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Critical Excursions #15: Beyond the Heartlands


  • North Greenwich Pier (map)

The Space, Place and Time research collective presents ‘Critical Excursions’ – a series of events and expeditions, which will take place in the UK and abroad over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year. Through the method of guided excursions, readings, discussions and workshops undertaken in-situ, we will explore the histories and the legacies of ‘the Troubles’ in Belfast, the residues of post-industrial landscapes across the River Thames, the futures of DYI dance culture in London, the histories of measuring time in Liverpool as well as utopian imaginaries of the Frankfurt School thought in Naples. We invite CHASE affiliated students to sign up and join our critical expeditions. This adventurous opportunity will provide space for the participants to network, share ideas, form collaborations and produce new collective knowledge.

To express interest in the programme and sign up for the upcoming events, walks and trips, contact: space.place.time@gmail.com

Critical Excursion #15: Beyond the Heartlands. Heritage and the Post-Industrial Landscape: A Sailing Expedition

Location: North Greenwich – the Swale Estuary

Dates: Wednesday 18th September – Thursday 19th September (with optional overnight stay)*

Times: Embarking North Greenwich Pier 06:30am Wednesday.

Disembarking Faversham Wednesday c. 18:00pm or Thursday anytime.

The event is FREE. The capacity of the excursion is limited, so booking is essential.

Please register by emailing space.place.time@gmail.com stating your name and your affiliation.

This excursion will invite the participants to experience the changing landscape of the city, from the financial centre of Canary Wharf through to the decaying post-industrial sites of the Thames estuary aboard a working Thames Sailing barge; A vessel synonymous with trade in the region from the late Victorian era until the 1970s. Through experiencing first-hand the enduring techniques and traditions of sail, this critical excursion will offer an immersive workshop on the UK’s changing relationship to maritime heritage, industry and the city. Upon arrival at the former brickfields of Hollowshore, academic researcher David Nettleingham will lead a discussion on Heritage, Community and Belonging as the barge begins its journey up Faversham Creek, its current home Port. This talk will ask us to consider how maritime heritage is framed and understood by a variety of stakeholders, from those directly displaced by gentrification and those who promote traditional skills in the face of such re development.

 Activities on the boat will include lessons in traditional seafaring, knot tying and navigation skills with industry professionals alongside the chance for participants to respond to their surroundings and journey in creative and critical ways. It will be encouraged for participants to take an aspect of the journey that resonates and create in small groups a piece of work that relates loosely with their research. There will be set texts to provide the impetus for wider informal discussions about the post-industrial city and its maritime heritage. The time aboard will give participants a chance to share their research and develop wider networks. Supplementary activities when arriving at the Home Port will be optional walks along the creek, an area of outstanding natural beauty.  

The participants will be provided a set of readings in advance and will be invited to contribute with their research to the discussions, workshops and the exercises during the course of the excursion. To sign up, contact

 *There will be the option to stay on the boat overnight in shared accommodation. Due to the nature of the boat wheel chair access is not possible and please bring plenty of warm and waterproof clothing alongside a sleeping bag. Food and drinks will be provided. Please contact the SPT collective if you have any queries about the logistics of the event.

 The event is organised by The Space, Place and Time Research Group. SPT is a collective of doctoral researchers funded by the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts - South East (CHASE) whose projects explore the concepts of space, place and time. The group aims to foster conversation and collaboration between various disciplines that share this research focus. Our members include both practice and theory-based researchers working across the wide range of fields, including literature, sound studies, visual cultures, theatre and performance, media and communications, philosophy and history. 

 The event is kindly supported by the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership. CHASE doctoral students are strongly encouraged to sign up and join the event.