Recontextualising Ragtime: Connections, Influences, Perspectives


Mon, 06 Mar 2017 11:18:00 GMT


Recontextualising Ragtime:

Connections, Influences, Perspectives

A Two-Day Symposium

6–7 May 2017

Click to download our full Conference Programme



Conference fee for both days including the ragtime-dance workshop and Speakeasy event is £45 (£35 for members of the Royal Musical Association; £20 for unwaged and students; £15 for student and unwaged members of the Royal Musical Association)

‌Location: Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield, UK


Co-hosted by Rachel Cowgill (University of Huddersfield) and Sue Miller (Leeds Beckett University) in association with:

  • Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield
  • Popular Music Studies Research Group, University of Huddersfield
  • The Royal Musical Association
  • School of Film, Music and Performing Arts, Leeds Beckett University
  • School of Music, Humanities and Media, University of Huddersfield

This two-day symposium brings together specialists in musicology and cultural history, ethnomusicology, Caribbean and Latin American music, jazz studies, and music analysis, alongside social-dance and dance-recreation specialists, discographers, and performers, all with a view to analysing the ragtime style on its own terms. Looking at ragtime and its reception in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, and elsewhere, our aim is to bring together all those interested in ragtime music and dance to examine systems of meanings around the term ‘ragtime’ that are culture-specific. We hope to question traditional narratives of the style’s development, rather than seeing it only as a precursor to jazz – considering, for example, the influence of the contradanza, tango, and habanera – and to invite new ways of understanding this fascinating musical style and its various manifestations.

The symposium will feature invited talks, round-table discussions, performances, workshops, and a special Speakeasy event on the Saturday night, which is also open to the public: 




7.30pm, 6 May 2017 – Heritage Quay

SPEAKEASY, featuring music and dance from the Prohibition Era, 1920s to early 30s – dress for the period or as you like:

7.30pm: opening dance workshop by Charlotte Ewart (Dance Through Time) with Shellac DJ Greg Butler (Edison Brothers/Kipper thermalogo

Cat) - learn to dance the Grizzly Bear, Squirrel, Turkey Trot, and The Fox

8.30pm: ragtime and early jazz/blues piano, by Bruce Boardman

9.30pm: two sets from the Palm Court Dance Orchestra

11.00pm-midnight: a selection of recordings from the HQ British Dance Band Collection

With bar and cocktails by Panda’s Kitchen (paying bar)


Keynote Speakers:

Professor Theresa Buckland (Roehampton University)

Professor Susan C. Cook (University of Madison-Wisconsin)

Professor David Garcia (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Dr Gayle Murchison (William and Mary College University, VA)

Professor Catherine Tackley (University of Liverpool)


Venue Location: Heritage Quay -

Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH

Tel: +44(0)1484 473 168   Email:


For directions click here


For Campus Map click here


Parking will not be available on campus except for Blue Badge holders (see below). Delegates are advised to use the multi-storey carparks opposite the University – Kingsgate and Marketplace – or the street parking on Queen Street South


Access for visitors with hearing and/or visual impairments, and/or other physical disabilities

For assistance please telephone +44(0)1484 473168.

Blue Badge parking is available on campus at all times (pre-booking advisable).
Heritage Quay is accessed by a dedicated lift suitable for visitors with assistance aids. Assistance dogs are welcome. Induction loops are available in the search room and in the Group Space. Screen-reading software is available in the search room and magnification technology in the Exploration and Group Space.


Accommodation in Huddersfield: guide prices only – email or ring hotels directly for details:


The Cambridge Hotel

Very handy for the train station and the University is around 20 minutes away by foot.

A variety of rates are on offer, including a Deluxe Double for c. £60 (breakfast additional).

Phone: +44 (0)1484 519892



Central Lodge 

The University of Huddersfield, Train Station and main shopping area are just a 5-minute walk away.

A variety of rates are on offer, starting at £62 per night.

Phone: +44 (0)1484 515551



Premier Inn Huddersfield Central Hotel

Situated within walking distance from the University of Huddersfield.  

Single room with breakfast c. £75.00                       

Phone: 0871 527 8528



For delegates/guests with cars:


Briar Court Hotel

Double room for sole occupancy c.£65.00 Bed & Breakfast

Phone Number:  +44 (0)1484 519902



Cedar Court Hotel (Huddersfield/Halifax)

Double room for sole occupancy c. £69.00 Bed & Breakfast

Phone Number: +44 (0)1422 375431

For contact details, click here


For more information about our two-day symposium, please contact:

Dr Sue Miller 

Professor Rachel Cowgill

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