Animals and the Home

Country: United Kingdom

City: London

Abstr. due: 07.01.2019

Dates: 01.05.19 — 01.05.19

Organizing comittee e-mail: elle.larsson@rhul.ac.uk

Organizers: Department of History, Pets & Family Life Project Team, Royal Holloway University of London

 

The ‘Animals and the Home’ conference will explore the relationship between animals, humans and the home in diverse forms. The study of the home is an important area in geography, history and anthropology but, as some animal studies scholars have remarked, animals figure in it infrequently. Animal presence is rarely mentioned in studies of idealised homes, domestic practices or family relationships. In recent decades studies of human-animal relationships have also developed and diversified, and a large body of scholarship now explores animal-human histories. While the cultural, economic and social significance of pet animals has been an important theme in this literature, discussions of these animals are sometimes abstract and removed from the everyday spaces and places they inhabited. Less attention has also been paid to the role of utility animals and household pests. This conference aims to bring home and animals together – thinking about the relationship between animals and ideas and emotional understandings of home, but also home as a lived experience. Proposals are invited from scholars working on all periods and geographical areas, bearing in mind that understandings of home often varied at different times and in different places. While the conference focuses on the past, we welcome interest from scholars in all disciplines.

Papers might address (but are not limited to) the following themes:

  • Changing discourses or cultural ideas of home and how animals figured in these representations
  • Visual representations of animals in the home
  • Emotional understandings of home and animals
  • Domestic organisation, rituals and routines and the role of animals
  • Animals and boundaries, thresholds and movement in the home
  • Understandings of roles of animals in the home: utility, pet, pest etc.
  • Human-human relationships (family and other) and animal-human relationships
  • The impact of animals on space and material culture in the home
  • How far we can consider animal agency in the home

The AHRC Pets and Family Life Project invites research proposals for the conference which will be held at the Institute of Historical Research on Wednesday May 1st 2019.

Conference Web-Site: http://events.history.ac.uk/event/show/16524