Call for Papers: Homes fit for Heroes Centenary Conference

Homes fit for Heroes Centenary Conference: Learning from 1919

Call for Papers (closes: 5th January 2019)

This conference is convened by the Learning from 1919 Steering Group in partnership with the Institute of Historical Research to commemorate the centenary of the passage of the 1919 Housing Act and the Homes fit for Heroes programme that it inaugurated. It will explore new historical perspectives on the Act and the housing that was built under its provisions (and those of subsequent Acts in 1923 and 1924), which established the principle of state-subsidised social housing for the next 60 years, as well as wider themes in social/council housing policy and design across the centenary period, and look towards the future of housing in the next century.

We now announce the Call for Papers for the conference, which will take place on 18th-19th July 2019 at the Institute of Historical Research, Malet Street, London.


Building homes in Bethnal Green, 1919

We invite academics at all stages of their careers, independent researchers, practitioners, policy makers, housing campaigners and members of housing interest groups to submit proposals for 20-minute papers in response to the themes listed below. The aim is to bring together multi-disciplinary perspectives that reflect on the past, present and future of mass housing.

The conference themes are:

  • New historical perspectives on the 1919 Act and the housing that was built under its provisions (and those of subsequent Acts in 1923 and 1924): we are interested in proposals that add to, amend or challenge received wisdom about inter-war housing.
  • Issues in in social housing policy and design across the centenary period: we are interested in proposals that consider broader themes that have informed housing theory and practice from 1919-2019. These include (but are not confined to): housing standards/ space standards; domesticity; cottages vs flats; housing campaigns/campaigners; the third sector (housing associations/cooperatives, public utility societies etc); designers and managers; system building/modern methods of construction; policy and funding models.
  • Looking towards the future of housing in the 21st century: we are interested in proposals that consider how social housing can and might develop whether that be in terms of policy, design, economics (inter alia) or what might be learnt from the previous century.

Format: Paper proposals should be in a Word document with a text of 300-500 words; please include contact details and an affiliation.

These should be emailed to:

Deadline: 5th January 2019 for notification no later than March 2019. Successful applicants will be expected to cover their own costs for travel and accommodation.

Proposals will be anonymised and considered by the Steering Group and the Conference Scientific Committee.

The Learning from 1919 Steering Group comprises Dr Elizabeth Darling (Oxford Brookes University), Dr Michael Passmore (University of Greenwich), Professor Mark Swenarton (University of Liverpool), Dr Matthew Whitfield (Historic England) and Matthew Bristow (Institute of Historical Research).

Scientific Committee:

Cany Ash, Ash Sakula Architects
John Boughton, Municipal Dreams
Dr Sue Brownhill, Oxford Brookes University
Professor Martin Daunton, University of Cambridge

Professor Richard Dennis, University College London

Emily Gee, Historic England
Professor Miles Glendinning, Edinburgh College of Art

Peter Guillery, Survey of London
Dr Tanis Hinchcliffe, New York University in London

Professor Peter Malpass, University of the West of England

Professor Elizabeth McKellar, Open University
Professor Alan Murie, University of Birmingham
Julia Park, Levitt Bernstein
Professor Simon Pepper, University of Liverpool
Dr Lou Rosenburg, University of Edinburgh
Professor Peter Shapely, University of Bangor
Professor Pat Thane, King’s College London


General enquiries and the Word files of proposals should be emailed to:

Further information

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