All Work, No Play

deadline for submissions: 
August 14, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
The University of Melbourne

Deadline Extended: ALL WORK, NO PLAY
Please send proposals by August 14 2023

This is a symposium on pedagogy and the pedagogical imaginary presented by the English and Theatre Studies Program at The University of Melbourne and generously supported by the Shakespeare 400 Trust and the ETS program.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Claire Hansen, The Australian National University

Date: Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Attendance: in-person on the Parkville Campus and virtually via Zoom

The Covid-19 pandemic has redrawn the boundary between spaces—private and public, domestic and institutional—necessitating a critical re-evaluation of the histories of these categories. Home was exposed as a leaky container that struggles to hold or keep secure those values long associated with the domestic sphere: family, comfort, cleanliness. Modern familial relations were complicated when parents were made into teachers and children became students within the home. Meanwhile, school and tertiary educators suffered major losses of classroom space, collegial solidarity, contracts, career progression, and even wages.

2023 has marked the return to a seemingly ‘normal’ circulation within and across these everyday spaces. We take this ongoing moment of global upheaval as the vantage point from which to reconsider the work we do as educators and researchers. This conference invites speakers to reflect upon the transformations—material, social, emotional— that they have had to respond or adapt to in their work. We encourage considerations of pedagogical and research practices, as well as interpretations of texts and performances that have emerged as newly urgent, such as readings of domestic labour, maintenance, and care economies.

We invite papers on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Zones of living and working; ‘WFH’, digital space, office space, hot-desking, repurposed space etc.

  • Research practices reimagined; slow scholarship, distant and remote collaboration etc.

  • Teaching crisis, teaching shortage, hiring crisis, denigration of teaching

  • Pedagogical and domestic imaginaries; domestic novels, governess novels 

  • Place-based learning

  • Staging lifestyle, consumption of lifestyle, lifestyle influencers

  • Maintenance, housework, teaching as maintenance

  • Generative mess, catering and practices of hospitality, cleaning and maintenance as productivity and/or creative endeavour

  • Domestic labour, care economies, emotional labour, threats to domesticity, challenges to domestic infrastructure

  • Homeliness/Unhomeliness

  • Poetics of the everyday

  • Pedagogical histories and teaching philosophy; history of childhood, governesses and tutors, home-schooling etc.

  • Campus culture, campus novels, campus regeneration, the return to the classroom.

Please send abstracts of 200 words and a brief bio to the symposium organizers Sara Fernandes and Beth McLean (ETS, Melbourne) at:

This is a blended symposium; we welcome both virtual and in-person participation. Please indicate your planned attendance mode in your email.

This symposium is supported by the English and Theatre Studies Program, University of Melbourne, and the Shakespeare 400 Trust.