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We are pleased to announce our programme of Virtual Seminars, to be held via Zoom at 2pm on Monday afternoons fortnightly from 1 March to 10 May. We are planning that all seminars will be in ‘meeting’ format, so that you will be able to see other participants. You may keep your video on or switch it off, as you wish, but we ask that you stay on mute throughout the presentations.

On 12 April, in addition to three presentations, we will also hold the Society’s Annual Meeting and announce the winner of the Thirsk Prize 2021. With the exception of the Annual Meeting, the seminars will end between 3.30 and 4pm, depending on the number of questions.

The presentations (with one exception) will be recorded and the recordings will be posted on the Society’s YouTube channel roughly 48 hours after they are given, so allowing for those unable to join the seminars live to time-shift them to a more convenient time. They will be removed from the YouTube Channel at the end of July 2021.

There is no cost for the seminars but you do have to register for each seminar. Each seminar is described fully on its own page, which includes the registration form. You can proceed from one page to the next to register for successive seminars. After successfully registering for a seminar you will be sent the link for joining the seminar in an email. We will also send a reminder email shortly before the seminar. Please use the Contact form (Subject: Spring Seminars) if you have any questions.


Monday 1 March: Water under the feet: new perspectives on watery landscapes
  • Dr Susan Kilby (University of Nottingham), ‘Living with water in the medieval rural Midlands’
  • Professor Greg Bankoff (University of Hull), ‘Not only a matter of time but of timing: Internal Drainage Boards and water level management in the River Hull Valley’.

The videos are now available on our YouTube channel. We encourage you to subscribe to our channel so that you will receive notifications when we add new videos. And please don't forget to 'Like' the videos as well as watch them!

Monday 15 March: Agriculture on the hoof
  • Dr Andrew Margetts (UCL), ‘“The Wandering Herd’: the medieval cattle economy of south-east England, c. 450-1450”
  • Dr Eugene Costello (UCC), ‘Feeding capitalism and facing its consequences? Upland pastoralism in Ireland and Sweden, c.1350-1850’
Monday 29 March: Colonial rule: Aspects of the British impact on Indian rural society
  • Dr Bina Sengar (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India), ‘Land and proprietary rights, alienation of traditional systems: British occupancy in Khandesh, c. 1820-1858 A.D’.
  • Preeti (University of Sussex), ‘The rule of the British “Experts”; negotiating the import of western science and technology in agrarian Bihar, 1880-1930’ Preeti’s presentation will not be made available on YouTube.
Monday 12 April: The Society’s annual meeting

Non-members are welcome to attend the papers but must leave before the AGM starts at 4.30.

At 2.00

  • Dr Harvey Osborne (University College Suffolk), ‘The changing meaning of Salmon: Environmental crisis and social conflict in Victorian Britain’.
  • Dr Mary Fraser (University of Glasgow), ‘Police as Ploughmen in 1917/18: How Britain’s policemen helped local populations by temporary release into agriculture’.

At 3.00

  • Professor Annie Tindley (University of Newcastle upon Tyne), ‘Landed responses to land reform in Scotland and Ireland, c. 1860 to 1903’

4.00: Award of the Thirsk Prize, 2021

4.15: Launch of:

  • R. W Hoyle (ed.), Histories of people and landscapes. Essays on the Sheffield region in memory of David Hey (University of Hertfordshire Press).

4.30 The Society’s AGM

Papers for the AGM have been circulated to members and are available here [PDF].

Monday 26 April: Ploughing a literary furrow: popular writing about twentieth century English agriculture
  • Dr Paul Brassley, ‘The farm in the library: writing about agriculture in the twentieth century’
  • Dr Peter Dewey, ‘From farming failure to literary celebrity: the career of A. G. Street (1892-1966)’
Monday 10 May: Welsh landlords and Welsh society in person and at a distance
  • Dr John Davies, ‘Thomas Turnor Mousley: land agent on the Cawdor estates, 1863-93’.
  • Dr Shaun Evans, ‘Coming of age: landowners and tenants in Welsh Society, c.1770-1920’.