Taverns, Locals and Street Corners: cross-chronological studies in community drinking, regulation and public space

Start Date: 1st February 2012
End Date: 31st July 2013

Co-Investigator: Jane Milling

This pilot study on tavern culture anges from early modern Europe to the present day. It investigates whether today’s real and imagined patterns of drinking – people congregating in public spaces at night, sold alcohol and revelling – are recurring practices and representations of drinking and of competing communities. It looks at how public space is used, and how tavern culture produces places and social groupings; how these spaces are regulated in the name of order, morality and health; the rhetorics of drinking and taverns, of pleasure, harm and authority. The project asks if the performance of drinking, and ideas of spectacle and carnival, are still part of modern drinking culture, and if contemporary questions about public policy on drinking and ‘anti-social behaviour’ find resonances in the past. Working with Dr Fabrizio Nevola (University of Bath) and Prof Antonia Layard (University of Birmingham).