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Horizon 2020 project ”House and home: physical and emotional comfort in the country house, England and Sweden c.1680-1820”
We would like to introduce our Horizon 2020 project “House and home: physical and emotional comfort in the country house, England and Sweden c.1680-1820”. The recently launched project will be hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University until September 2017.
Physical comfort and emotional well-being are common expectations and aspirations across 21st-century Europe. This Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship explores an important episode in the historical development of these cultural and social norms. The 18th century was a time when the wealthy, at least, had access to a growing range of goods, commodities and technologies, and were becoming increasingly aware of their individual identity.
The research focuses on the changing relationship between physical and emotional comfort in the context of the country house, and explores a number of key questions about how the desire for comfort related to gender and life course, and to material objects and the growing specialisation of domestic spaces; how it was perceived through different senses and how it was juxtaposed with feelings of discomfort; and how it was conceived and experienced in two contrasting countries within Europe – places with very different societies, economies and climates.
The research draws on a wide range of archival sources and material objects, and engages with a variety of social and cultural theories, and research methodologies: textual, statistical and artefactual. It is characterised by strong engagement with the heritage sector, by providing new interpretive frameworks and materials for selected historic houses.
Jon Stobart & Cristina Prytz
Manchester Metropolitan University