The University of Northampton and English Heritage are currently circulating a Call for Papers for their upcoming conferece, Consuming the Country House: From Acquisiton to Presentation (18-19 April 2012). The aim of the conference is to “bridge the persistent divide between historians’ interpretations of elite consumption and the material culture of the country house, and attempts by owners, managers and curators to interpret and present the country house to visitors.”
Papers discussing any aspect of consumption, material culture and the country house, both in the past and the present are invited. Papers focusing on the following themes would be especially welcome:
- Supplying the country house: food and drink, furniture, local and imported goods, etc.
- The country house as lived/living space – room use (then) and using rooms (now); the (different?) role of men and women; the relationships between and spaces of masters and servants
- Collecting or consuming – motivations to consume; the economics of acquisition; European and oriental influences
- Old and new – the role of fashion; buying second-hand; the emerging taste for antiques; the country house as palimpsest; rearranging the furniture (by owners and for presentation)
- Material culture and the country house interior – aesthetics of interior design; the meaning of goods and their arrangement (past and present)
- Continuities and contrasts: comparisons between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; of London and provinces; across Europe
- The impact of the country house visitor in the past and present: changing attitudes; national differences; broadening markets and access to houses
- Interpreting and presenting the country house: using new technologies and approaches (e.g. live interpretation); different approaches across space and time
The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2011. Contact details can be found in the full Consuming the Country House CfP.