Call for Papers


Domestic Imaginaries: Homes in Film, Literature and Popular Culture Symposium

To be held at The University of Nottingham on Tuesday 21st January 2014

Keynote Speakers:
Dr Tracey Potts (The University of Nottingham)
Dr James Mansell (The University of Nottingham)

Our ideas of domestic life are irrevocably connected to individual identity, political situation, nostalgia and nationhood. From the living room to the hallway to the vegetable patch, these domestic spaces can be both comforting and constricting, homely and un-homely, visions of the past and mirages of a planned, peaceful future. With such a multi-faceted identity, the ways in which homes are imagined in film, literature and popular culture presents a wonderfully rich field for study. Through the distribution of these media, the home becomes part of a shared space. Therefore, domesticity gains a whole new layering of values, such as through the dissemination of ideas about national identity, socially (un)accepted attitudes and the ideal home.

Over the past decade, the home has become an established field of academic research, with the founding of the Centre for Studies of Home (Queen Mary, University of London in partnership with the Geffrye Museum) and Histories of Home SSN networks, among many more. In 2006, Charlotte Grant and Jeremy Aynsley’s Imagined Interiors: Representing the Domestic Interior since the Renaissance joined together a number of academics working to investigate representations of home. However, since then, an increasing number of scholars are using ground-breaking methodologies to address representations of home life. In response to this growing interest in representations of homes in fields including Design History, Material Culture, Film Studies, Literature and Cultural Studies, this one-day interdisciplinary symposium will explore innovative ways of researching representations of the home across an international context and across media.

We invite papers and short films which might address — but are not limited to — the following themes:

• Home and identity
• Comparative studies of home(s)
• Representations of transnational/diasporic homes
• Domestic spaces and power structures: gender/class/race/sexuality
• Interiors: furniture, décor, windows and doors
• Landscapes: gardens and allotments
• Characteristics of home (e.g. welcoming/restrictive/a site of abuse)
• Adaptation of homes and gardens from literature to screen
• Nostalgia/Heritage genres
• Post-conflict homes: rebuilding and reconstruction
• ‘Homes’ outside the house (e.g. asylums, hospitals, prisons, boarding schools)
• Historical reception: popular culture of the home (e.g. home magazines)
• Methodologies of research

Proposals for papers should include the name, affiliation and email address for all paper authors, as well as a brief (max. 250 words) abstract, paper title and biographical note (max. 40 words).

Short film entries should be under 30 minutes in length and include an email address and biographical note (max. 40 words).

Please send paper proposals or short film entries to Bex Harper and Hollie Price at: by 1st August 2013.