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Phone: +44 (0)1273 337515


Call for Papers: Mass Observation 85th Anniversary Seminar Series

85 logoMass Observation has documented the thoughts, opinions, and everyday experiences of people across Britain since 1937. Its founders sought to capture an ‘anthropology of ourselves’ through a range of techniques, including diaries, surveys, and observations. It has subsequently attracted researchers from across academic disciplines and the non-academic community. Artists, filmmakers, and writers alike have drawn upon its rich collection of material. It remains a rich source of contemporary narrative data and in 2020 and 2021 generated a significant collection on the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, Mass Observation celebrates its 85th anniversary. To mark this occasion, we are delivering a year-long festival of events and activities. An online academic seminar series forms part of this programme. We welcome contributions of abstracts from across the history of Mass Observation to help shape the series. We invite proposals from those at all stages of their career, including postgraduates, doctoral students, and early career researchers.

We welcome proposals from across all disciplines for individual 20-minute papers.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Research methods
• Informing policy and practice
• Everyday life in Britain since the 1930s
• Documenting hidden histories
• Education, writing and literacy
• Health, wellbeing, and COVID-19
• Being human: family, relationships, and emotion

The seminars run monthly, starting in May 2022 and take place online, using Zoom.

If you would like to participate, please send a proposal (300 words max) and a brief biography (150 words max) to Kirsty Pattrick and Jessica Scantlebury at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deadline for proposal: Friday 25th March

We will respond with speaker confirmation by Friday 8th April