Biographies of Drink: A Conference Call

Mark Hailwood

An August evening in 1609, in the Cheshire parish of Knutsford. A weary tinker,  with ‘pannes upon his Backe, & a Trumpett in his hande’, pushes open the door to a humble alehouse, to be greeted by a crowd of merry ‘pot-companions’. Their ring leader is quick to enlist the tinker in the revelry, and before long he is sounding his horn to call together ‘all the drunkards’ to this epicentre of drinking and ‘good fellowship’.

Beasts

I too would like to sound a trumpet call – not so much to ‘all the drunkards’, but instead to all those interested in the history of drinking. On a February weekend in 2013, in the Maths Building of the University of Warwick, a crowd of leading scholars in the field of drinking studies will gather to consider the role that alcohol consumption plays: in the lives of individuals; in the fortunes of families; in the creation and maintenance of communal identity; and in the concerns of governments and states. There may also be some revelry.

It is not an early modern conference, nor even just a history conference, and the papers range across time and discipline, from the material culture of Roman Britain to contemporary projects to use social media to influence alcohol consumption. If you think you might be interested you can take a look at the programme (and if that goes well, find a booking form) over at the website of the Warwick Drinking Studies Network:

go.warwick.ac.uk/wdsn

The deadline for booking is 14 December.

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