Sport and Leisure History Seminar 2019-20 #4 Veronica Smith

Sport, Gender and Culture: Stained glass at Victoria Baths, Manchester.

Monday January 27th 2020

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the convenors for the British Society of Sports History-sponsored Sport & Leisure History seminar series at the Institute of Historical Research. And this term we have a diverse range of speakers and subjects to pique the interest of the historically inclined.

For 2019-20 we’ve tweaked the format of the seminar to make it snappier! Papers will be 30-40 minutes long with the remaining part of the hour available for questions from the floor. We’ll also be starting later, at 6 o’clock, to make it easier for those who work regular hours to get along to the venue.

Wrestlers at the Victoria Baths

The first paper of 2020 will be given by Veronica Smith of the University of York, who will be talking to us about the stained glass in the beautiful Victoria Baths in Manchester. Those of us of a certain age will remember the baths featuring in the BBC’s television show Restoration in the 1990s. Veronica’s paper wil give us a deeper insight into the artwork built into the baths and the ideological discourses that they embody. Here’s the abstract in full:-

The Edwardian Victoria Baths public wash house, swimming pool and Turkish Baths complex in Manchester is representative of a wider interest and participation in sport and leisure at the time, as well as an architectural manifestation of ideas about class, gender and society. Hierarchies of space are defined by stained glass and images of popular sport dominate the decorative glass along the front façade. Victorian ideas of masculinity are at the forefront, revealing complex ideas of morality, cleanliness and purity. Sport was laden with ideas about rules, regulation and control, which makes Victoria Baths a rich source for the reflection of society in the first decade of the twentieth century and the rigidity of divisions by class and gender.

Future speakers for the 2019-20 academic year are as follows:-

24th Feb 2020 Dr. Liam O’Callaghan (Liverpool Hope University)

Protestants and Sport in Ireland: The case of Rugby Football, 1875-1925

23rd Mar 2020 Allister Webb (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Why History Matters in Contemporary Sporting Events: A Case Study of the Bidding Process for International Cricket in England and Wales

27th Apr 2020 Geoff Swallow (Manchester Metropolitan University)

The Man Who Wasn’t There: The Jarvis-Nuttal ‘Match’ of 1901 as a Space of Modernity

8th June 2020 Dr Clare Tebbutt (Trinity College, Dublin)

‘That Man-Woman Problem’: Grappling with Questions of Sex Differentiation in 1930s Women’s Sport, and their Resonance Today

This is only the one of a number of series of stimulating talks to be held at the IHR across a range of disciplines. For up to date details of seminars forthcoming in 2019 go to the IHR’s website. The Sport & Leisure talks take place in the John S Cohen Room on the second floor – doors open from 17:45 and the seminar will start promptly at 18.00. The seminars are open to academics and the general public; I hope to see you there.

Academia History London Sport

f1insburyparker View All →

Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).

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