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Beyond the home: new histories of domestic servants

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Beyond the Home New Histories of Domestic Servants

This international conference will be held on 7–8 September 2017 at the Humanities Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford. The conference brings together speakers from all over the world to explore the historical lives of servants outside their places of work.

Course Code


Course Dates

7th September 2017 – 8th September 2017

Places Available

Course Leader

Olivia Robinson
Course Description

‘Beyond the home: new histories of domestic servants’ will explore the lives and experiences of servants beyond their domestic workplaces. Domestic service, in its various forms, has long provided one of the most significant sources of employment for men, women and children around the world. Existing studies have successfully explored the servant experience in their place of work, yet contributions made by servants outside the home – to social, cultural, economic and political life – have been little explored. The conference will be an opportunity to explore fresh perspectives on both the history of domestic service and its impact on society at a local and global level.

Due to the high level of interest, the conference is being held over two days, and will feature:

Keynote by Carolyn Steedman
‘In Conversation’ session with Karen Tranberg Hansen and Laura Schwartz
Six panels on the themes of family, community, sociability, mobility, leisure and rights.
Two special sessions exploring modern day representations of servants

Given the global nature of the topic, the organisers are delighted to welcome speakers from Australia, Denmark, India, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA, who will between them explore servant lives from the early modern period to the present day.

For further information about the conference and to download a complete programme, please go to: http://beyondthehome.wordpress.com 


Dr Sacha Hepburn, Past & Present Fellow, Institute of Historical Research and Visiting Scholar, Oxford Centre for Global History

Olivia Robinson, DPhil candidate, History Faculty, University of Oxford 

Conference registration includes entry to all conference sessions, tea/coffee and lunch on both days and a drinks reception on 7th September. The registration fee is £20 waged; £10 unwaged* 

*There may be extra support available for students and the unwaged who can show they do not have other funds to support their attendance. Please email the organisers with your name, university affiliation (if any) and, in no more than 150 words, your reasons for requesting a fee waiver.