Mobile and Temporary Domesticities, 1600-2017

Laika Nevalainen's picture
October 10, 2017
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Geography

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.


Provisional programme:

10.00–10.15                Registration

10.20–10.30                Introduction


10.30–11.30                Panel 1

Amanda Stevens (Open University/National Railway Museum): Home on the Rails

Dina Gusejnova (University of Sheffield): The Many Lives of Tarpaulin: thinking about temporary homes on the radio

Charles Fawell (University of Chicago): Neighborhoods Afloat: Living Together on the ‘East-of-Suez’ Steamships of the French and British Empires, c. 1880 – 1930


11.30–11.45                Tea and coffee

11.45–12.30                Panel 2

Janet C. Bowstead (Royal Holloway, University of London): Changing journeys into journeyscapes: enhancing women’s control over their domestic violence mobility

Julie Le Hegarat (Indiana University Bloomington): Cenotaph


12.30–13.30                Lunch

13.30–14.30                Panel 3

Michael Pearce (Independent Scholar): ‘For my Lord to goe to Londone of stuffe’ – Elite mobility and homemaking in the 1630s.



14.30–14.45                Break

14.45–15.45                Panel 4

Ute Sonnleitner (ÖGB- Department of Education/ Styria): ‘Bohemia’ and ‘Home Sweet Home’ – Actors‘ and Actresses‘ mobilities 1850-1950

Kathryn White (University of Birmingham): “Tommy’s Home”: Temporary Domesticity of the YMCA’s Huts in the First World War

Valerie Burton & Catherine McCausland (Memorial University Newfoundland): “At Home” to the Sea: Embroidering and Historicizing the Un/Settled Newfoundland Family


15.45–16.00                Tea and coffee

16.00–17.00                Keynote and discussion

Alastair Owens (Queen Mary University of London): Restless domesticity: poverty, mobility and material culture in Victorian London


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


Further information can be found on the workshop blog


Contact Info: 

Laika Nevalainen and Tessa Chynoweth