About us

The Centre’s Scope

Studies of home are wide-ranging and diverse. Reflecting this broad scope, the centre spans research on the home and domesticity (including everyday domestic life, domestic architecture, interior design and domestic material cultures) to the significance of home beyond the domestic (including broader ideas about dwelling, belonging and security). Fostering dialogue and collaboration between those in the academy and in the arts and cultural sectors, the centre brings together studies of home in the past and the present and located in a wide range of places. Key themes of interest include material and emotional home spaces, the relationships between home, household and identity, and home-making on domestic to global scales. 

The Partners

The centre has been developed as a partnership to utilise facilities at both institutions, combining infrastructure resources to host researchers, visiting fellows, undergraduate and postgraduate students and wider audiences. It also benefits from the museum’s exhibition space, curation expertise, educational resources and expertise in disseminating research findings and related activities to a wide set of public audiences.

At Queen Mary, centre members include a group of over fifteen academics and close to a dozen postgraduate students working on the home within a range of disciplines including Geography, History, English, and Psychiatry – a disparate body of work unified by its engagement with wide currents in social and cultural thought, including broad senses of dwelling and belonging.

The Geffrye Museum of the Home in east London specialises in middle-class English domestic interiors from 1600 to the present, attracting around 100,000 visitors a year. While the museum’s permanent galleries focus mainly on the material culture of middle-class Londoners’ living rooms, its wider collections, library  and archives, temporary exhibitions and learning programmes take a less socially and geographically bounded view of home and engage with wider debates about the significance of home and domestic life in contemporary as well as historical societies.

The centre’s co-directors are Alison Blunt, Professor of Geography at Queen Mary, and Eleanor John, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the Geffrye Museum.

The centre is organised by a Steering Group, which is made up of members of both organisations including the two co-directors. More details are available on the People page.