Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Vic Gammon & Arthur Knevett

Morris dancers

The Idea of the Peasant and the English Folk Song Collectors (c.1830-1925)

Lecture Theatre 1, School of Music

The speakers are Dr Vic Gammon (Newcastle University) and Dr Arthur Knevvet


In this presentation we explore the ways folk song collectors, active in England in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, used and engaged with discourses relating to the terms peasant and peasantry. We argue that these terms had historically embedded, complex and conflicting meanings that cannot be reduced to simple, one-dimensional definitions.  We look critically at the ways collectors’ usages of the terms have been understood (and misunderstood) by recent writers. Our broader aim is to make a contribution to a better historical understanding of the English folk song movement.

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