Spaces of Work 1770–1830: A one-day interdisciplinary conference on 28 April 2012; proposal deadline 1 December 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Humanities Research Centre/University of Warwick
contact email: 

Spaces of Work 1770-1830 will address the relationships between workers and spaces in Britain. We aim to showcase current research and are particularly interested in interrogating under-analyzed types of work and space. For example, we hope to develop the theorization of types of work that critics have not conventionally understood as 'work' (the performance of music as practical activity, for instance). We also aim to bring attention to under-analysed spaces. For example, due to Romanticism's traditionally rural focus, literary critics of this period have only recently begun to interrogate urban spaces; interdisciplinary discussion of urbanism in this period would therefore be particularly valuable. We aim to analyze the interfacing of work and space as two factors that fundamentally shape everyday life in order to gain a greater understanding of material life in the period. To these ends, 500 word abstracts are invited which attempt to answer questions such as the following:

How do workers and their work uniquely shape space?
How does space facilitate or hinder workers and their work?
How does the social relationship among workers and between them and their supervisors/masters alter according to the work they are doing and the spaces in which they perform it?
How does gender, race, and/or class inform workers' relationship to each other in different contexts of space and work?

Possible approaches could include, but are not limited to: genteel work and the city; work in spaces of 'leisure'; work and (sub)urban domestic spaces; men's work in the home; space and female accomplishment; work and emergent manufacturing/industrial spaces.

Please send submissions to by 01/12/2011. Papers at the conference will be thirty minutes in length, with a generous allocation for questions.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Karen Harvey (University of Sheffield)
Jennie Batchelor (University of Kent)