My research focuses on visual and material culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and North America. I was recently awarded my PhD in Art History from the University of Edinburgh, and I am currently revising my doctoral thesis for publication as a monograph exploring the role of emotions and social relations in the material culture of the eighteenth-century home. In 2017, I will be a Visiting Scholar at both Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library and Yale Center for British Art, and will hold a Short-Term Research Fellowship at the Winterthur Museum and Library. In 2018, I will hold a Short-Term Research Fellowship at the Huntington Library.
I am currently pursuing several avenues of postdoctoral research. The first project will explore the relationship between ‘collage’, ‘assemblage’, and identity in Britain, America, and British India between 1700 and 1900. I have begun to explore some key issues and themes for this project through my recent Association of Art Historians’ 2016 Annual Conference session The (After) Lives of Things: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Material Culture, co-organised with Sarah Laurenson (University of Edinburgh), as well as my research on the commonplace books of Ellen Warter. To date, the project has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale Center for British Art, the Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library, the British Association of Romantic Studies, the British Association for Victorian Studies, and the Huntington Library.
I am also working on projects on artistic identity in eighteenth-century Britain; the sculpture of Eleanor Coade; and the materiality of Anna Seward’s poetry.
I currently teach in the History of Art, Architectural History, and Celtic and Scottish Studies departments of the University of Edinburgh, and I co-organise Edinburgh’s Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars. I also lecture on an introductory art history course in association with The New School of Art, and have taught on the Sutton Trust’s Summer School in association with the University of Edinburgh.
I have presented my research at the Association of Art Historians’ Annual Conference, the University of York, ENS Lyon, and the Wallace Collection’s History of Collecting Research Seminar. I have also organised and convened conferences at the University of Edinburgh, and on behalf of the Association of Art Historians’ Student Members Committee.
A book chapter ‘Taste à-la-mode: consuming foreignness, picturing gender’ is now out in the edited volume Materializing Gender in Eighteenth-Century Europe (J. Germann & H. Strobel, eds. Ashgate Publishing, 2016), and I am currently working on several articles, including one on Ellen Warter’s commonplace books, and another on the interior decoration of A la Ronde in Devon. I am a regular contributor to the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies’ ‘Criticks’ page, and I have written peer-reviewed book and exhibition reviews for West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture, the Journal of Victorian Culture online, and the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association.