My research focuses on visual and material culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and North America. I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and I was awarded my PhD in Art History from the University, in 2015. 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, as well as working on my postdoctoral research project on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collage. I have held research fellowships at Yale Center for British Art and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, and in 2018, I will hold short-term Research Fellowships at the Huntington Library and the Harry Ransom Center.
I am currently pursuing several avenues of postdoctoral research. The first project, ‘Collage before Modernism’ examines the complex relationship between emotion, identity, and the production of collage in Britain and North America between 1700 and 1912, using this analysis to explore key art historical ideas such as periodization, medium, and genre. I have begun to explore some issues and themes for this project through my Association of Art Historians’ 2016 Annual Conference session The (After) Lives of Things: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Material Culture, co-organised with Sarah Laurenson (National Museums Scotland), 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, the Huntington Library and the Harry Ransom Center.
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 department of the University of Edinburgh, and have previously taught in its History, Architectural History, and Celtic and Scottish Studies departments. In 2016 and 2017 I taught on the Sutton Trust’s History Summer School at the University of Edinburgh, and from 2013-16 on the University of Ohio’s Summer School, also based at the University of Edinburgh.
From 2015-2017 I co-convened Edinburgh’s Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars, and I have organised and convened several conferences and events at the University of Edinburgh; on behalf of the Association of Art Historians’ Student Members Committee; and sessions at the Association of Art Historians’ annual conference. I am currently co-organising the conference ‘Collage, Montage, Assemblage: Collected and Composite Forms, 1700-Present’, which will be held at the University of Edinburgh in April 2018. The conference CFP is available here.
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 have recently submitted articles on topics such as: gendered representations of needlework in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; Sontagian campness in macaroni prints; and the interior decoration of A la Ronde in Devon, alongside working on my monograph. I am currently co-editing (with Dr Katie Faulkner, Courtauld Institute of Art) a special issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies on craft and masculinity in the long nineteenth century, and I am currently writing an article on collage, craft, masculinity, and modernism for this issue.
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.