Conference Programme

Below, you’ll find a short-form version of our conference programme across 25 & 26 January 2022; all times are provided in GMT / UTC+0.


25 JAN 2022

09:30 – 10:15 Keynote address

Dr Freya Gowrley (University of Bristol) – ‘I love her as my own child’: Inheritance, Extra-Illustration, and Queer Familial Intimacies at Strawberry Hill


10:30 – 12:30 PANEL 1: Archival traces of women

Chair: Dr Ruth Larsen

Katie Crowther (University of York / The National Trust) – Fractured Stories and Fragmented Archives: Marginalised Sisters at Nostell Priory, 1760-1800

Tom Coombe (University of Plymouth) – The Ornamental Dairy at Croome; uncovering the complex identity of Barbara St John

Dr Mary Chadwick (University of Huddersfield) – “Some little influence should maintain”: Recovering Elizabeth, Countess Harcourt (1746-1826)

Corey Estensen (Manchester Metropolitan University / The National Trust) – Three Women Gardeners at Tatton Park, 1830-1930


13:00 – 14:30 PANEL 2: Colonial and imperial exchange

Chair: Jaya Yadav

Dr Rosemary Keep (University of Birmingham) – “Young Girl with a Dog and a Page”: Portraits of elite girls with enslaved boys

June Watson (Northumbria University) – Recovering Women of Science in the Postcolonial World of Empire: Lady Anna Maria Jones (1748-1829)

Hannah Cusworth (University of Hull / English Heritage) – Marble Hill and Henrietta Howard: mistress, survivor, imperialist?


14:45 – 16:15 PANEL 3: Women’s political and intellectual networks

Chair: Charlotte Wetton

Dr Alison McClean (University of the West of England) – Antidote to Cliveden: Socialism, Anti-Colonialism and the ‘Chatelaines’ of Buscot Park

Vincent Flute (Liverpool John Moores University) – Country House Chic

Caroline McWilliams (University of St Andrews) – Élite Hostesses as Disruptive Forces: The Country House Weekend in the Interwar Era


16:30 – 17:30 PANEL 4: Transnational connections

Chair: Caroline McWilliams

Agata Piotrowska (University of St Andrews) – “I gained many ideas for my estate”: An International Search for Inspiration and Best Expression of the Self in the Travel Writings of Izabela Czartoryska (1746-1835) and Waleria Tarnowska (1782-1849)

Dr Anna Röst (Stockholm University / Årsta Slottsmuseum) – Ordinary or extraordinary: women builders of country houses as seen through a Swedish lens


26 JAN 2022

09:30 – 11:00 PANEL 5: Queering the country house

Chair: Amy-Jane Humphries

Helen Ritchie (Fitzwilliam Museum / University of Cambridge) – Disrupting the Estate: Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie and Norah Braden at Coleshill

Jonathan King (University of York) – Maman’s Monumental Presence: Charleston, Childhood, and the Queer House Within”

Dr Alison Oram (University of London / Leeds Beckett University) – Ghosts of the Queer Past: Pilgrimage and the Lesbian Country House


11:15 – 12:45 PANEL 6: Creative interventions

Chair: Jessica Becker

Jaya Yadav (University of Delhi) – The Room(s) of Domesticity: Analysing Gender, Class and Race in Downton Abbey through Historiography

Babar Suleman (University of Oxford) – Situating love and loss: Making a film, re-making a world

Darryl Peers (Manchester Metropolitan University) – ‘Rebecca’: A Short Story to Queer the Country House’s Lineage


13:30 – 15:00 PANEL 7: Literary interpretations

Chair: Katie Crowther

Bethan Elliot (University of York) – ‘Blood cleaveth to the ground’: Property, Control, and Crime in Arden of Faversham

Charlotte Wetton (University of Manchester) – ‘A share of your dinner an excellent treasure…’: Paternalism and Parnassus in the Country House

Daisy Johnson (University of York) – Young Girls Writing: Bramshill, being the memoirs of Joan Elizabeth Cope


15:45 – 16:45 PANEL 8: Women and the land

Chair: Victoria Worthington

Grace Wright (University of Portsmouth) – “A Perverse Delight”: Women’s Agency and Rent Strike on the Kilmuir Estate During the Crofters’ War

Dr Shaun Evans (Bangor University) – The account book of Elizabeth Giffard of Nerquis: Land ownership, society and the country house in early-19th century Wales


16:45 – 17:00 Organisers’ closing remarks


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