Culture Wars 1900-1950, 14th June 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Sheffield Hallam University
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What was meant by 'culture' in the period 1900-1950? Whose culture was it and did all walks of life have a culture? How was culture contested? This is an inter-disciplinary conference that looks beyond the purely literary to encompass film, journalism, publishing, libraries, etc. We particularly welcome papers addressing cultural change over time, and that focus on the beginning and end of the 1900-1950 period.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
• Democratisation and elitism
• Working-class culture
• The rise of the cinema
• Modernism and modernity
• High, low and middle-brows
• Bestsellers and the changing publishing industry
• Education and libraries: educating the 'masses'
• Interactions between children's and adult cultures

Sheffield Hallam University is home to the 'Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950 Collection', a unique resource of over 1000 novels, most in early editions, which reflect the wide range of literary taste in the period. The conference will include a session on the use of the collection as a research resource.
The Collection is part of the Middlebrow Network: Our reading blog:

Please send abstracts of approx. 250 words for 20 minute papers to Dr Erica Brown (, by 7 March 2014. Proposals for innovative forms of presentation or workshop are also welcome: please contact Erica Brown if you would like to discuss this or have any other queries. Participants will be notified by 17 March 2014.