one running while I was presenting. The live tweets on the hashtag are just tantalizing as I know I missed some great papers. In addition I heard from some people they would have liked to have been in our panel as well (and thanks to those who did come –  especially to those who came up to me afterwards to say they enjoyed my talk, that is always a pleasure to hear!). I was thinking of putting my paper and/or presentation up on this blog for those who may have missed my panel or the conference all together. I realize that some people are working on publications based on their research but as my paper is unlikely to make its way into my book, I see no reason not to. Thoughts?

The day finished with warm bad white wine (as all good days do) and I enjoyed chatting with friends new and old about spies, small-town politics, and ideas for very “impact” heavy research projects including but not limited to:

  • Animal Spy Casualties in wartime
  • Man-eating wolves of the First World War
  • The bloodlines of famous cats from trenches and battleships

I’ll wait to hear on the funding for those!


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