CFP: Thomas Rickman and Liverpool

Deadline:  31 January 2017

Liverpool, UK

19-20 May 2017

2017 marks the bicentenary of the printing (in Liverpool) of Thomas Rickman’s ground-breaking book An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture.This event is being celebrated by exhibitions at Liverpool’s Central Library and the University of Liverpool’s Archives and Special Collections, and with walks and talks. To coincide with these events, a two-day conference held in association with the University of Liverpool’s Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Centre.

The aim of the conference is to critically evaluate Rickman’s work and its influence in the context of the town where he lived and worked, where he discovered architecture and underwent the from insurance clerk to professional architect. The conference is centred upon Rickman but seeks to encourage a deeper understanding of Liverpool, and its social and architectural environment during the period of his residence (1808-c.1821). Contemporary Liverpool was the ideal setting for a young man interested in buildings and eager for self-improvement: he arrived soon after the passing of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) which transformed Liverpool’s international trade and was an early member of the revived Literary and Philosophical Society (1812) where he honed his skills as a lecturer on architectural topics. He became involved with local building projects, notably the constructionally-innovative churches of local ironmaster John Cragg and built up a network of fellow enthusiasts and potential clients.

Keynote speakers: Dr Megan Aldrich (biographer of Rickman)
Dr Rosemary Hill (author of God’s Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain)
Dr Joseph Sharples (author of the Liverpool volume in the Buildings of England series)
Prof Rosemary Sweet (author of Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain)

Confirmed speakers include: Dr William Ashworth (University of Liverpool); Dr Alexandrina Buchanan (University of Liverpool); Dr Sheryllynne Heggarty (University of Nottingham); Hugh Hollinghurst (independent scholar); Prof Jon Stobart (University of Manchester); Dr Mark Towsey (University of Liverpool); Bill Walker (University of Central Lancashire).

Papers (20 minutes) are invited on topics which further the understanding of the life and work of Rickman and/or his Liverpool context in the years c.1800-c.1830.

Suggested themes:

– New research relating to buildings and/or patrons associated with Thomas Rickman or Rickman and Hutchinson
– Use of iron in early nineteenth-century architecture in relation to Rickman’s ‘iron churches’
– Antiquarianism and antiquarian publishing in the early nineteenth century
– Early nineteenth-century Gothic Revival in relation to the work of Thomas Rickman
– Libraries and self-education in the early nineteenth century
– Liverpool history and/or architecture in the time of Thomas Rickman
– Rickman’s Quaker context and Dissenting culture in the early nineteenth century
– Urban culture in the early nineteenth century

Abstacts of 300 words should be sent to: to arrive no later than 31 January 2017.