Vibrant Research Pathway

10:30: Women in Manx Politics 1945-1998

Presented by Dr Catriona Mackie (UCM Lecturer)

The Isle of Man was the first Anglophone jurisdiction to introduce votes for (some) women in the national legislature in 1881. Women were not able to stand for the lower chamber, the House of Keys, until 1919; or for the upper chamber, the Legislative Council, until 1961. This paper combines analysis of electoral data and biographical analysis of the small number of women candidates for both chambers to investigate the trends in women standing for election, and their success, over the period 1945-1998. We argue that success rates for women candidates to the Keys were very similar throughout this period, but that the number of women candidates coming forward was much lower than men prepared to stand. The absence of a party system in Manx politics may have contributed to this, as analysis of the Manx Labour Party – the most significant party in a system massively dominated by independents – suggests. In relation to the indirectly elected Legislative Council, an emphasis on appointing former MHKs rather than looking outside Tynwald largely replicated the absence of women in the lower chamber. Broader views as to the role of women in public life – exemplified by the exclusion of Manx women from juries until 1980 (as opposed to 1919 in England) – may also have played a part in the maleness of Tynwald in the second half of the 20th century. The 21st Century outlook, which we will touch on briefly for contrast, is considerably brighter.

This paper is part of a broader, Culture Vannin funded, project on Women in Manx Politics. We are a multidisciplinary team comprising Professor Peter Edge (Law, Oxford Brookes University), Dr Catriona Mackie (History, University College of the Isle of Man), Dr Mari Hughes-Edwards (English, Edge Hill University), and Dr Alex Powell (Law, Oxford Brookes University).

11:00: The Isle of Man in Epic Imagination: The influence of Mann on James Joyce and how we reclaim the Island’s status as a central force for political and cultural innovation.

Presented by Simon Collister

Arguably one of the greatest novels of all time, James Joyce's Ulysses, was first published 100 years ago, on 2 February 1922. Few people, however, realise the extent of the relevance and references to the Isle of Man and Manx matters within this great work of modern literature - and Joyce’s work more widely.

On the 100th anniversary of publication this presentation explores the influence of the Isle of Man in the life and work of James Joyce. It offers a reading of the Isle of Man's place in the great Modernist novels, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and explores the influence of the Isle of Man within Joyce's wider thinking and experience. Particularly, asking questions as to whether we have fulfilled the expectations set in the early days of modernity and reflecting on what it is to be Manx today. In conclusion it will offer suggestions of how we might think about reclaiming the Island’s status as a central force for political and cultural innovation in 21st Century.

11:30: Rushen Abbey Project: Beliefs, burials and bones: aspects of interdisciplinary research at Rushen Abbey, AD 400 to AD 1900

Presented by Allison Fox (Curator of Archaeology, Manx National Heritage), Pauline Stewart (Isle of Man Natural History and Archaeological Society), Dr Peter Davey (Research Associate, University of Liverpool) & Marie Weale (Doctoral Researcher, University of Bradford)

Rushen Abbey Project - the background. A short introduction to the site of Rushen Abbey and the reasons for the project, followed at the end by a short discussion of the relevance and significance of the story so far.

Supper or superstition – the 'crosh bollan' from Rushen Abbey. 24 'crosh bollan' (the jaw bones of a small fish thought to resemble a cross) have been excavated at Rushen Abbey. This is one of the largest groups of small finds from the site. The wearing of a 'crosh bollan' as a crucifix is a Manx tradition and the presence of such charms within a religious setting is unexpected. Some preliminary observations are made about where they have been found both here and in other similar residences and what this might suggest about daily life at the abbey.

New evidence for the dating and origin of Manx Christianity. Recent radio-carbon dating of human burials from a number of sites on the Isle of Man has thrown new light not only on the absolute dating of the arrival of Christianity but also on the direction from which it came. This short paper will review the Manx dates and their archaeology and attempt to place it in the context of new evidence and interpretations from both Britain and Ireland

Disease, fasting, and death: life at early Christian Rushen Abbey. Archaeological human remains hold valuable insight into the past lifeways of the people they represent. Analysis of the early Christian remains from Rushen Abbey has found evidence of metabolic and neoplastic disease as well as exploring the dietary resources used by the community. This short paper will present the collected data from these early Manx Christians and place it into the cultural and religious context of the period.

13:00: Micro-nations and their “higher than average GDP” Prosperity: Comparing the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and Val d’Aran

Micro-nations in Europe have a higher GDP per capita than larger states or even than the EU. At the very least, their prosperity is usually greater than that of neighbouring regions. Why is this so? Does a distinct regional identity lead to this prosperity? What do the Isle of Man, the Faroe Islands, the Val d'Aran and Gibraltar, for example, do differently to achieve this prosperity? This research is based on economic data from the regions themselves and from the World Bank.

Prof Roland Brandtjen (International University Berlin)

13:30: Autism, Access and Archaeology; improving access to archaeological sites on the IOM for people with autism

Presented by Sarah Kerruish a UCM BA Hons History & Heritage graduate