Seminar: An Englishness open to all?

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The Paul Woodhouse Suite

Winchester Cathedral


SO23 9LS

United Kingdom

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09:30 Coffee and registration

10:00 Prof Tariq Modood, Centre for Ethnicity and Citizenship,

University of Bristol

‘Have we been here before?’

Will the evolution of English identity follow the same path as Britishness, or are there different factors and challenges in play?

10:15 Prof Nasar Meer, University of Edinburgh

Dr Maria Sobeleskwa, University of Manchester

Prof Anthony Heath, University of Oxford

‘Minorities and Migrants’

Why has Scotland apparently evolved a more civic conception of national identity? How do migrants come to adopt or reject national identities and how does this influence their participation in political activity?

11:00 Discussion

11:30 Coffee

11:45 Dr Charles Leddy-Owen, University of Portsmouth

Dr Arianna Giovannini, De Montfort Universith

‘Challenges to a shared sense of Englishness’

Some English people hold a strongly ethnic view of Englishness; others may prioritize regional and local identities. Are these views an obstacle to a more accessible national sense of identity?

12:15 Discussion

12:35 David Goodhart, Policy Exchange

Prof Richard Webster, Newcastle University

‘Who feels English, and where is Englishness going?’

What do we know about the current evolution of English identity; what are the influences of family background, migration within the UK and the place where we live?

13:05 Discussion

13:25 Lunch

14:25 Sunder Katwala (British Future)

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP

Dr Debra Grey (University of Winchester)

‘Making Englishness’

A look at different approaches to exploring, shaping and reflecting English identity from the arts and humour, politics, cultural campaigns and citizenship ceremonies

15:25 Discussion

16:00 Tea

16: 15 Suzanne Moore (The Guardian)

Stephen Bush (New Statesman)


Two leading journalists and commentators will reflect on lessons and conclusions from the day, and offer some thoughts about how and whether the arguments we have heard can translate into the world outside a university seminar.

16:45 Conclusion

17:00 Close

The conference sessions will be chaired by Prof John Denham, Director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics and Dr Katherine Wright, University of Winchester, Dept of Politics and Society.

'English residents are becoming more likely to assert the ‘English’ part of their identity and to identify English interests and issues in politics. It seems that being ‘British’ is losing some of the power it once may have had as a symbolic, unifying, national identity. However, it is not yet clear that English identity will become an inclusive identity that is equally accessible to everyone living in England; a civic rather than an ethnic identity.

People from all backgrounds and ethnicities do say they are English, but there are marked differences in the likelihood of different ethnic groups identifying as English and in the priority they give to British or other identities. Some also suggest that regional differences within England undermine the idea of English as a unifying identity

The seminar will explore the possibility of developing an English identity that was equally accessible to all parts of England and its population. We will look at the current evidence and trends, the barriers to a more inclusive identity and the measures that might be taken to lower them.

In line with other events at the Centre for English Identity and Politics, the seminar will bring together academics, commentators, practitioners, journalist and politicians.'

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The Paul Woodhouse Suite

Winchester Cathedral


SO23 9LS

United Kingdom

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