I’m thrilled to have been awarded a Lewis Walpole Library Travel Grant to conduct research for my postdoctoral research project, Crafting the Self: Assemblage & Identity, 1770-1900. The broader project will provide an unprecedented history of ‘assemblage’ produced in Britain, North America, and British India between 1770 and 1900. Employing an inclusive definition of the term, the project will examine a variety of material and literary forms of assemblage, including paper collage, shellwork, scrapbooking, and photocollage, and will explore how their production reflected the intimacies, interests, and identities of their makers (I’ll write a much fuller post on the project shortly).
The Lewis Walpole Library Travel Grant (to be taken in the Spring of 2017) will facilitate research for one aspect of this broader project, which will explore the social and familial role played by the production of composite ‘albums’, such as scrapbooks, sketchbooks, and commonplace books. This research will focus on a number of albums collected and produced by Horace Walpole and his circle, including Folio 53 D18 828, the scrapbooks of the sculptor Anne Seymour Damer. The project will explore how the albums’ production allowed for the construction of social, familial, and affective narratives and identities, and will form part of a broader study of several collections of communally produced composite albums made between 1700 and 1900.