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Domesticity, AND Security







23-25 2015


About the Conference


Recent academic interests and explorations within the field of broadly understood American Studies have been largely concentrating on the unusual and exceptional aspects of American literature, art and life, such as wildness, transgression, excess, violence, sublimity, greatness, intemperance, extraordinariness. The questions which the conference is going to address will focus on the constructions and the place of the "ordinary" viewed from the perspective of various "home"-inspired discourses, from housing to domestic policy, through questions of family values, ethics of modesty, simplicity of living, unpretentiousness, individual and domestic security, American communities, localities and neighborhoods. The homely, unlike the sublime and the beautiful, seems to be a category which has slipped from the critical horizon of the humanities as unaesthetic and too obvious, which obviousness we hope to problematize during the conference. Perhaps Walt Whitman's "twenty-ninth bather" from Song of Myself, the woman to whom the homeliest of the twenty eight young and friendly bathing men was beautiful ("Ah the homeliest of them is beautiful to her") could be also inquired in this respect?

Call for Papers

We suggest the following, broad, thematic areas only as a topographically drafted chart of the conference:

- the homely and the natural
- homeliness and norm
- homeliness and beauty
- dialects of the private and the homely
- homely homes
- domicile, abode, dwelling 
- at home and abroad
- domestic spaces
- domesticity and domestication
- domestic peace
- cult(s) and cultivation of domesticity
- foreignizing and domesticating practices 
- the vernacular and the foreign 
- ideologies of domesticity
- home economies
- imagining home
- home and community 
- native sons and daughters 
- the other(s) of home
- the tamed and the rebellious

- the tamed and the rebellious 
- home and mobility
- the bonds of home
- mistresses and masters of home
- privacy and hospitality
- sweet homey homes 
- home as state/state as home 
- exiles and cosmopolitans
- from wigwam to casino 
- from cabin to the cabinet 
- domestic securities 
- home/stability/security
- tiny houses, tiny living 
- hospitality: neighbors, visitors, strangers
- homelessness: hobos, bums and tramps 
- urbanites, suburbanites, villagers 
- visible and invisible unshelteredness 
- sleeping in Central Park 
- homes and shelters 
- homes (away) from hom

Conference Posters

Homeliness v1c 1 sm

Homeliness v3a 1 sm

Keynote Speakers

Professor Bridget Bennett, University of Leeds, UK
Keynote Lecture Title: The Silence Surrounding the Hut: Architecture, Absence and Nation-Building

Professor Nancy Cott, Harvard University, USA
Keynote Lecture Title: Public Emblem, Private Realm: Marital Supremacy in United States History

Professor Arthur F. Redding, York University, Canada
Keynote Lecture Title: Darlings of the Weather Uunderground: Women Revolutionaries in Contemporary American Fiction

Conference Program

The conference program is available for download HERE.


  • Professor Tadeusz Rachwał, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw
  • Associate Professor Piotr Skurowski, Ph.D., SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw
  • Agnieszka Pantuchowicz, Ph.D., SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw
  • Anna Warso, Ph.D., SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw

Conference Photos


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SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Chodakowska 19/31, 03-815 Warsaw, Poland