mo logo yellow

Contact us:

Phone: +44 (0)1273 337515

Email: moa@sussex.ac.uk

What's On

12th May 2017: keep a one-day diary for Mass Observation

 

This year the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. The written diaries will be stored in the Archive at The Keep and be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning. This includes academics and students, schools, writers, producers, artists, community and special interest groups and the general public.

In 1937 Mass Observation called for people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did from when they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night on 12th May. This was the day of George VI’s Coronation. The resulting diaries provide a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of people across Britain, and have become an invaluable resource for those researching countless aspects of the era.

May 12th 2017 is likely to be quite an ordinary day, but for those researching, the ‘ordinary’ can often provide extraordinary results.  The diaries will be held and used alongside the 1937 documents. We would be very grateful if you could document your May 12th for the future.

Please write as much as you can about what you do, who you meet, what you talk about, what you eat and drink, what you buy or sell, what you are working on, the places you visit, the people you meet, the things you read, see and hear around you, how you are feeling and of course what you yourself think.

Further information on taking part is available here: http://www.massobs.org.uk/write-for-us/12th-may

10th & 11th July 2017: Mass Observation 80th Anniversary Conference

The Mass Observation 80th Anniversary ConferenceMass Observation 80th Anniversary Logo

Celebrating 80 years of the Mass Observation movement

10th-11th July 2017

Jubilee building, University of Sussex

Confirmed Speakers:

Matt Cook (Birkbeck)

James Hinton (Professor Emeritus Warwick University)

Joe Moran (Liverpool John Moores)

Lucy Noakes (University of Brighton)

Lucy Robinson (University of Sussex)

Dorothy Sheridan (University of Sussex and current Trustee of the Mass Observation Archive)

 

 

Register for the conference

Spender happy homes

Registration for the conference is now open: http://onlineshop.sussex.ac.uk/product-catalogue/conference-seminars/the-mass-observation-archive/mass-observation-80th-anniversary-conference

The fees are as follows:

  • Standard delegate rate: £100
  • Student (undergraduate, postgraduate, doctorate etc), Mass Observer, and Friends of the Archive rate: £60

Delegates are invited to attend the conference dinner at Al Duomo (7 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, East Sussex) on Monday 10th July. The fee for attending is £35. 

 

About the conference

In 1937, a letter signed by Tom Harrisson (anthropologist), Humphrey Jennings (film maker) and Charles Madge (poet and journalist) was published in the pages of the New Statesman. It invited volunteers, from all walks of life, to participate in a new research project, which would be "anthropology at home . . . a science of ourselves". This letter announced the founding of Mass Observation which, over the last 80 years, has developed a unique interdisciplinary people-centred approach to social research. 

From its rapid rise to the status of national institution in the Popular-Front culture of the late 1930s, it has passed through a number of incarnations. These include (but are not limited to): observing the everyday in late 1930s Bolton on a shoestring budget; amassing a collection of diaries by over 500 home front civilians; collecting ‘home intelligence’ for the Ministry of Information for a short period during the early 1940s; working as a commercial market-research company during the 1950s/1960s; becoming an archive at the University of Sussex in the 1970s (now at The Keep) and being relaunched in the 1980s as the Mass Observation Project, a longitudinal life writing project, which captures the experiences, thoughts and opinions of ‘everyday’ people in 21st century Britain.

This conference seeks to reflect all aspects of Mass Observation and beyond with contributions from all career stages, including postgraduates, doctoral students and early career researchers. 

Topics include:

  • Everyday life
  • Life writing
  • MO and the Second World War
  • Anthropology and Mass Observation
  • Representation of identity in MO
  • Surrealism
  • Documentary movement
  • The Mass Observation founders
  • Methodology
  • Community engagement
  • 20th and 21st century Britain
  • The Mass Observation Project 
  • Mass Observation in the digital world
  • Mass Observation and beyond