Special Event with Harry Leslie Smith at the York Army Museum

We are delighted to announce a very special addition to our conference: Harry Leslie Smith, 93-year-old Second World War veteran, writer, and political activist. Harry will speak about his own experience of conflict and homecoming, and participants of the conference will have the opportunity to engage with him in a Q&A followed by a wine reception at the York Army Museum on the evening of 11 May. This event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the museum; every attendee is warmly invited to join us for what promises to be an inspiring evening.

Harry served in the RAF during the Second World War and spent several years in Hamburg (Germany) during the aftermath, where he met his wife Friede. They returned to England together and later emigrated to Canada. Since his retirement, Harry has written four books, among them Love Among the Ruins (2009) and Harry’s Last Stand (2014). The latter has been described as “a furious poem dedicated to the preservation of the welfare state”. Harry writes regularly for the Guardian and speaks at political events, such as the 2014 Labour Party Conference. He runs a Twitter feed with over 88,000 followers which can be found @Harryslaststand 

Selected articles by Harry Leslie Smith:



Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce our Call for Papers; the deadline for abstracts is 31 March 2017. Please email all abstracts and panel submissions to:

The conference will take place on 11-12 May 2017 in the Bowland Auditorium, University of York.

Here is the link to the pdf of our  Call for Papers  – please pass it on to anyone you know who might be interested:cfp_bringing-conflict-home

Many thanks from the organisers,

Lotta, Alexander, Harriet, and Stephanie

Bringing Conflict Home

‘Bringing Conflict Home’ is a two-day conference to be held on 11-12 May 2017 at the University of York. It will bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to examine how conflict permeates the domestic sphere. Whereas the term ‘home’ is commonly associated with familiarity and safety, ‘conflict’ evokes the opposite sense. War often enters the home as quotidian lived experience; critics such as Mary A. Favret address the concept of ‘wartime’ as a distinct and culturally-constructed temporality. Conflict enforces migration; it creates Diasporas and exiles, in turn reorienting our imaginative perception of home.

‘Bringing Conflict Home’ aims to bridge past and present by inviting paper proposals with a historical perspective as well as a contemporary one.

Topics for papers can include, but are not limited to:

– Temporal configurations of home during times of crisis and conflict; spatial configurations of home across cartographies of migration, displacement, and Diaspora.

– Artistic and literary representations of soldiers who have returned home from conflict.

– War fatigue, Shell shock, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – more broadly, the psychological effects of conflict on both soldiers and civilians.

– Narratives of war: how these have been shaped and appropriated to produce cultural – indeed national – identities.

– Artefacts and spoils of war: how these have been introduced to or affected domestic contexts.

–  Thresholds, both physical and conceptual: where do the boundaries lie between conflict and domesticity? How does conflict invade the domestic sphere, and how does the domestic sphere in turn respond, appropriate, and manage conflict?

– How does war affect traditional gender relations within the domestic space? Do bellicose contexts perpetuate or challenge traditionally gendered understandings of domesticity?

We are delighted to announce that we can already confirm two keynote speakers for ‘Bringing Conflict Home’,  Dr Catriona Kennedy (Director, Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York) and Lieutenant General Robin Brims.