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Beyond the Home: New Histories of Domestic Servants

September 8, 2017
University of Oxford

United Kingdom

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Papers are sought for a conference at Oxford University on 8th September 2017 that will explore the lives and experiences of servants beyond their domestic workplaces. Domestic service, in its various forms, has long provided one of the most significant sources of employment for men, women and children around the world. Existing studies have successfully explored the servant experience in their place of work, yet contributions made by servants outside the home – to social, cultural, economic and political life – have been little explored. The conference will be an opportunity to explore fresh perspectives on both the history of domestic service and its impact on society at a local and global level.

The organisers seek 20-minute papers reflecting diverse chronologies and geographies. 

Topics might include, though are not limited to:

  • Social lives and sociability
  • Writing, painting and creative practices
  • Religious affiliations
  • Community organisations
  • Servants’ own homes and families
  • Political activism
  • Participation in civil society and worker organisations

The workshop will focus on developing our ideas around these themes with a view to publishing an edited collection of papers.

Please submit paper abstracts of 250 words to or by 31 March 2017. Notification of accepted proposals will be by 30 April 2017. 

Availability of travel and accommodation bursaries for the conference will be confirmed at a later date.

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August 31, 2017, 9:00am BST

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