Our House

The Representation of Domestic Space in Modern Culture


Volume Editors: and
Space has emerged in recent years as a radical category in a range of related disciplines across the humanities. Of the many possible applications of this new interest, some of the most exciting and challenging have addressed the issue of domestic architecture and its function as a space for both the dramatisation and the negotiation of a cluster of highly salient issues concerning, amongst other things, belonging and exclusion, fear and desire, identity and difference.
Our House is a cross-disciplinary collection of essays taking as its focus both the prospect and the possibility of ‘the house’. This latter term is taken in its broadest possible resonance, encompassing everything from the great houses so beloved of nineteenth-century English novelists to the caravans and mobile homes of the latterday travelling community, and all points in between. The essays are written by a combination of established and emerging scholars, working in a variety of scholarly disciplines, including literary criticism, sociology, cultural studies, history, popular music, and architecture. No specific school or theory predominates, although the work of two key figures – Gaston Bachelard and Martin Heidegger – is engaged throughout.
This collection engages with a number of key issues raised by the increasingly troubled relationship between the cultural (built) and natural environments in the contemporary world.

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Gerry Smyth is Reader in Cultural History in the Department of English at Liverpool John Moores University. His previous books include The Novel and the Nation (1997), Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination(2001) and Noisy Island (2005).
Jo Croft is Senior Lecturer in English at Liverpool John Moores University. Her research interests include adolescence, children’s literature and psychoanalysis.
Gerry SMYTH and Jo CROFT: Introduction: Culture and Domestic Space
1 Joe MORAN: Houses, Habit and Memory
2 Gerry SMYTH: ‘You understand what domestic architecture ought to be, you do’: Finding Home in The Wind in the Willows
3 Karen SAYER: The Life of a Country Cottage
4 Ruth MCELROY: Labouring at Leisure: Aspects of Lifestyle and the Rise of Home Improvement
5 Shane ALCOBIA-MURPHY: Safe House: Authenticity, Nostalgia and the Irish House
6 Mari HUGHES-EDWARDS: ‘The house … has cancer’: Representations of Domestic Space in the Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy
7 Scott BREWSTER: Building, Dwelling, Moving: Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin and the Reverse Aesthetic
8 Jeff ADAMS: Troubled Places: Domestic Space in Graphic Novels
9 Peter CHILDS: Householders: Community, Violence and Resistance in Three Contemporary Women’s Texts
10 Ron MOY: Sonic Architecture: Home Hi-fi and Stereo(types)
11 Jo CROFT: A Life of Longing Behind the Bedroom Door: Adolescent Space and the Makings of Private Identity
12 Joseph BOUGHEY: One Widower’s Home: Excavating Some Disturbed Meanings of Domestic Space
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