Award: IASH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

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I’m thrilled to announce that from September 2017 until August 2018 I will be joining the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The fellowship is ten months long, but includes a two-month interruption for my fellowships at the Huntington and the Harry Ransom Center. The fellowship will allow me to conduct research for my postdoctoral research project, Collage before Modernism: Art, Intimacy and Identity in Britain and North America, 1700-1900. I’ll post more about my time at IASH as I take up the Fellowship.


ECRS – 12 April

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Please join us for the next session of this year‘s Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar series at the University of Edinburgh. The session will present new work on eighteenth-century material culture and will feature Hannah Lund (University of Edinburgh) whose presentation is titled ‘Enthroned: The Sitter’s Chair of Sir Joshua Reynolds 1760-1879’, and Suchitra Choudhury (University of Glasgow), on ‘Fashion and Textiles: A Postcolonial Reading of Sir Walter Scott’.

All welcome. Seminars are held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, from 4:30-6pm, and are followed by a drinks reception. 

You can also follow the series on its twitter account @ECRS_Edinburgh. We’ll be live-tweeting the papers from that handle.

ECRS – 25 January

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Please join us for the first session of this year‘s Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar series at the University of Edinburgh. The session will present new work on eighteenth-century religion, and will feature Ben Rogers (University of Edinburgh) whose presentation is entitled ‘‘An Unexpected Solution or a Political Imposition?’: Scottish Episcopalian Toleration, 1702-1712’, and Carys Brown (University of Cambridge), who will be speaking on ‘‘A dissembling Harlot for a leacherous wolf’: sexual reputation and religious coexistence in England, c.1689-1750′.

All welcome. Seminars are held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, from 4:30-6pm, and are followed by a drinks reception. 

You can also follow the series on its twitter account @ECRS_Edinburgh. We’ll be live-tweeting the papers from that handle.

Week in Review – 8 January

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Screen Shot 2017-01-08 at 20.51.01.jpgImage via The Conversation 

Perhaps the most significant event this week, was the passing of the great art critic John Berger, whose hugely influential book and tv series ‘Ways of Seeing’, has been a touchstone of art historical and critical enquiry since its publication in the 1970s. Many excellent articles and obituaries of Berger were published this week, including this, this, and this.

I was excited to see that Joanne Begiato’s article ‘Tears and the Manly Sailor in England, c. 1760–1860‘, in the Journal for Maritime Research is free access. Download it here.

I greatly enjoyed the post, ‘Feel free to call me Dr.’ on the Tenure, She Wrote blog. It’s excellent on the politics of nomenclature in academia, and the importance of these issues for academics who are from minority backgrounds. I also enjoyed Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse’s post, ‘From 2016 to 2017: Thoughts on Research Practice, Embedding Creativity, Punk Academia, and Work-Life Balance‘, which is also great on issues of identity within the academy.

There were a number of events that drew my attention this week, including the Centre for the History of the Emotions‘ 2017 Seminar Programme , the upcoming event ‘Living With Feeling in the Nineteenth-Century‘ at Royal Holloway’s Centre for Victorian Studies, and the Cruising the 1970s project’s eventBetween the Sheets: Radical print cultures before the queer bookshop‘.

The following CFPs also caught my eye:

Call for Submissions: Anthology on Arab Masculinity

CFP: Moving Beyond Paris and London: Influences, Circulation, and Rivalries in Fashion and Textiles between France and England, 1700-1914 (Paris, October 13-14, 2017)

CFP: Remembering the Dead: Slavery and Mortality through Visual Culture in Comparative Perspective, AHA 2018 Panel (Washington D.C., 4-7 January 2018)

Call for Submissions: Museums Journal (theme: ‘Small’)

Call for Participation: Material Culture Caucus at 2017 ASA Conference

Business, Wealth, Enterprise, and Debt: The Economic Side of Mormon History, 1830-1930

CFP: “Hope and Fear”: Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities

CFP: Milestones, Markers, and Moments: Turning Points in American Experience and Tradition

CFPInternational Postgraduate Port and Maritime Studies Conference (20-21 April 2017, University of Bristol)

CFP: Classical Antiquity & Memory (19th – 21st Century)

CFP: BAVS 2017 conference, Victorians Unbound

I also really enjoyed the following interview with the design historian Glenn Adamson, titled, ‘The Object as Reality-Check’. It’s a fascinating read that ties discussions of material objects, past and present, with their political contexts. Specifically, Adamson discusses this in relation to his recent course ‘Objects of Dispute‘, a 10 session-long intensive seminar offered as part of the MA in History of Design and Curatorial Studies, run jointly by The New School’s Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, and in so doing, teases out the pedagogical issues of teaching about contentious material culture in the current political climate.

Tonight, I listened to my colleague Christian Weikop’s fascinating Radio 3 programme, Kandinsky – A Story of Revolution. It’s available on iPlayer now.

Finally, I note that Yale Center for British Art is advertising its Curatorial Research Fellowship opportunity – there’s just a few more days left, so submit your applications while you can!

Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars 2017 Programme

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Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars 2017 Programme
University of Edinburgh

All seminars will be held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities,
University of Edinburgh, from 4:30-6pm.

Wednesday 25th January

Ben Rogers, University of Edinburgh
‘‘An Unexpected Solution or a Political Imposition?’: Scottish Episcopalian Toleration, 1702-1712’

Carys Brown, University of Cambridge
‘‘A dissembling Harlot for a leacherous wolf’: sexual reputation and religious coexistence in England, c.1689-1750′

Wednesday 8th February

Nicola Martin, University of Stirling
‘Improvement, Stadial Theory, and the Pacification of the Highlands in
the mid-Eighteenth Century’

Thomas Archambaud, Independent
‘‘The Highland Bard and the Prime Minister: James Macpherson, Lord Bute and the politics of Scottish patronage in the age of Enlightenment”’

Wednesday 22nd February

Sydney Ayres, University of Edinburgh
‘Representing Robert Adam: Biography, Portraiture & Memory’

Nel Whiting, University of Dundee
‘‘if they hang not in proper Places, they will not have a good Effect’:
Portraiture, Place and Position’

Wednesday 1st March

Elizabeth Ford, University of Glasgow
‘“I can think of nothing but that flute”: General John Reid (1721-1807)’

Alice Little, University of Oxford
‘Categorising ‘national music’ in eighteenth-century Oxford’

Wednesday 15th March

William Swain, University of Edinburgh
‘Adam Ferguson, Freidrich von Gentz, and the decline of the Martial Spirit’

John Stone (Universitat de Barcelona)
‘The Cultural Work of the Royal Scots College (Valladolid), 1770-1808: Cosmopolitanism, Diaspora, the ‘National Feeling’ and Library Formation’

Wednesday 22nd March

Catherine Ellis, Durham University
‘How to understand the sex worker at the table: gastrocritical approaches to eighteenth-century French prostitution’

Jessica Hamel-Akré, University of Montreal
‘“Oh, when shall I be holy?”: Reading and Writing Women’s Eighteenth-Century Self-Starvation’

Wednesday 12th April

Hannah Lund, University of Edinburgh
‘Enthroned: The Sitter’s Chair of Sir Joshua Reynolds 1760-1879’

Suchitra Choudhury, University of Glasgow
‘Fashion and Textiles: A Postcolonial Reading of Sir Walter Scott’

Wednesday 26th April

Charlotte Bassett, University of Edinburgh
‘Lady Margaret Hamilton: Patroness of Hopetoun’

Amy Boyington, University of Cambridge
‘Elite wives and architecture in eighteenth-century Britain’

Week in Review – 11 December

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It’s been a few weeks since my last Week in Review, so this week is a bit of a bumper post of exhibitions, conferences, talks, articles, and CFPs – enjoy!

7.-lycidas.jpgCharlotte Brontë, Lycidas, Watercolour drawing, March 4, 1835. Copied from a print after painting by Henry Fuseli. Brontë Parsonage Museum.


First up, I want to highlight The Morgan Library & Museum’s exhibition Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will, which includes many examples of her juvenalia, as explored in this beautifully-written and illustrated article in The Paris Review.

Secondly, the Bard Graduate Center’s exhibition Charles Percier: Architecture and Design in an Age of Revolutions, which runs until February 5, 2017 and is the first large-scale exhibition to survey the French architect and interior designer. The Center recently hosted an accompanying symposium on Percier: Antiquity and Empire, which can be viewed on the centre’s youtube channel (which also features this rather good recent talk on Eames, by the hugely important design historian Pat Kirkham).

Thirdly, the forthcoming exhibition of Maria Sibylla Merian’s work, Maria Merian’s Butterflies, which will be at The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse from 17 March 2017. There will be an accompanying conference (Changing the Nature of Art and Science: Intersections with Maria Sibylla Merian) from 7-9 June 2017, in Amsterdam.

Conferences and CFPs

  • the CFP for the Handling, Placing and Looking at Photographs conference, Florence, 12-13 Oct 17
  • the CFP for Spaces of Remembering and Forgetting: An Interdisciplinary Conference 
  • the CFP for the The Art of Remembrance: Family, Art and Memory in New England
  • the Kitchens and Kitchen Gardens conference, 18 Jan 2017, London
  • the Women as art critics in 18thC conference 25 Feb 2017, Chawton House Library
  • the CFP for the Graduate Student Symposium – History of 19th-Century Art, New York, 26 Mar 17
  • the CFC for Age and Gender: Ageing in the Nineteenth Century, a Nineteenth Century Gender Studies special issue
Books and Journals 

I’m super excited for Heidi Thomson’s new book, Coleridge and the Romantic Newspaper: The Morning Post and the Road to Dejection, which will undoubtedly be an important resource for work on Romantic reading practices.

The past month has also featured a new issues from a number of innovative online journals and publishing outlets, including:

Blog Posts & Websites 

I don’t think I’ve spoken before about my love of the Age of Revolutions blog. This increased exponentially this month thanks to their multi-part series on alcohol in its revolutionary contexts and which featured posts on the ‘TRANS-IMPERIAL GEOGRAPHIES OF RUM: PRODUCTION AND CIRCULATION‘, ‘THE FALSE HOPE OF CORN STALK RUM DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION‘, ‘INTOXICATION AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION‘, and ‘RUM, OATHS, AND SLAVE UPRISINGS IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTION‘. The series has been a fascinating look at how the quotidian and the political intersect.

I’ve also been enjoying the Romantic Illustration Network‘s Image of the Month series. This time, it was Theodore von Holst’s ‘Frankenstein’ (1831), which is discussed at length in Ian Haywood’s fascinating post on the image.

Finally, I’ve found source lists such as Mark Carrigan’s post The Sociology of Trump: An Initial Reading List, or The New Inquiry’s post A Time for Treason, to be invaluable resources in the wake of November’s Presidential election.

We the Humanities Curation, 24th-30th October

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Next week (24th-30th October), I’ll be guest curating the Humanities twitter account, @WetheHums. The rotation-curation project is designed to spread the diversity and value of the humanities. You can read my guest blog for the programme below:

October 24th – 30th: Freya Gowrley

Hi, I’m Freya, a tutor in Art History and Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh, who can usually be found tweeting about art, history, writing, and life as an early career researcher, @Freya_Gowrley. I was recently awarded my PhD in the History of Art from the University of Edinburgh, and I am a co-convenor of Edinburgh’s interdisciplinary Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar Series. I blog about my research at

My research focuses on visual and material culture, design, and the decorative arts in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and North America. Although my academic training is in art history, my research utilises perspectives from a variety of disciplines, including material culture studies, literary history, queer theory and gender studies, and the history of the emotions. My PhD thesis examined women’s engagements with domestic material culture in Britain between 1750 and 1830. I’m currently revising this work with an emphasis upon emotion, identity, and sociability. I’ve also begun work on a postdoctoral research project exploring the relationship between assemblage/collage and identity in Britain, America, and British India in the long nineteenth-century.

During my week curating We the Humanities, I hope to touch upon a number of topics. As a busy adjunct at the University of Edinburgh, my time is divided between preparing for various courses, applying for jobs and research grants, revising my PhD thesis for publication, and working on new research. Accordingly, I hope that my curation week will reflect my experiences of being an early career researcher, and the difficulties and challenges that can sometimes come with this. I also hope to discuss the processes of research, from the germination of an initial idea to the final published product. With #AcWriMo coming next month, I think it would also be profitable to discuss the role of social media in these processes, and the collective working practices that have arisen from it. Finally, with the recent news that the Art History A-Level will be axed, I also hope that the We the Humanities audience can continue to contribute to the vibrant discussion of why Art History, and the Humanities more broadly, matter.

I look forward to discussing these (and presumably many more) issues with you all next week.