Making A Home: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Domestic Interior
Deadline: 30 November 2014
University of Sussex, Brighton, England
7-8 May 2015
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Flora Dennis, Senior Lecturer, Art History, University of Sussex
I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.
The late Maya Angelou once wrote, “The ache for home lives in all of us.” This nostalgia for home—be it a physical space or geographical place, a moment in time, a person / people, or a state of mind—continues to be of central interest to artists, writers, and thinkers. Crossing lines between the private and public spheres, and extending into important explorations of nationhood and belonging, different areas of research into the home seek to expand our understanding of how physical space has been used, transformed, and conceptualised throughout history. Some aspects of this pursuit include less-tangible features: Interactions between people, objects and spaces; the complex process of memory-making; the role of sentiment; and creating a sense of belonging can transform a dwelling into a home. In turn, these interactions have the power to transform the individual and the home, and to shape a sense of identity, whether as an individual, family, or nation.
This two-day interdisciplinary conference invites proposals from doctoral students and early career researchers for 20-minute papers that explore the question of what makes a home, and how homes make us. Papers may consider homes both past and present and from a variety of perspectives such as material culture studies, art history, gender
studies, anthropology, postcolonial studies, critical race studies, and geography. Topics may include, though are not limited to:
- Historical constructions of home
- Public versus private spaces/spheres
- Domestic production and consumption
- Notions of domesticity, gender and identity
- Representations of home in art, music and literature
- Religion, ritual and belief in the home
- Institutional or non-familial homes
- Historic homes and heritage sites
- Architecture and interior design
- Sociability and sociality
- Ideas of nation / nationhood
- Diaspora and belonging
- Colonial and postcolonial histories
Please email an abstract of no more than 250 words to Michele Robinson and Emma Doubt at MakingAHome2015@gmail.com by 30 November 2014. Along with your abstract please include your name, institution, paper title and brief biography. Successful applicants will be notified by 1 February 2015. All speakers will be invited to attend a complimentary dinner in Brighton the evening of 7 May 2015.