This conference seeks to shed new light on the material culture of both routine and ritual practices in post-medieval vernacular houses. In recent years, scholars across a range of disciplines have become increasingly interested in the potential of objects to shed light on social relationships and domestic practices within the family, household and neighbourhood. This has led to a rise in studies of inventories, as records of particular assemblages within the home, made at a particular moment in time, and of objects themselves, recovered through archaeological excavation or curated within museum collections. Such studies have made use of new theoretical and methodological approaches, such as the idea of ‘biographies’, and the power of objects in telling ‘stories’ about the past – and indeed the present. However, to date, much less attention has been paid to the spatial context of objects, and to the ways in which the groupings of objects recovered in excavation, recorded in contemporary documents or illustrations, or curated and displayed as Museum assemblages, can shed light on the social practices households from the early modern period, to the present day.
Routine and Ritual seeks to being together academic and commercial archaeologists with scholars from other disciplines of cultural and local history, art history and the Museum profession, to discuss and debate the material culture of the post-medieval home and to facilitate dialogue across the disciplines and specialisms concerned with the interpretation of objects to academic and wider audiences. Contributors are asked to think about the relationships between the people who inhabited houses, domestic practices including ‘routine’ activities such as cooking and eating, sleeping, socialising and working, but also more nominally ‘ritual’ activities such as the ritual protection of the home, or the marking of life-cycle rituals such as birth, marriage and death. What role did possessions - buildings and objects - play in these activities? What can we say about the sensory experience both within and between different kinds of home – levels of light, heating, ventilation, the feel of furniture and furnishings, the smell of cooking, scent or sanitation?
Rather than inviting contributors to speak on individual object specialisms, this conference seeks to consider both the methodological challenges posed by the ‘material turn’, and the potential of buildings and objects to answer some of the questions posed above.
Confirmed speakers include: Alasdair Brooks, Craig Cessford, Pete Connelly, Timothy Easton, Ian Evans, David Gaimster, Tara Hamling, Vesa-Pekka Herva, Audrey Horning, Nigel Jeffries, Eleanor John, Freya Massey, Angela McShane, Andrew Morrall, Paul Mullins, Alastair Owen, Vesa-Pekka Herva, Sara Pennell, Philippa Puzey-Broomhead, Greig Parker, Catherine Richardson, Jayne Rimmer, Rosemary Weinstein.
Download the conference programme and abstracts here. Note: programme updated with new abstracts 27/07/12
The conference will run from Friday 7th September to Sunday 9th September 2012.
Registration will open at 5.00pm on Friday 7th for early arrivals and then from 9am on Saturday 8th.
The conference sessions will run from 9.15am-5.00pm on Saturday, followed by a reception at DIG, sponsored by York Archaeological Trust and 9.15am to 4.00pm on Sunday. Tea, coffee and sandwich lunches will be provided.
The venue for the conference is:
The King’s Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP.
Details of how to find the venue can be found here:
To plan your journey, use this site:
A range of different kinds of accommodation at different process can be booked through Visit York, the York Tourist Information Service, here. http://www.visityork.org/accommodation/
You can use the venue location postcode (YO1 7EP) to help you find a hotel or bed and breakfast close to The King’s Manor.
Booking and Conference Fee
The cost of attending the conference is £30. You can book and pay for conference attendance using the University of York’s online store: http://store.york.ac.uk/ and selecting ‘conferences and events’. SPMA ‘Routine and Ritual’ should then appear. Please contact Kate Giles (email@example.com) if you experience problems using this facility.
The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology is offering a number of student and conference registration bursaries. Please contact the conference organisers if you would like more details.