Female Expression through Craft and Design in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries – CALL FOR PAPERS

Date / time: 26 April, All day

Female Expression through Craft and Design in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries - CALL FOR PAPERS


Symposium | 11 July 2024 | Reed Hall, Exeter University (and Online)

Female Expression through Craft and Design in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries

Call for Papers, deadline – 26 April 2024


A conference inspired by the conservation, outreach and intepretation project at A la Ronde, Devon

The National Trust is delighted to announce plans for an upcoming Symposium held at the University of Exeter on Thursday 11th July 2024. The purpose of the Symposium is to forge new bonds with researchers and academic professionals, find synergies with similar projects and properties, and to share stories and discoveries from our recent conservation work in a broader context. The Symposium will be delivered in a hybrid way, with presentations both in-person and online. We are hoping to hear from a wide range of external voices to bring context and new perspectives to our work. We welcome both returning and new contacts to add their voices to the conversation.

The Symposium will be delivered as part of the ‘A la Ronde: Conserving the Past, Creating the Future’ Project.

Papers are welcomed on the following topics:

  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century material histories and material culture, including female-designed domestic spaces
  • Decorative historic interiors, furniture and surfaces of the Georgian period embellished withnatural materials such as shellwork, featherwork, coral, crystal, pine cones, moss, mirror, ceramics, paper, watercolours, glass or other natural materials
  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century follies, grottoes, gallery spaces and architecture withincontemporary imagination, including ontological interpretations
  • The role and agency of women in commissioning, designing, or creating decorative interiors (A laRonde as a female-designed non-conformist space, and the role of the Parminters in its design and intention)
  • Conservation/research projects that relate to the care, interpretation or understanding ofdecorative interiors of this period
  • Other proposals that relate to the above may be considered – please contact the organisers for aninitial discussion

Papers will also be presented on:

  • How recent conservation work has enriched our understanding of A la Ronde, its context, and theintention of its creators– processes, investigations and findings from our 2023 major conservation project
  • Similar conservation projects from other places across the National Trust, how they have beenapproached, and what new perspectives they bring

Presentations may be delivered in person at Exeter University or online via virtual presentation (platform TBC). Full guidelines for formatting and length will be provided to accepted speakers.

How to Take Part:

Please email abstracts of up to 300 words for papers of 15-20 minutes, and a short biography of 50-150 words, to Harriet Squire Harriet.Squire@NationalTrust.org.uk.

Please ensure you have a paper title, include the names and email addresses of main / corresponding authors, and confirm that you are available on July 11th.

The call for papers will close on Friday 26th April, and decisions on proposals will be made by panel convenors in early May 2024. The selection of speakers will be announced shortly afterwards.

Contact us and find out more:

For more information on the Symposium and call for papers


Image: Wiki Commons – ‘The Ladies Waldegrave’, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1790.