The centre was launched in February 2011 and is a partnership between Queen Mary, University of London, and The Geffrye Museum of the Home, London. The centre is a unique national and international hub for innovative research and learning on the theme of ‘home’. It combines the complementary expertise and interest of Queen Mary and the Geffrye to develop research, knowledge exchange, dissemination and learning projects.
Since its inauguration the centre has facilitated knowledge exchange workshops between the two partners and wider audiences, hosting a range of events and projects and engage in an on-going development of applications for collaborative research projects.
The core activities facilitated by the centre count the monthly seminar series ‘Studies of Home’ hosted in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research, the Centre for Studies of Home Annual Lecture, and the two conferences Research in Progress and Post Graduate Study Day. In addition, the centre leads a range of research projects, of which some result in exhibitions and public events hosted at the Geffrye, whilst also depositing material in the Documenting Homes collection at the Geffrye.
The Centre’s Scope
Studies of home are wide-ranging and diverse. Reflecting this broad scope, the centre spans research on the home and domesticity (including everyday domestic life, domestic architecture, interior design and domestic material cultures) to the significance of home beyond the domestic (including broader ideas about dwelling, belonging and security). Fostering dialogue and collaboration between those in the academy and in the arts and cultural sectors, the centre brings together studies of home in the past and the present and located in a wide range of places. Key themes of interest include material and emotional home spaces, the relationships between home, household and identity, and home-making on domestic to global scales.
The centre has been developed as a partnership to utilise facilities at both institutions, combining infrastructure resources to host researchers, visiting fellows, undergraduate and postgraduate students and wider audiences. It also benefits from the museum’s exhibition space, curation expertise, educational resources and expertise in disseminating research findings and related activities to a wide set of public audiences.
At Queen Mary, centre members include a group of over fifteen academics and close to a dozen postgraduate students working on the home within a range of disciplines including Geography, History, English, and Psychiatry – a disparate body of work unified by its engagement with wide currents in social and cultural thought, including broad senses of dwelling and belonging.