CFP: People’s Palace, Culture and Controversy in Music Hall and Vaudeville

On May 11, 2013, a one day conference will be hosted by King’s College, London, and the University of Liverpool, at Hoxton Hall (London), which seeks to address the history of one of the most exciting, subversive and controversial forms of theatre from the 19th Century.

The first example of mass entertainment in Britain, the music hall’s influence over fashion, language, society, and culture continues to resonate today, while remaining one of the most enduring art forms of the Victorian period. On the other side of the Atlantic, vaudeville had a similar impact, helping produce a mass audience of consumers, in advance of the development of film and television. In addition, American performers found opportunities in the UK, and vice versa, becoming carrier of cultural exchange in the process.

This conference seeks to bring together all those working on any aspect of the Music Halls, both nationally and internationally, for a day of discussion and discovery. The panel invite papers from a wide range of disciplines, including Drama, Performance Studies, History, English, Geography, Music, Social Sciences, and Digital Humanities, etc. Submissions are welcomed from established scholars, early career researchers, PhD students, as well as performers and members of relevant societies.

Abstracts of no more than 300-500 words should be emailed to If accepted, papers should be 30 minutes in length. Deadline for submissions is 12pm December 31st, 2012.

Possible topics could include (but are not limited to):

– Any aspect of the history of Music Hall/Vaudeville from 1850 to present day

– Music Hall/Vaudeville Performer’s Lives

– Music Hall/Vaudeville Performance Style

– Music Hall/Vaudeville Acts

– Music Hall/Vaudeville Architecture

– Theatre Engineering in the 19th Century

– Working Class Theatre

– Audiences/Fans

– Music Hall in other Media (Film, Television, Radio or Photography)

Theatrical Fashion and Costume

– Music Hall Ballet and Dance

– Politics and Social Reform

– Language and Dialect

– Music Hall overseas

For any enquiries please contact the event’s organisers, Fern Riddell (King’s College, London) or Nancy Bruseker (University of Liverpool). Further information can also be found here.

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