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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos

6th November 2017, 10:00 to 17:45, Society of Antiquaries, London

This conference at the Society of Antiquaries of London will consider ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry.

The opening address will be delivered by Dr Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada. In this 150th anniversary year of the nation’s confederation, Dr Boudreau will explore how Canada has integrated imperial, European, and native emblems to help establish its own visual symbolic identity. Dr Boudreau will also discuss the challenges facing the Canadian Heraldic Authority with regard to competing forms of symbolic identity in the 21st century. The formal part of the proceedings will end with a round-table discussion (including Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald at the Court of the Lord Lyon) on “Branding or Blazon? Examining the Role of Heraldry in a Corporate World Dominated by Logos”.

There will be an opportunity to view a special display of the Society of Antiquaries of London’s rare heraldic manuscripts and to buy some of its heraldic publications. Lunch will be provided and the day will end with a wine reception.

Conference Programme

9.00-10.00: Registration (with tea and coffee)

10.00-10.10: Welcome Address

10.10-11.00: Dr Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, Symbols of Canadian Identity: Past, Present and Future.

In this 150th anniversary year of the nation’s confederation, this lecture explores how Canada has integrated imperial, European, and native emblems to establish its own visual symbolic identity. It also examines the challenges facing the Canadian Heraldic Authority regarding competing forms of symbolic identity in the 21st century.

11.10-12.00: Dr Torsten Hiltmann, Assistant Professor, University of Münster, Sign Systems and Symbolic Codes: Promoting Visible Identity during the Middle Ages.

Beginning with coats of arms in the 12th century, this talk follows the development of different sign systems during the Middle Ages and considers the increasingly important role of visual codes, whether for princes or merchants, men or women, or even different kinds of institution.

12.00-13.00: Lunch (provided)

13:00-13.40: Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections, Society of Antiquaries, will introduce a special exhibition of heraldic manuscripts and archives for participants to view, and Lavinia Porter, Publications Manager, will speak on the Society’s heraldic publications which can be bought on the day.

13.50-14.40: Professor Richard Cust, University of Birmingham, Heraldry, Lineage and Identity in Early Modern England.

This talk demonstrates how the nobility and gentry of late Tudor and early Stuart England sought to establish and represent the longevity and prestige of their lineage using heraldic decoration and thereby promote their status and reputation within the very competitive world of gentry honour.

14.50-15.40: Timothy Noad, Herald Painter, College of Arms. On the Money - Symbolising National Identity in the Design of UK Coins

This talk from a leading heraldic artist and coin designer will examine the ways in which the four nations that make up the United Kingdom as well as the country as a whole have been portrayed and symbolised on recent coin designs.

15.50-16.45: Round Table Discussion chaired by Dr Clive Cheesman, FSA, Richmond Herald: Branding or Blazon? The Future of Heraldry in a World of Logos and Trade-marks with opening remarks by Elizabeth Roads, FSA, Snawdoun Herald and Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon, on Heraldry and Logos: Can there be a meeting of minds? and Daniel McCabe, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Portsmouth University, on From FedEx to Federer: The Constructs and Contexts of Logo Design.

17:00-17.45: Reception with wine and nibbles.

The organisers are very grateful to The Heraldry Society for its sponsorship of this event.

Contact fiona.robertson@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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