Rural History 2015

Panel 60

Organizers: Griffiths, Clare V J (1); van de Grift, Liesbeth (2)

Affiliation: 1: University of Sheffield, United Kingdom; 2: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Netherlands

Title: Rural Citizens: representations of people and politics in the 20th century

"Political histories of the modern period focus overwhelmingly on urban experience. Many political movements in the twentieth century identified particular virtues and authenticity within the rural population, yet they still tended to apply political programmes and organization to the countryside, rather than allowing that political ideas and action might arise from it. Images of rural people celebrated connections to traditional ways of living, positive links between character and proximity to the land, normative models of community rooted in the patterns of village life, and the supposed contribution of rural communities to the moral and physical health of the nation. Yet countrymen and women were rarely credited with the levels of intelligence and political understanding of their urban cousins.
This panel will offer an opportunity to consider understandings of rural citizenship in the twentieth century. It encourages papers which bring together the fields of political and rural history, exploring the myths and realities attached to political activity in the countryside, examining the particularities of rural campaigning and organization, and discussing the character of political education and communication in rural areas.
How were traditional images of rural people and communities reconciled with changing political cultures, mass movements, mobilizations on both left and right, and the development of democratic politics? Did the experience of, and engagement with politics in rural areas take distinctive forms? Were rural citizens considered to be different from - and possibly inferior to - their counterparts in the towns? And what were the implications of this for political appeals and the activities of political parties and organizations? The panel aims to explore these questions in different geographical and political contexts, with the intention of developing a fruitful discussion about the varied ways in which the rural citizen was addressed, represented, and imagined in the modern period."



Chair: Clare Griffiths, University of Sheffield, UK

Paper 1: Represented and representatives: agency and party organization in the village in Eastern and Western Europe, 1850-1950

Daniel Charles Brett, Open University, UK

Paper 2: Community Organization and Expert Involvement on Reclaimed Lands, the Netherlands, 1930-1960

Liesbeth van de Grift, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Paper 3: To kill a mockingbird: peasant massacres in Galicia in the first third of the 20th century and their impact on public opinion [+]

Miguel Cabo, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Paper 4: The citizenship experience of the rural population in Turkey, 1930-1950

Özgür Burçak Gürsoy, Bogazici University, Turkey


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015