CFA – Wandering and Home

Wandering and Home

Following the success of our recent eleventh interdisciplinary conference, we are calling for articles on the same theme for publication in a future issue of our on-line journal Skepsi, to be published during 2019.

The focus of the conference was to investigate the ambiguous relationship concepts of ‘Wandering’ and ‘Home’ by highlighting both the binary opposition of and the possible interrelations between the two concepts.

Many different types of homes and houses can be found in literature: the ‘gothic’ homes depicted in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, the country homes of late-Georgian England that feature in Jane Austen’s novels, and the stifling atmosphere of the late-Victorian and Edwardian upper middle-class London homes of John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga. Their role, in the history of literature, of symbolising family values, social status and the complex web of family relationships is clearly one of great importance.

Romanticism began to develop the notion of wandering, on the other hand, as a positive opposition to the concept of home. This is particularly true of German Romantic literature which increasingly perceived ‘bourgeois homeliness’ as being too restrictive. In a broader— and geographically wider — sense, home was also the place where industrialisation took place, the industrialisation from which people wanted to escape through free wandering in nature. The figure of the flâneur, as depicted by Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin and to a lesser degree Soren Kierkegaard, in turn, stands in stark contrast to this. The flâneur is the emblem of modernity: an urban wanderer figure that no longer wishes to escape from the city but begins to dominate urban public spaces in classical narratives, holding a privileged position and making himself at home in the streets of modern European metropolises.

But wandering is not just a physical activity; there is also mind-wandering, a metaphorical form of wandering taking place in that most intimate and homely dimension of personal space — the human mind. Modernist literature’s stream of consciousness writing functions as the means of exploring these wanderings of the mind that, by opening up multiple perspectives of literary texts, results in a wider understanding of mankind and its character. These and other topics can be explored and discussed in the article. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following and their interrelations:

Wandering in European Romanticism and Modernism.
Wandering women in European literature and film.
The figure of the flâneur and the flâneuse in modern and contemporary literature.
The connection between migration and ‘feeling at home’; the concept of home viewed from the perspective of a displayed person.
Home as a social or private spatial dimension, a psychological experience of safety, stability and emotional experience, a practice and/or an active state of being in the world.
‘Feeling at home’, or ‘not at home’ as a distinctive emotional experience influenced by the social, political and economic context and by the architectural configuration of domestic environment.
Feeling at home in our mind; mind-wandering; the boundaries between wandering creatively and getting lost in speculations.
The internet and virtual wandering as a means of transforming the way we inhabit the non-virtual realm of the home.

Articles must be in English, between 5,000 and 8,000 words long, and accompanied by an abstract of about 250 words and brief biographical details of the author, both of which may, if desired be included in one file with the article. If quotations from works originally published in a language other than English are included, please observe the following conventions:

If the works have a published translation into English, the quotations may be either solely from the published translation or from the original language version followed by the published translation.
If the works do not have a published translation into English, the quotations must be from the original language version followed by a translation by the author of the article.

Submissions should be sent as Word files to skepsi@kent.ac.uk.

The closing date for submissions is 31st August 2017.

Articles are welcomed from all disciplines within the Humanities as well as Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, Sociology, Politics, Architecture and Visual Arts. Papers coming from an inter-, trans- or multidisciplinary background are particularly welcomed.

Skepsi is a peer reviewed postgraduate journal based in the School of European Culture and Languages at the University of Kent and funded by the University of Kent (http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/skepsi/).

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Posted in domestic imaginaries symposium

Domestic Imaginaries book is released this month!

Domestic Imaginaries: Navigating the Home in Global Literary and Visual Cultures (edited by Bex Harper and Hollie Price)

Screenshot 2017-10-27 15.49.05.png

This book examines representations of home in literary and visual cultures in the 20th and 21st centuries. The collection brings together scholars working on literature, film, and photography with the aim of showcasing new research in a burgeoning field focusing on representations of domesticity. The chapters span a diverse range of contexts from across the world and use a variety of approaches to exploring representations of home including studies of space, material culture, sexuality, gender, multiculturalism, diaspora, memory and archival practice. They include explorations of the Finnish Suburban home on film, home and the diasporic imagination in Chinese Canadian women’s writing and the archiving practices and photographs used to document the homes of two gay writers from Australia and New Zealand. By bringing together this range of approaches and subjects, the book explores domestic imaginaries as part of a multi-faceted, mutable and amorphous conception of home in a modern, world context. This collection therefore seeks to further studies of home by investigating how the page, screen and photograph have constructed domestic imaginaries – experiencing, critiquing, reconfiguring and archiving home – in a global age.

Our edited collection, released on 22nd November 2017, is now available for preorder from many bookshops and online from: Springer, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. 

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CFP: Postgraduate Study Day

Centre for Studies of Home: Postgraduate Study Day 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Centre for Studies of Home’s annual postgraduate study day aims to bring together postgraduates providing them with an opportunity to share current research ideas through a series of short papers. The study day is open to all postgraduates working on home and domesticity in both historical and contemporary contexts.

The study day is convened by the Centre for Studies of Home, a partnership between the Geffrye Museum and Queen Mary, University of London (www.studiesofhome.qmul.ac.uk). 

DATE: Tuesday 21st November 2017

VENUE: The Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA

 If you wish to submit an abstract (c.200 words) please email it to Danielle Patten by Monday 30th October 2017: dpatten@geffrye-museum.org.uk and book your place via Eventbrite here.

Postgraduate students are very welcome to attend without presenting a paper. If you would like to attend, please book here via Eventbrite. The event is free, but places are limited so please book early to secure your place. If you have any questions please contact Danielle Patten: dpatten@geffrye-museum.org.uk

Posted in cfp, Events

Event: Mobile and Temporary Domesticities, 1600-2017

Mobile and Temporary Domesticities, 1600-2017

10th October 2017, Geffrye Museum of the Home

 This one-day workshop explores the ways in which mobility and temporariness inform ideas and practices of home and domesticity. Central questions include: What kinds of domestic practices, material cultures, homemaking strategies and feelings about home are related to mobile or temporary circumstances? What theoretical and methodological challenges can we face when dealing with mobility or temporariness and how could these difficulties be overcome? How can people in temporary or mobile circumstances negotiate control over their own space and everyday life? When is mobility something to aspire to?

The aim is to bring together researchers working in different disciplines to explore similarities and differences between time periods, geographical locations and circumstances, and to discuss how we might relate temporary and mobile domesticities to larger questions about actor agency and shifts in economic, social, and political structures.

If you are interested in attending the conference please register here. Places are free but booking is essential. 

Further information and programme can be found on the conference blog.   

Posted in Events

CFP: Temporary and Mobile Domesticities, 1600 to the present

Call for papers: Temporary and Mobile Domesticities, 1600 to the present

 10th of October 2017, The Geffrye Museum, London

Traditionally, home is imagined as a specific place, a site of stability, continuity, safety, and familiarity. Yet, homelife is also characterised by mobility and temporariness. Medieval households were constantly on the move. Sailors, soldiers, merchants, peddlars and travelling artisans have long traversed land and sea, and servants, apprentices, and lodgers typically inhabited the houses of others – at least for a significant part of the life cycle. More recently, the chaos and disruptions of war and natural disaster have uprooted millions of people from their homes (and homelands) and forced them to spend indeterminate periods of time in temporary conditions. How does the time-limited nature of these residences affect home-making practices, and what can it tell us about the function and meaning of home and domesticity?

This one-day workshop explores the manner in which mobility and temporariness impact upon ideas and practices of home and domesticity. Central questions include: What kinds of domestic practices, material cultures, homemaking strategies and feelings about home are related to mobile or temporary circumstances? What theoretical and methodological challenges can we face when dealing with mobility or temporariness and how could these difficulties be overcome? How can people in temporary or mobile circumstances negotiate control over their own space and everyday life? When is mobility something to aspire to?

The aim is to bring together researchers working in different disciplines to explore similarities and differences between time periods, geographical locations and circumstances.  Furthermore, the objective is to discuss how we might relate temporary and mobile domesticities to larger questions about actor agency and shifts in economic, social, and political structures.

 Submissions can take the form of 1520 minute papers, but we also welcome submissions of less traditional formats – proposals for film, performances, and artworks would be particularly enthusiastically received. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Momentary homemaking

– The material culture of portability     

– The sense of home/belonging or homelessness/alienation in relation to mobility

– Mobile and transportable housing and housing design

– Institutional and charitable responses to mobility

– How do social identities and stages in the life cycle affect ideas about temporary living?

– The extent and scale of mobile and temporary homes from the local to the global

– Remembering and reproducing home and homeland from a distance

– Escaping home through mobility

 

We encourage submissions both from academics as well as non-academics working with related themes.

Send 200-250 word abstracts (preferably as .docx) to mobiledomesticities@gmail.com by 6th of August 2017.

Workshop location: The Geffrye Museum of Home, 136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA

For more info click here

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Event: Decoding the domestic interior in British portraits

Decoding the domestic interior in British portraits, seminar, 28 June 2017

There are still places available for the Decoding the domestic interior in British portraits, seminar. This seminar for scholars and museum professionals seeks to explore some key themes around the nature of domestic interiors as found in British portraits from the early modern period to the present day. How can we start to interpret the pictorial world in which portrait sitters are placed? Are such spaces representations of contemporary interiors, or are they fictional spheres which – like pose, costume, and props – serve to convey coded messages about the sitters? By exploring portraits in various media throughout this period, speakers will consider these questions, helping interiors and portrait researchers to understand these mediated artistic constructs and interpret the contemporary symbolism within.

 

This event is a collaboration between the Histories of Home and the Understanding British Portraits Subject Specialist Networks. It is aimed at researchers, academics, and museum professionals engaged with portraiture, or historical and modern interiors. Papers will include scholarly case studies as well as contributions from museum professionals using portraits as a research tool, and engaging audiences in design history through the use of historic portraits.

Further details, programme, and booking form available at: www.britishportraits.org.uk/eventsand https://historiesofhomessn.wordpress.com/

Venue: Geffrye Museum, London

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Event:

Artifacts and Allegiances: How Museums Put the Nation and the World on Display 

Professor Peggy Levitt

The Geffrye Museum, Lecture Room 

Thursday 9th March 2017, 3-4pm

Free 

According to the World Bank, one out of every seven people in the world today is an international or internal migrant who moves by choice or by force.  Our cities are increasingly diverse—people from over 184 countries call London home. So how do we learn to get along? Museums have always played a leading role in creating nations and national citizens. In today’s global world, do they also create global citizens too?  This talk looks at how museums around the world are making sense of immigration and globalization. Based on first-hand conversations with museum directors, curators, and policymakers; their descriptions of current and future exhibitions; and the inside stories about the famous paintings and iconic objects that define their collections, I provide a close-up view of how different kinds of institutions balance nationalism and cosmopolitanism and what it is about particular cities and nations that explains the outcome. 

This talk is free to attend; no booking is required. Directions to the museum can be found here

Posted in domestic imaginaries symposium