Beyond the Garden Party: Re-thinking Edwardian Culture

Msn with spadeThe inaugural conference of the Edwardian Culture Network takes place on 12th and 13th April at Durham University and the University of York.

Many accounts and representations of Edwardian England still invoke the image of the garden party. Building on recent critical reappraisals, such as The Edwardian Sense (Yale 2010), and coinciding with the major Edwardian exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to examine this notion, and to explore the alternatives. Was there such a thing as a distinct Edwardian culture; if so, what were the forces behind it?

This conference will explore a range of issues related to British culture between the years 1895-1914 (the “long Edwardian” era). Topics may include the following:

  • Edwardian Media: art, communication technologies, design, fashion, fiction, film, music, poetry, religion, theatre, and other forms of “high” and “popular” culture.
  • Categorising the Edwardians: Victorianism/Edwardianism/Modernism/pre- and post-War/fin de siècle/the turn of the century. How useful is the term “Edwardian”?
  • Revisionary Edwardians: challenging conventional notions of Edwardian writers, artists, and thinkers; fresh perspectives on famous Edwardians, and critical recoveries of neglected figures.
  • Eclectic Edwardians: the catholicity of Edwardian taste and cultural products, the genre-hopping of Edwardian writers and artists, and Edwardian interdisciplinarity.
  • Edwardian Afterlives: Edwardian nostalgia, Edwardian cultural afterlives, twenty-first-century visions of the Edwardians.
  • The past and future of Edwardian studies; teaching the Edwardians.

“Beyond the Garden Party: Re-thinking Edwardian Culture” is the inaugural conference of the Edwardian Culture Network. The two-day conference will be joint-hosted by the Universities of York and Durham on 12th-13th April 2013.

The deadline for the Call for Papers has now passed, but a full programme and registration details will be added to the Edwardian Culture Network in February. For more information please e-mail:

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