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


A conference organised by Thomas McGrath, a history PhD candidate at Manchester Metropolitan University

Date: Monday 16th March 2020

Time: Approx. 9:30am – 5:00pm

Location: Brooks Building, 53 Bonsall St, Manchester M15 6GX

Tickets: Free – Available on Eventbrite

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 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.

Provisional Timetable

Location: Room – BR.164, Brooks Building, Birley Fields Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, M15 6GR

Date: Monday 16th March 2020

09:45-10:25 – Registration

10:25 – 10:30 – Welcome and opening remarks

10:30 – 11:30 Panel 1: Women’s Skills & Spaces

Kristina Decker: Creating Space or Space to Create?: Mary Delany’s Delville

Katie Carpenter: Hidden Skills: Women and Technology in the Kitchen, 1870-1914

11:30-11:45 – Break

11:45 – 12:45 Panel 2: Spaces in Literary Homes

Farah Nada: ‘Outside War’: The Evacuated Spaces of Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘The Heat of Day’

Matilda Blackwell: ‘Gurgling cisterns, gushing taps and lavatory flushes’: Loneliness, Lodging-Houses and Dirty Old Women

12:45 – 13:30 – Lunch (provided for speakers)

13:30 – 14:30 Keynote Speaker

Stephen Hague: Why Study Houses

14:30 – 15:30 Panel 3: Private Spaces in the Working-Class Home

Lesley Hoskins (co-authored with Rebecca Preston): Overlooked on all sides: privacy and the outside spaces of new small homes in late Victorian and Edwardian London

John Burns: Closes, Cludgies & Wash-Houses: The Hidden Life of the Glasgow Tenement

15:30 – 16:00 – Break with refreshments

16:00– 17:20 Panel 4: Spaces Under Control?

Vicky Holmes: The Locked Door: A Lodger’s Privacy in the Working-Class Home

Claudia Soares: “Children who love flowers and who are kind to animals, will be slow to behave with rudeness or temper to those around them: Children’s engagement with nature in the residential welfare institution, c.1850-1930

Marlieke Damstra: A Future for Interiors in the Oost Achterhoek

17:20 – 17:30 – Closing remarks

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Simpson ·


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