The British countryside is often seen as a rural idyll. However, this talk explores a set of contrasting images of the British countryside from after the Second World War that represent it in non-idyllic ways. These are drawn from literature, film and television comedy and drama. The talk considers the significance of these images and what they tell us of the place of the rural within contemporary British culture. It highlights the representation of rural landscapes, rural communities and the rural economy, across a range of non-idyllic representations. It argues that it is no longer plausible to suggest that the overwhelming representation of British rural space is idyllic. These non-idyllic images offer the opportunity to explore the British countryside as a dynamic changing place and to consider the impacts of modernity and globalisation on the British countryside.
Professor Tim Hall is Principal Fellow HEA Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Winchester. He is a social scientist with interests in urban studies and globalisation, and teaches modules on issues such as globalisation, urban and rural settlements and global crime.
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