Rebecca Madgin, Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow, is visiting us at the moment and will be giving a talk on ‘Why does the past matter? Emotional attachments to historic urban places’ in our Brown Bag lunchtime seminar series in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies: Thursday 26 September 2019, 1-2pm, Arts West North Wing Room 353 (interactive cinema space).
Decisions to retain or demolish historic buildings are often driven by functional and economic imperatives, yet this approach obscures the profound relationships between people and places. This talk brings together findings from a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Leadership Fellows’ project which examined the ways in which people form emotional attachments to historic urban places and how this has affected the process of urban change in British cities since 1945. The talk will primarily draw on examples from Glasgow – a city that has traditionally rejected its historic architecture in favour of radical new building programmes – to question the ways in which the city’s historic environment was valued since the end of the Second World War. More specifically, the talk will examine the existence of emotional attachments between people and historic places and the ways in which these were considered during the process of urban change. The talk will question why the past, in the form of historic buildings, matters to a range of different people including campaigners, cultural commentators and urban planners. In so doing the talk opens up a more general consideration of the value of history within contemporary life.