John Gardner Talks



  • On 15 October 2021 at Heriot Watt University, John Gardner gave a talk on ‘Gaslight’ and working class agency at the Glasgow Mechanics’ Institute. This is part of a conference to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mechanics’ Institutes.

‘Pollution and Paternalism at Mechanics’ Institutes in Glasgow, Ipswich, Manchester and Sheffield’

  • On 26 May 2021 at ARU, ‘Conversations’, John Gardner gave a short talk on early Mechanics’ libraries and Institutes. The talk mainly centres on tensions between paternalistic governors who knew what should be taught, and students who knew better. You can view the talk here:

‘The True Plane’

  • On 4 March 2021 at ‘Materialities‘, Oxford Brookes University, John Gardner gave a talk on ‘The Leverhulme project, the True Plane, Measurement, Standards and Form’. The talk concentrates on Joseph Whitworth and uses the work of Gilbert Simondon and Bruno Latour. You can view this talk here:

‘The Rising’

  • On 8 January 2021 the University of Glasgow School held a public event on 200 years of the 1820 Scottish Radical Uprising. This was attended by a large international audience. The day included a lecture by John Gardner on plays inspired by the rebellions in 1820. The talk focussed particularly on dramas by James Kelman on James Wilson’s march to Cathkin; and by Hector MacMillan on the attempt by a group of men to take the Carron Iron Works. You can view the talk here:

‘Shelley’s “Sublime Archimedean Art”‘

‘Inaugural Lecture’

Here is a link to John Gardner’s Inaugural lecture as professor: ‘Machines made out of words

Other Talks

  • Below is a link to an interview on the Leverhulme Trust Fellowship:

Interview on the Leverhulme Project

  • Here is a link to the Powerpoint of a talk on Mechanics’ Institutes that John Gardner gave at the Society of Antiquaries in July 2017:

The Emergence of Mechanics’ Institutes

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This work is supported by the Leverhulme Trust