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CFP: Pastimes in Past Times: Entertainment in London

Submission deadline: April 24, 2017

Conference date(s):
November 18, 2017

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Conference Venue:

London, United Kingdom

Topic areas


London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (LAMAS) Local History Conference            

Saturday 18th November 2017, Museum of London

Pastimes in Past Times: Entertainment in London

Call for papers

From the respectable to the unrespectable, from high culture to low; in the streets, the theatres, the circuses, the pleasure gardens, and on the river; drama, music, tumbling, conjuring; legal and illegal, moral and immoral; spring, summer and winter; daytime, night-time, anytime! As Peter Ackroyd has written, ‘London is truly the home of the spectacle… as long as the city has existed there have been entertainers and entertainments’.  

The aim of this one-day conference is to investigate and explore the history of ‘entertainment’ in London, it all its various forms and across different periods in the capital’s history. The organisers of the conference are seeking proposals from local historians, academics, postgraduate students, and anyone with a scholarly interest in the history of entertainment in London for engaging and accessible talks or presentations of between 20 and 40 minutes.

The LAMAS Local History Conference attracts a keen ‘general interest’ audience as well as many members of local history societies from across London and its surrounding counties who have more specialised interests. Papers on any aspects of ‘entertainment’ from any period in the history of London and its hinterlands are welcomed. Themes might include:

  • Theatres and theatricals; actors and acting

  • Circuses, spectacles, variety shows

  • Music, musicals, concerts and recitals

  • Music hall and music hall performers

  • Street entertainers and entertainments

  • Burlesque and cabaret; dancing and dancehalls  

  • Open spaces, pleasure gardens, on the river

  • Films, filming and cinema

  • Pageants, processions and parades

  • Built environment (theatres, music halls, cinemas, venues)

Proposals comprising an abstract of no more than 500 words should be sent, preferably via e-mail, to John Price or via the Department of History, Goldsmiths University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW. 

The closing date for proposals is 24 April 2017. Speakers will be selected and contacted by the end of May 2017.

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