eighteenth century

BSECS Criticks Review – Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

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My review of the National Museum of Scotland’s Summer exhibition Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites is now up on the BSECS Criticks site. Read it here.

Conference: Slavery and the Scottish Country House

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On Friday I’m heading to the Slavery and the Scottish Country House event, a day workshop examining the connections between Scotland and slavery through the medium of the Scottish country house, hosted by the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Edinburgh. The programme is available here, and I’ll be sure to post a follow up blog on some of the conversations that arose from the conference.

MOOC – Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

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The University of Edinburgh and National Museums Scotland have recently teamed up on the forthcoming MOOC, Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites. The MOOC ties in with the Museum’s Jacobites exhibition (on now), and is led by a great team of scholars and curators, including my PhD supervisor, Professor Viccy Coltman. More details about the MOOC, including how to sign up, can be found here.

Programme: ISCH 2017 Conference ‘Senses, Emotions & the Affective Turn Recent Perspectives and New Challenges in Cultural History’

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For the next few days I’ll be in Umeå, Sweden for the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Society for Cultural History. This year’s theme is ‘Senses, Emotions & the Affective Turn Recent Perspectives and New Challenges in Cultural History’, and it promises to be a fascinating conference. I’m really excited to experience a range of approaches dealing with the emotions within cultural history, which I’ve no doubt will be hugely beneficial to the writing of my first book, on domestic material culture, sociabilities, and emotions. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking in Panel 8, ‘Materialising Love and Loss: Objects and Identity in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Britain’. The full programme is available here.

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.

Absent Presences at Strawberry Hill – thoughts from the Lewis Walpole Library

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It’s the first day of my two-week research visit to the Lewis Walpole Library, and I’ve just finished looking through the anonymous volume Rarities from Strawberry Hill, made sometime around the 1890s. The volume (essentially a scrapbook) once brought together letters from Walpole’s voluminous correspondence, printed portraits, clippings, playbills, bookplates (including the above example, Anne Damer’s, based on a design by her close friend Agnes Berry) a lock of hair, and even two miniature portraits, who are conspicuous in their absence from the volume, leaving two holes where they were once fitted (pictured below). Along with a number of other objects from the book – including various letters and the aforementioned lock of hair – the miniatures have been removed and preserved elsewhere: in the case of miniatures, these are now on display at Strawberry Hill itself, where they now tell a different narrative in a different setting.

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This dialogue of absence and presence, and how these states intersect with how we construct the history of the eighteenth century, reminded me of an earlier post I made here, regarding Strawberry Hill itself. When visiting the house last Summer, I bemoaned the absence of any kind of narrative regarding Walpole’s queerness, despite the prevalence of this within scholarship on Walpole and his friendships. I hope that the chapter I’m researching here (on Anne Damer’s inheritance of Strawberry Hill and queer heirlooming) at the Lewis Walpole Library can meaningfully contribute to these conversations, revealing some of those things that are sorely absent from the scholarship on Walpole.

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.