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Conference: Love & Material Culture in the Arts & Humanities

Conference: Love & Material Culture in the Arts & Humanities

Call for papers now open – submit proposals by Friday 12 January 2024.

Conference to take place on Saturday 3 February 2024 at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Academics and independent researchers at all levels are invited to submit an abstract for this one-day interdisciplinary conference which examines the intersection between love and material culture within the arts and humanities. Philosophers, historians, theologians, and literary scholars have identified love in myriad ways: its conception as a cultural practice, something which is rooted in a feeling of being at home, a form of madness, a form of ‘self-disclosure’ which is exemplified in the divine, a tool of power and politics, and something which might be produced from a tension between feelings and duty. These discussions have been further developed by recent research which connects emotions and material culture; scholars have suggested how material objects might serve as the locus for emotions, effecting change for people’s emotions, or contributing to memories and remembrance. Examining love within material objects offers insights into the value and experience of love; as objects are imagined, created, and utilised in a variety of ways within particular communities and contexts, conceptions of love are realised. We, therefore, welcome submissions from all historical and geographical regions noting how love might be identified, valued, or experienced through a variety of material sources.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • material symbols of love
  • stories of love in Museums or cultural institutions
  • love in the archives
  • religious devotion and material objects
  • representations of love in literature
  • fashions of love
  • expressing love through gifts
  • representations of love in art
  • love and consumer culture
  • love and food
  • love and objects of religious belief
  • representations of love in film and media

Please send proposals of no more than 200 words to by Friday 12 January 2024.