Objects of Poverty, 1100-2021: deadline 7 June

Date / time: 28 August, All day

Objects of Poverty, 1100-2021: deadline 7 June


The material possessions of the middling and upper sections of society have received much scholarly attention in the past 30 years. Yet, even following the ‘material turn’ and despite material wealth being intrinsically linked to our ideas of poverty, studies of the poor have largely remained object-less. This conference seeks to address this gap and shift focus back to the items possessed by the poorer sorts.

We welcome scholars from a range disciplines, as well as museum practitioners and independent scholars, examining any historical period (between 1100 and the present day)and geographical location, to present a 15-minute paper. Speakers are invited to comment on what one object or one ‘bundle’ of items can reveal about poverty (in its broadest sense) in terms of the experiences of the individual and/or the wider societal context.

Objects could include, though are not limited to:

  • Clothing
  • Domestic articles
  • Furnishings
  • Food
  • Religious objects
  • Makeshift items
  • Toys

Please email abstracts of 300 words, together with short bio, including name, institutional affiliation and position, and email address (by 7 June 2021), to Dr Joseph Harley (ARU) & Dr Vicky Holmes (QMUL) at objectsofpoverty@gmail.com.