Conference Programme

Sunday 30th June

Walking Tour of the Bournville Estate led by historian Michael Harrison (1-3.30pm)

This walking tour will look at the history of the pre-WWI parts of the Estate, the site of some early experimental construction work, the Bournville Works Housing Society scheme and the Weoley Hill development. The walk will then move onto some early post-WW2 houses, before finishing at the late 1980s development at Woodbrooke Meadow.

Limited spaces. First come first served basis, booking available when conference registration opens.

Monday 1st July

Registration – 9-10am

Panel 1 – 10-11.15am

Woman and Home

Chair: Alix Beeston

Lesley A. Hall – Feminists and the domestic sphere in early 1930s Britain

Olivia Majumdar – The Home and the World: Representations of Women Leaving ‘Purdah’ in early twentieth-century Indian literature

Cristiana Pagliarusco – Georgia O’Keeffe: A Room of Her Own “to Start Anew, to Strip Away”

Suzana Zink – Turn-of-Century Rooms and the Pull of Modernity in Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day and The Years

Designing the Interior

Chair: Sean Ketteringham

Clare Taylor – Contesting modernism: Regency Revival interiors in town and country

Juliet Dunmur – Prudence Maufe: “A Servant of Heal’s”

Thomas McGrath – “A fitted carpet was the symbol of luxury and class!”: Embracing modernity in the mid-twentieth century working-class living room

Michael Clegg – ‘Intended for every home’: the Everyman Prints and the intermodern

Homes Across the Water

Chair: Peter Fifield 

Hannah Halliwell – Absent Presences: The Morphinomane at Home in French Visual Culture (1880-c.1916)

William Carroll  – ‘Wooden Gothic and Sordid Squalor:’ The haunted small-town domestic in American Photography

Ahmed Honeini – “Ah’m goan home”: Spirituality, “homegoing”, and the African-American dwelling space in William Faulkner’s “Pantaloon in Black”

Lottie Whalen – ‘Becoming Intimate with the Bohemians’: the post-decadent domesticity of New York’s avant-garde salons

Coffee – 11.15-11.30 am

Keynote – Barbara Penner – 11.30-12.45pm – Adaptive Domesticity: Heart Kitchens and Homemaker Rehabilitation

Lunch – 12.45-2pm

Film Screening with Q&A – Peter Wyeth – 1.30-2pm – A modernist mystery: discovering a new domestic modernism

Winterbourne House – from 12.45pm

Winterbourne is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century suburban villa and garden. The house was built in 1903 for John and Margaret Nettlefold, of Guest, Keen & Nettlefold. You will have the opportunity to explore the house and grounds at your leisure.

Current University of Birmingham staff and students can enter the site for free.

Limited spaces. First come first served basis, booking available when conference registration opens.

Panel 2 – 2-3.15pm

Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Domesticities

Chair: Cristiana Pagliarusco

Harriet Baker – “Against the grated carrot, folk-pottery way of life”: Sylvia Townsend Warner and rural domesticity

Peter Swaab – ‘An exhibition of the heart’: ‘Mutton’s Only House’ by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Claire Gale – The permeable boundaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s homes

Architecture and Design

Chair: Hannah Halliwell

Ben Highmore – ‘A Home is Not a House’ Revisited

Ella Kilgallon – Between privacy and neighbourliness: the tower block and domestic design

Neil Jackson – Production Houses from the Pierre Koenig Archive

Johanna Agerman Ross – Lubetkin and Lounging – Modernism and the relaxed posture

Experimental Domesticity

Chair:  Ahmed Honeini

Adam McKie – ‘Embodying the Spirit of the Twentieth Century’: The Modernist Utopian Experiments of the Crittall Manufacturing Company, 1918-32

Charlie Pullen – Experiment House: Modernism, Home Education, and the Radical Boarding School

Sean Ketteringham – Blast Domesticity? Wyndham Lewis, Frederick Etchells, W.R. Lethaby and revolutionary architecture

Michael Harrison – Tradition and experiment: Bournville, 1895-1950

Panel 3 – 3.15-4.30pm

Mothering Modernism

Chair: Rebecca May Johnson

Alix Beeston – The Photographer at Work, the Woman at Home: Gertrude Käsebier and the Maternal Line of Sight

Naomi Baguley – Eating Back Through Our Mothers: Virginia Woolf’s Culinary Inheritance

Peter Fifield – Illness and Domestic Care in Winifred Holtby

The Post-War Home

Chair: Addie Booth

Emily Rees – Flexible Modernity: Domesticating the Television Set in Post-war Britain

Charlotte Hallahan – The post-war family home and the psychoanalysis of Melanie Klein

Vincent Chabany-Douarre – Star in Your Own Home: Tradition, Modernity, and the Performance of Domestic Life in Midcentury Los Angeles

Edwina Attlee – Moving Walls: Living with Housework’s Imperfect Industrialisation at Unité d’Habitation and Cité de Refuge

Order and Disorder

Chair: Charlie Pullen

Pollyanna Rhee – Toward an Improved Ecology: Ellen Swallow Richards and the Creation of an Efficient and Modern Domesticity

Jade Elizabeth French – ‘like the tell-tale rings of the oak’: Djuna Barnes, Hoarding & Late Life Creativity

Rachel Hynes – Warp, Woof and Woolf: Home Dressmaking and Household Textile ‘Stuffs’ in the Writing of Virginia Woolf

Zachary Hope – Blitzing Mrs. Brown: Unhousing Domestic Fiction & the Fate of Character

Comfort Break – 4.30-4.45pm

Panel 4 – 4.45-6pm

Masculine Domesticities

Chair: William Carroll

Colin Ripley – The House of the Thief

Greg Chase – “To see with the same eyes”: The Limits of Heterosexual Intimacy in Ford’s The Good Soldier

Allan Kilner-Johnson – The Fractured Houses of Bernard Shaw

Leslie de Bont – ‘No other house will ever be to you what I have been’: Place-identity, Marriage and Writing in May Sinclair’s Far End

Thresholds, Boundaries and the Liminal Home

Chair: Jade Elizabeth French

Laurie McRae Andrew – Domestic space and regional modernism: Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor

Nicolas P. Boileau and Rebecca Welshman – “The Horrors of the Dark Cupboard”: self-effacement and domestic space in the works of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf

Elizabeth Anderson, – ‘It was small, but wonders could wrought here’: domesticity in Gwendolyn Brooks’ Maud Martha

Mallory Alexandre – Nails and Snails: Revisiting the Drawing-Room in Virginia Woolf’s Shorter Fiction

The Kitchen: The Heart of the Home?

Chair: Harriet Baker

Rebecca May Johnson – Cooking up the Continent: The Kitchen as a Site of Transnationalisation in the Novels of Barbara Pym

Daniel Jenkin-Smith – Objet petits pois: Peas and Domestics in James Joyce’s ‘Two Gallants’ (1914)

Catherine Burgass – Dream Kitchen? Meat and materialism in the work of Arnold Bennett and Virginia Woolf

Eliza Murphy – Lobster à la Riseholme: Food and Party Performance in E. F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia

Drinks Reception, generously funded by the Centre for Modernist Cultures at the University of Birmingham – 6pm

Conference Meal – 8pm

Tuesday 2nd July

Coffee 9-9.30am

Panel 5 – 9.30-10.45am

Irish Homes

Chair: Farah Nada

Maebh Long – ‘a clattered milkcan, a postman’s double knock’: Irish modernism and the mail

Sorcha O’Brien – Kitchen Promises: Aspiration and Reality during Irish Rural Electrification – digital paper

Mechanical Homes

Chair: Adam McKie

Marisa Stickel – Silences and Syncopated Rhythms: The Unsaid, Unspoken, and Unsayable in Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal

Michael McCluskey – Interior Discipline: Domestic Design in 1930s Documentary

Sue Ash – Breathe, stretch and relax: The Angel in the House loosens her shackles

Richard Hornsey – Of custard-mixing machines, egg slicers, and other kitchen gadgets

Decadence and Squalor

Chair: Anne Reus

Marie Hologa – Modernism and Domestic Squalor in the German period TV drama Babylon Berlin (2017)

Rebecca Moore – Syrie Maugham Satirised: ‘Vogue Regency’ style in the work of Evelyn Waugh and Osbert Lancaster

Alexandra Chiriac – Integral Domesticities and Modernist Myths: Displaying the Modern Interior in Bucharest

Coffee – 10.45-11am

Panel 6 – 11-12.15pm

Elizabeth Bowen and the Home

Chair: Maebh Long

Qiong He – Adrift at Home: Trauma, Modernity, and the Anglo-Irish History in Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September

Sinéad Sturgeon – “Strange Growths” in Elizabeth Bowen’s The Demon Lover

Farah Nada – Domestic Discomforts: Habitability in Elizabeth Bowen’s Short Stories

Writing and the Home

Chair: Harriet Walters

Rae Gaubinger – Cutting the House into Flats: The Architecture of the Family Saga in Virginia Woolf’s The Years

Stefano Rozzoni – From Knole to Sissinghurst: Castles and Modern Writing in Vita Sackville-West’s House Poems

Jane de Gay – Reconfiguring Domestic Sacred Space: Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House

Lunch – 12.15-1.15pm

Panel 7 – 1.15-2.30pm

Electrical Homes

Chair: Matilda Blackwell

Silvia Pizzirani – This Electric Age is Woman’s Opportunity! Consumption Policies of the Electrical Association for Women, between Domestic Emancipation and Conservative Modernity

Suriyaporn Eamvijit – “Leap into it—and it EXPLODES with Light”: Luminosity and Thresholds in Le Corbusier’s Towards an Architecture and Mina Loy’s The Lost Lunar Baedeker

Robert Chesters – Demanding Modernity: Consumer expectations and the British domestic radio during the 1930s

Stephanie Rains – ‘All-Electric Homes’: Technology, Modernism and the Irish Free State

A Room of Her Own

Chair: Rebecca Moore

Katherine Fama – Architectural Affects in the Modern “Homes of Single Women”

Josie Cray – A Houseboat of One’s Own

Addie Booth – ‘A Human House’: Exploring Modern Domesticity through Objects and Decorations in Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House

Theatrical Homes

Chair: Cécile Varry

Kitty Gurnos-Davies – ‘Yes; it lacks form doesn’t it?’: spatial dramaturgy of the modernist home and gender experimentation in Susan Glaspell’s The Verge (1921)

Vanessa Vanden Berghe – Considering the concept of staging in the consumption of the interior during the 1920s and 1930s in Britain.

Patrizio M. Martinelli – The Theatricality of the Modern Interior: Eero Sarinen’s Miller House in Columbus, Indiana

Panel 8 – 2.30-3.15pm

The Modernist Garden

Chair: Stefano Rozzoni

Laura Blomvall – Sissinghurst and Monk’s House: Gardening, the Second World War and Late Modernism

Harriet Walters – The Arts and Crafts Garden: Art, Modernism and Rural Custom

Melissa Zeiger – Anne Spencer’s Garden Emancipation

Jasmine McCrory – ‘I make an offering, the the grass, of radishes and flowers’: Wallace Stevens, Gardening and the Mythic Imagination

Haunted Houses

Chair: Lottie Whalen

Emma Liggins – ‘“The very room hates us!”: Modernisation and haunted space in the stories of Elizabeth Bowen’

Cécile Varry – Home Hauntings: The Uncanny Domesticity of T.S. Eliot

Anne Reus – ‘[It] has followed me, unwelcomed’: Victorian Legacies in Virginia Woolf’s Writing

Performing Domestic Intimacies

Chair: Kitty Gurnos-Davies

Kim Lockwood – Sharing a Bath with Amy Lowell

Sarah Garland – “A House is a Mental Quality”: Style as affect in Anais Nin’s domestic interiors

Heleina Burton – “Coming home through all this”: Mourning and hope in A Wave

Keynote – Morag Shiach – 3.15-4.45pm – Modernism, Melancholia, History and Home

Closing comments – 4.45-5pm

The conference will take place in the Arts Building at the University of Birmingham Edgbaston Campus. Papers will be 15 minutes in length.

With thanks to the Centre for Modernist Cultures and Midlands4Cities for generously funding this conference.