‘Union and Disunion’: Programme and Registration

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Union and Disunion in the Nineteenth Century

International Conference

University of Plymouth, England

22 – 23 June 2017

The first international conference hosted by Plymouth Nineteenth Century Studies (PUNCS) began on the day of the Brexit referendum, and commentators have seen that event in the context of other signs of anti-globalisation and in a landscape of violent disintegrations or forcible integrations in the Twenty-first century. This interdisciplinary conference in June 2017, exploring acts of union and disunion in local, national and international nineteenth-century settings, from Plymouth to the United States, takes place on the first anniversary of this momentous decision.



Programme and registration details and links are provided on this page


A pdf version can be downloaded here:Union and Disunion 27 February 2017 programme

Please note all sessions take place on the main campus of the University of Plymouth 

Day One:  22 June 2017

9.00 – 9.30 Registration / Tea and Coffee

9.30 – 9. 45 Welcome

9.45 – 10.45   Keynote Gordon Pentland, Reader, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

10.45 – 12.15 Parallel Session 1


Edmund Flood   Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire

Two Unions in the Rise of Nineteenth Century Germany: the Zollverein (Customs Union) and the Vereins Deutscher Eisenbahn-Verwaltungen (the Association of German Railway Administrations)

John R. Davis   School of Humanities, University of Kingston

‘The Zollverein: disunion and union in German economic affairs 1815–1871’


Rachel Egloff   Department of English and Modern Languages, Oxford Brookes University

‘Rose Blaze de Bury: A Case-Study in Uniting a Female Signature with Unfeminine German and European Politics of (Dis–)Union’



Claire Fitzpatrick   Department of History, University of Plymouth

‘Ireland and the Postal Service’

Paul Huddie     

‘The Crimean War: the pinnacle of Anglo-Irish relations during the union period’

David Blaazer   School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales Canberra

‘Union, disunion, or something in between: the strange life and death of the Anglo-Irish monetary union’

12.15 – 1.00 Lunch

1.00 – 2.30 Parallel Session 2

Legal Strand: Agency of the Law

Kelly Ann Couzens   University of Western Australia

‘ “Barely possible, though highly improbable”?: Divided Responses to Defining the Offence of Rape within Nineteenth-Century Britain’

David J. Cox   School of Social, Historical and Political Studies, University of Wolverhampton

‘Union and disunion: the role of King’s Messengers in suppressing political union and sedition 1780–1820’

Craig Newbery-Jones   School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth

‘A Blackleg Union: Barrister’s Discipline in Victorian England’

USA strand: European views

Brian Schoen    Department of History, Ohio University

‘The European Search for Sovereignty in the US Secession Crisis’


Simon Rennie   Department of English, University of Exeter

‘ “This ’Merikay War”: Lancastrian poetic commentary on the American Civil War during the Cotton Famine’


Michael J. Turner   Department of History, Appalachian State University

‘ “The Union is gone forever”: Beresford Hope and British Sympathy for the South during the American Civil War’

2.30 – 2.45 Tea

2.45 – 4.15 Parallel Session 3

Unity and Disunity

James Gregory       Department of History, University of Plymouth

‘The English Visit to Paris: April 1849 and Popular Efforts to Forge Union’


Ann Lyon        School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth

‘India and the White Mutiny of 1857’

John Laurence Busch      Independent scholar

‘More Perfect Unions: Forging Closer Ties Using the First Generation of Steam-Powered Vessels’



Religion Strand

Margaret Markwick     School of English, University of Exeter

‘Antidisestablishmentarianism and Margaret Oliphant’s Salem’s Chapel


Matthew Kidd    Department of History, University of Gloucestershire

‘Class, Religion and Ideology in the “Bradlaugh case”, 1868–1886’

Daniel Grey   Department of History, University of Plymouth

‘An uncomfortable union: creating Anglo-Muhammadan Law’


4.15 – 5.35     Plymouth: A Case Study of Unity and Disunity

Judith Rowbotham      School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth

‘Presenting a (Dis)United Front: Jealousy, Zeal and Obstinacy in Plymouth 1850–1914’

Kim Stevenson       School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth

‘The Significance of Union Street in the Unification of Plymouth’s Three Towns’

Rob Giles and Craig Newbery-Jones     School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth

‘A Unification of Narrative Threads: Transmedia Storytelling – Perspectives from Plymouth’



5.35 – 6. 30 Wine Reception

7.00 Dinner (Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club, Madeira Road, Plymouth)


Day Two:  23 June

8.45 Coffee

9.00 – 10.00 Keynote  Lucy Riall   Professor of Comparative History of Europe, European University Institute

10.00 – 11:30 Parallel Session 4

USA strand: the US view

Emily West   Department of History, University of Reading

‘The Union of Enslaved Couples during the Disunion of the Nation: Love, Discord, and Separations at the ending of US slavery’

Pearl T. Ponce   Department of History, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York

‘Attempting Disunion: Mutable Borders and the Mormon Experience with the United States, 1846–1858’


Lawrence T. McDonell      Department of History, Iowa State University

‘The South Carolina Jeremiad: Reinterpreting John C. Calhoun’s Legacy in the 1850s’


Cartels and Trade Union strand

Daniel Renshaw

‘Unionising the “other”– the attitudes of the metropolitan Jewish and Catholic hierarchies towards trade union organisation in Jewish and Irish communities, 1889 to 1914’

Michael Knies   University of Scranton, Pennsylvania 

‘The creation and dissolution of the type founders’ cartel’


Alex Rowe   School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Plymouth

‘ “One and All”? The Absence of Trade Unionism in Late 19th Century Cornwall’

11.30 – 11.45  Break

11.45 – 12.45 Keynote Laura Schwartz, Department of History, University of Warwick

12.45-1.30  Lunch

1.30 – 3.00  Parallel Strand 5

Ireland and Scotland

James Ford     Curator’s Office, Palace of Westminster

‘To “purchase union thus cheaply”: The controversial statue of an Irish archbishop in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament’

Sonny Kandola    School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University

‘ “[W]e may fall slowly, we may fall bravely, but fall we must”: insurrection, Union and the limits of cultural nationalism in Charles Robert Maturin’s The Milesian Chief (1812)’


Gary Hutchison     School of History, Classics and Archaeology University of Edinburgh

‘An “illegal Union of Lawyers, and Writers, and Political Baronets”: The Conservative Party and Scottish Governance in the Mid-Nineteenth Century’

Legal strand: the family unit

Helen Rutherford    School of Law, Northumbria University

‘United in Matrimony; United in Acrimony; United in Death; United in Condemnation … or not. Dis-union in the jury room. Regina v John William Anderson, Newcastle Winter Assizes 1875’

Alison Pedley   Department of Humanities, Roehampton University

‘ “The authorities would feel nothing but pleasure in discharging her, if it be done with safety”. Going home: the importance and relevance of family unity in the discharge and pardon of married mothers who had murdered their children and been committed as criminal lunatics’


Karen Rothery      University of Hertfordshire

‘Establishing the Poor Law Unions – The role of the Assistant Commissioner’

3.00pm  Conference closes

6.00pm  Informal Dinner at RockFish, Sutton Harbour, 3 Rope Walk, Plymouth




Follow the link to our estore, where you can register for the conference.


For more information about Plymouth University estore, go to


There is an ‘early bird’ conference rate of £110, after 27 April 2017 the late delegate rate is £170 (and the last booking date will be 8 June 2017).


The conference takes place in rooms on the main campus in the University of Plymouth, in the Babbage Building and Roland Levinsky Building.

There is an interactive University campus map here:

This is booked by participants separately: areas for ‘bed and breakfasts’ within walking distance of the University campus include the Plymouth Hoe area, by the sea but still only a 10 minutes’ walk from the University campus.

The conference estore site has details about accommodation, at discounted rate to PUNCS conference participants,  in Jurys Inn Plymouth (a 5-10 minute walk from campus).


If you are wishing to combine tourism with the visit, the official site for Plymouth, ‘Britain’s Ocean City,’ is:


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to the conference organisers.

Conference Administrator

Libby Chapman-Lane: elizabeth.chapman-lane@plymouth.ac.uk | t. 01752 585 051

Conference Organisers
Annika Bautz:              annika.bautz@plymouth.ac.uk
James Gregory:           james.r.gregory@plymouth.ac.uk
Daniel Grey:                daniel.grey@plymouth.ac.uk
Kim Stevenson:             kim.stevenson@plymouth.ac.uk