CALL FOR PAPERS - Hidden Spaces and Forgotten Places in the British Home, c.1750-1950 - Conference

Thomas McGrath's picture
Call for Papers
December 20, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, British History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Urban History / Studies


Hidden Spaces and Forgotten Places in the British Home, c.1750-1950


The Hidden Spaces and Forgotten Places conference will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University on 16th March 2020.

The home is an increasingly important focus of research. Attention has tended to focus on key rooms, such as the drawing room and dining room, and more recently on bedrooms and the kitchen. This leaves a lot of domestic space largely unexplored. We therefore welcome papers examining the relationship between space and place within the domestic sphere across the period c.1750-1950. We want to explore more about those places in the British home, which were seen as either private, personal spaces, or indeed those spaces and places which are often overlooked in academic research. Through examining the use of the home by its inhabitants, we hope to reconsider the social, cultural and aesthetic relationship between public and private spaces. 

We welcome papers on topics that may include, but are not limited to:

Rooms (particularly those which are not as widely researched, e.g. bathrooms, attics, larders, workshops - how did these rooms develop over time and how were they integrated into daily domestic life)

Different spaces within the home (those leading off or connecting rooms: closets, hallways, corridors, staircases)

Domestic material culture (furniture, accessories, decoration have been widely studied, but some objects have been largely overlooked, e.g.  carpets, fire screens, coffee tables and ironing boards; what domestic histories can be told through these objects)

Spaces relating to specific inhabitants of the home (this might gendered spaces, pets, children, servants, lodgers)

Gardens and outside spaces (how were these used and linked to domestic practices)


Papers should be around twenty minutes in length. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words, as well as a brief biography of around 200 words, to The call for papers closes on 20th December 2019.

Contact Info: 

Thomas McGrath is the organiser of this conference. Please direct all submissions and enquiries to the email address included here.

Contact Email: