Club Critical Theory present: Seaside Cultures

Club Critical Theory present: Seaside Cultures
Fri 17th Nov 2017. 8pm start upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Clifftown Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1AJ


In light of comedian Paul O’Grady’s widely publicised remarks about Southend, CCT invites you to discuss seaside cultures. Is the seaside an irrelevant Victorian concept in decline or does it still hold value? Are swanky galleries, expensive coffee bars and property development part of its appeal or can we actively shape an alternative culture in Southend?

Guest Speakers
Dr Daniel Burdsey (University of Brighton) investigates race, whiteness and the English seaside. In 2016 he published his second book, Race, Place and the Seaside: Postcards from the Edge (Palgrave Macmillan). Dan is interested in social and cultural aspects of the contemporary English seaside including migration and ‘new’ spaces of multiculture.
Dr Tim Gale (Bournemouth University) has published work that explores the decline and restructuring of British seaside resorts, new tourism spaces, places and experiences. These interests are underpinned by ideas associated with the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ and critical realism as a philosophy of/ for the social sciences.
Panel discussion

Joanne O’Connor (Journalist and Travel Writer) is a former Observer travel editor and now freelances for the Guardian, Observer and FT. She has an interest in the arts, travel and regeneration. Born in Essex, and a regular visitor to Southend as a child, Joanne has recently returned to live in Essex.

Tim Burrows (Journalist and Author) writes about culture and place for publications including the Guardian, Vice and the Quietus. Recurring subjects in his work are Essex, the Thames Estuary and Essex myths, from Towie, Dr Feelgood and the “armpit of the world”. Tim lives in Essex.
CCT are Giles Tofield (Cultural Engine), Andrew Branch (UEL) and Tony D Sampson (UEL)


Next Club Critical Theory Event (Seaside Cultures) confirmed – 8pm Fri 17th Nov, 2017

News about next CCT event



CCT will be back upstairs at the Railway Hotel in Southend on Fri 17th Nov with a Seaside Cultures special starting at 8pm.

We have a fantastic line-up of confirmed guest speakers and panel discussants (see below).

More details to follow, but we expect to address the notion of seaside culture in light of Paul O’Grady’s widely reported comments about Southend and framing discussion around questions concerning e.g.  what’s different about the seaside as a place? Why have a seaside at all? Is it an outdated Victorian concept or is the seaside relevant today, and if so how?  What is a post-Brexit seaside culture like? What is artsy Southend?

The direction of discussion on the night will of course be spontaneous.

Here’s the confirmed line-up…

CCT Seaside Cultures 17th Nov
Confirmed Speakers
Tim Gale
Daniel Burdsey
Confirmed panel discussion (with Dan and Tim)
Joanne O’Connor
Tim Burrows


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News about Club Critical Theory Food Cultures and Southend Food Plan

Following up on our recent CCT Food Cultures event at Focal Point Gallery, CCT/Cultural Engine/UEL and a number of significant community groups met at Southend Borough Council yesterday to propose the Southend Food Plan. Here are the 10 agreed objectives.

Next meeting is in Oct – get in touch if you feel you can contribute to any of the areas of interest.

A Food Plan for Southend:

Ten Objectives

  1. Form a Southend Food Partnership to increase levels of collaboration, sharing of resources, knowledge and experience


  1. Join the Sustainable Food Cities movement


  1. Work towards the eradication of food poverty


  1. Influence Public Health – increase a broader perception of Food as Culture. Aim to reduce obesity and diet-related ill health through re-examining relationships with food and how to improve them


  1. Bring people together through food projects – collaborative cooking in communities, and creating links between cooking and growing schemes


  1. Support community growing projects and use of the wild harvest


  1. Develop an inclusive, vibrant local food and drink economy (support local producers, tourism and ‘sense of place’)


  1. Support Food and Growing schools and educational programmes


  1. Reduce food waste, encourage the redistribution of surplus food and fallen fruit


  1. Increase wider engagement with communities, integrating Food, Art and Cultural events and programmes

Images from CCT/Focal Point Gallery Food Cultures Event 10th June


Here’s some more images from the Club Critical Theory Food Cultures Event on June 10th at Focal Point Gallery in Southend.

If you want more food and a chance to talk to us about the Southend food plan come along to Metal’s Village Green Festival on Sat 8th July and find our pitch:

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Affect and Social Media 3.0 full programme for 25th May 2017


Here it is… the full programme.

Affect and Social Media 3.0: Experience, Entanglement, Engagement (including the Sensorium Art Show)

*Registration Now Open

Date and time: Thurs May 25th 2017, 10am – 8.30pm

Location: The University of East London, Dockland’s campus (via Cyprus Station on the DLR)

Keynotes: Jessica Ringrose (UCL) and Emma Renold (Cardiff)


In its third year now, the A&SM one day conference at UEL Docklands continues to get to grips with social media cultures.

In the first two events (captured in a forthcoming edited collection**) the call focused mainly on the manipulation of feelings, emotions and affect by social media marketing, but now, following recent events like Brexit and Trump, it is imperative to broaden the discussion to include the felt experiences, affective entanglements and emotional engagements of these unnerving times.

The 2017 conference brings together an intriguing international programme discussing:

  • The affective politics of social media…

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Programme for CCT Essex Future Conference 15-16th Sept 2016


Here’s the latest programme and web links relating to our guest speakers and respondents for each section of the event.

I hope you agree that we have a potentially fascinating discussion ahead of us.

Club Critical Theory: Essex Futures Conference


Thurs 15th Sept doors open 9.30am

10am introduction to CCT: Tony Sampson (UEL)

Cultural Industries chaired by Andrew Branch

Robert Hewison (Cultural Historian and author of The Rise and Fall of Creative Britain)

Joe Hill (Director of Focal Point Gallery)

Duncan Smith (Artistic Director of Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art)

Break 1-2pm

2pm start

Food Cultures chaired by Giles Tofield (Cultural Engine)

Vic Borrill (Director of Brighton and Hove Food Partnership)

Jack Monroe (Writer, Journalist and Activist)

Fri 16th Sept doors open 9.30am

Place Making chaired by Giles Tofield (Cultural Engine)

Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the RSA)

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