Spaces of Work, 1770-1830 Back

Spaces of Work, 1770-1830 

Saturday 28 April 2012
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Registration is open. Registration deadline is 17 April 2012.


Booking form, provisional programme, poster, and other information are available on the conference website:


Spaces of Work 1770-1830 will address the relationships between workers and spaces in Britain. The conference will showcase current research and will interrogate under-analyzed types ofwork and space. Papers will develop the theorization of types ofwork that critics have not conventionally understood as ‘work’ (shopping and female accomplishments, for instance). We also aim to bring attention to under-analysed spaces. For example, due to Romanticism’s traditionally rural focus, literary critics of this period have only recently begun to interrogate urban spaces; interdisciplinary discussion of urban spaces of work like the theatre, the bookshop, and the warehouse will therefore be particularly valuable. The politics of rural work, specifically on the aristocratic estate, are also considered. Papers will interrogate work and space from myriad angles including class, gender, public/private, and professional/non-professional, among others. We aim to analyze the interfacing ofwork and space as two factors that fundamentally shape everyday life in order to gain a greater understanding of material life in the period. To these ends, papers and discussion will attempt to answer questions such as the following:


How do workers and their work uniquely shape space?
How does space facilitate or hinder workers and their work?
How does the social relationship among workers and between them and their supervisors/masters alter according to thework they are doing and the spaces in which they perform it?

How do factors like gender and class inform workers’ relationship to each other in different contexts of space and work?


Our conference topic is intrinsically interdisciplinary, dealing primarily with literary studies, and social, cultural, political, economic, and architectural history. The interdisciplinary nature of Spaces of Work 1770-1830 will be emphasized by the work of the two keynote speakers, Karen Harvey (Cultural History, Sheffield) and Jennie Batchelor (English, Kent). Harvey has worked on masculinity and the home and has an upcoming project on masculinity and work. Batchelor has worked on gender, work, and material culture studies. Further information about the conference is available from the organizers: Kate Scarth ( and Joseph Morrissey (