Join Alex Niven and Rebecca Shatwell to discuss Alex’s new book: New Model Island: How to Build a Radical Culture Beyond the Idea of England.
“Looking for a new England? Alex Niven draws on our diverse identities to forge a radical vision of a once and future land.” —Billy Bragg
New Model Island is essential reading for those who want to critically understand “Englishness” and the twilight of England. Masterfully ranging across poetry, pop music, memoir, history and utopian conjecture, Alex Niven paints a perceptive picture of the continuities and contradictions of England today.
New Model Island encourages us to think about new ways of dividing up the British Isles without thoughtlessly recycling reactionary national myths of the past. Alex Niven argues energetically and convincingly for a progressive overhaul of culture, constitution and democracy for the British Isles — a dynamic regionalism of a socially-just “dream archipelago”.
Put simply: “we need to abandon England and start looking for a replacement.”
Alex Niven is a writer and editor from Northumberland. Currently lecturer in English at Newcastle University, his books include Folk Opposition and Definitely Maybe 33 1/3. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New Statesman, Tribune, The Independent, Pitchfork and LA Review of Books.
Rebecca Shatwell is a curator, researcher and activist based in Newcastle. For ten years she was director of AV Festival, curating five editions of the biennial contemporary arts Festival, commissioning new works by international artists in response to politics and place. Previously she worked as a programmer at CCA, Glasgow and Pavilion, Leeds, in addition to arts policy work at Arts Council England. She is currently a PhD candidate at Northumbria University researching shared ownership as an alternative economic model for culture and a Labour councillor on Newcastle City Council.
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