North east culture in a ground breaking new book
A Teesside history lecturer has has a ground breaking book on North East culture published.
Natasha Vall’s Cultural region: North East England, 1945-2000, has been published by Manchester University Press.
The book is the first historical assessment of English regional cultural policy and examines the impact of the new cultural institutions that emerged after 1945 upon a region with deeply rooted vernacular traditions.
The creation of the regional arts board and the development of regional broadcasting as well as the national efforts to manage the northern economic problems presented challenges for vernacular culture.
In the ensuing battle between provincial and metropolitan values the north east as a modern cultural region took shape. Vall analyses the post-war cultural initiatives that were harnessed to ambitions for economic improvement and considers the development of radio and television broadcasting, including the role played by artists and impresarios. Her research reveals that nascent cultural policy strove to enrich the middle class lifestyle and challenge vernacular hegemony.
The concluding chapters detail the cultural regeneration of the urban riversides, with particular attention to the successful culture-led regeneration of Gateshead and its emergence from the shadow of Newcastle.
Cultural region is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the formation of cultural identities, the development of regional government arts policies, urban regeneration or cultural and social history.
Cultural region: North East England, 1945-2000
23 February 2011