‘Er indoors’: Domesticity and nature in home and garden– A one-day interdisciplinary conference

University of Warwick, Saturday 23 November 2019

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Ben Highmore, Cultural Studies, University of Sussex
  • Dr Lisa Taylor, Principal Lecturer in Media, Leeds Beckett University

The domestic garden represents, for many, their closest and most significant contact with the natural environment. The relationship of humans with this domestic outdoor space, in which nature can be ‘controlled’ by the householder, is often very different to that with ‘wild nature’, to be found in the countryside and national parks. Domesticity and Nature in Home and Garden seeks to provide a fresh, interdisciplinary perspective on the interaction of humans with the environment by focusing on the relationship between the house and the garden across time and place, on the ways in which family life occurs in the domestic space and how it moves between the indoors and the outdoors. This conference will promote a rethink of our place in the nature that is on our doorstep.

Domesticity and Nature in Home and Garden will appeal to scholars from diverse fields who are concerned with all aspects of the relationship between the inside and the outside of the home. Every time and place has a domestic culture of the inside and the outside that can be critically examined and compared. Areas of interest will include, but will not be limited to, the lived experience of the domestic home and garden (pets, house plants, vermin, barbeques, sheds) and the role of health, gender and class in defining the boundaries of the home and garden space. The study of domesticity inside and outside can reshape understandings of health, wellbeing and the human relationship to the environment and provide new approaches to productively discuss our future domesticities in the context of combatting climate change. This work is of clear significance to the world beyond the academy. The conference will provide a platform for discussion of ways in which the public might be fruitfully engaged, and of any barriers that exist to prevent this.

Participants will be drawn from a range of disciplines with interests spanning, though not restricted to, the humanities, with a balance between contributions adopting historical perspectives and those which critically examine areas of contemporary practice.

We invite proposals for papers of 20 minutes, submitted with a short biography to erindoors2019@outlook.com by 5pm on Friday 9th August.

We hope to support costs of attendance for postgraduate and early career researchers. Please let us know if you wish to be considered.

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