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Department of Archaeology

SSCIP Conference 2016

The Family in Past Perspective: An interdisciplinary exploration of familial relationships through time

9th Annual Conference of the Society of the Study of Childhood in the Past

Location: St. Chad’s College, Durham University, 18 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3RH

Dates: Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd September 2016
Organisers: Dr. Becky Gowland and Ellen Kendall
Host Department: Department of Archaeology

Family is a fundamental aspect of humanity, which can be defined as a community of care, cooperation, and shared resources. This may include not only multigenerational or nuclear families, but also single-parent families, monastic communities, and even long-term institutional settings such as workhouses and asylums. Such a conceptualisation of family allows exploration of the multifaceted roles and ties of family members beyond the traditionally-envisaged “domestic” sphere.

This interdisciplinary conference is jointly sponsored by the Society for the Study of Childhood in the past and a Durham University Department of Archaeology Research Dialogues Grant and aims to address issues such as intergenerational relationships, family economies, geographic mobility, institutional care, and health. Papers are sought from researchers working in all areas of social science (e.g. Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography) and the humanities (e.g. Art History, History, English, Philosophy, Economics) to contribute to a wider understanding of the term ‘family’ and the implications of family dynamics for children and their social networks in the past.


  1. Relative Needs: The Provision of Care and Resources within Families
    Keynote speaker: Professor Helen Ball, Department of Anthropology, Durham University
  2. Between the Ideal and the Real: Image, Ideology, and the Past Family
    Keynote speaker: Professor Jane Humphries, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
  3. Ties that Bind: Defining the Family
    Keynote speaker: Professor Janice McLaughlin, Department of Sociology, Newcastle University
  4. Separate Spheres? Para-Familial Engagement in the Wider World
    Keynote speaker: Professor Mary Lewis, Department of Archaeology, University of Reading

SSCIP 2016 Programme


Conference w/ dinner

Conference only







Conference registration

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Getting to Durham

College accommodation (should be booked directly at the earliest opportunity to ensure availability)

Alternative accommodation

Directions to St. Chad’s College

Local information for delegates

For enquiries:

Ellen Kendall or

Dr. Rebecca Gowland