Tag Archives: CV & Personal Accomplishments

PUNCS Conference Talk 2015

PUNCSTalk2015Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of giving a short 10 minute presentation at the inaugural event for PUNCS: Plymouth University Nineteenth Century Studies.

PUNCS is a fantastic new interdisciplinary forum through which researchers working on themes across the globe which speak to the long nineteenth-century can connect and discuss their research. In time PUNCS hopes to foster opportunities for collaboration and this was particularly apparent in the one-day conference event that I attended.

The last panel in particular, which looked prevalently at the methods through which every day offences were reported between 1880 and 1920 demonstrated strong links between people’s research topics as well as the overall potential that collaborative projects hold.

My own talk was titled ‘Canine Character: Reading the Dog in Victorian Visual Culture’ and briefly addressed some research points that have interested me recently. In particular I have been interested in exploring the impact of the dog fancy when it came to canine visuals and the notion of ‘reading’ a show dog for its aesthetic appeal. The impact of this move towards canine connoisseurship, I propose, had significant implications concerning how audiences consequently came to view dogs in imagery. The potential construction of a readable canine physiognomy and/or phrenology and the subsequent implications of such are of a particular interest to me.

The rest of the talks were intellectually rich and impressively diverse, including a talk on the reception of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists in mid-Victorian Britain by Dr. Jenny Graham, a reading of Plymouth’s own Cottonian Collection by PhD researcher Susan Leedham, an exploration into the theme of Mercy by Dr. James Gregory, and some insights into the lives of the working-class female when it came to Mechanics’ Institutes in Victorian Britain by PhD Researcher Doug Watson.

If you would like to know more about PUNCS then I encourage you to go and explore their site. No doubt there will be more engaging events upcoming.

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AAH New Voices Conference 2014

aah2014titleTheme: A Picture of Health: Representations and Imaginations of Wellbeing and Illness.

Talk Time: 20 Minutes.

Title: Class Contagions and Canine Culprits: Rapid Representations and the Middle Class Imagination in Victorian Britain.

Abstract:

“in all large towns there are dangerous classes among the dogs as well as among the human population […] whose delight it is to bark and bite in an indiscriminate manner, and who, if they are once affected by the fatal virus, become at once active propagators of it far and wide”

‘Dogs and Dog Law’, All The Year Round, 1886, p. 426.

During the Victorian period rabies (or hydrophobia, as it was known in humans) gained a lot of momentum in the imagination of the public. Media depictions were frequent, laws were passed, and people had many different ideas about what turned a dog mad.

Yet despite public concerns regarding rabies, ‘mad dogs’, and the notorious ‘dog days’ of summer, there were very few incidents of confirmed rabies throughout the period. What, then, caused such avid fear and attention from the Victorian public?

This talk will explore one of the factors.

Looking at imagery representing rabies, this talk will propose that the middle classes feared rabies as more than just a disease. Instead rabies became viewed as a contagion—propagated by the lower and dangerous classes—which had the potential to attack and corrupt the wellbeing of middle class bodies, values and morals.

This middle class imagination, it will be proposed, was reinforced by visual representations of rabies; which served to strengthen notions of mad dogs as violent, law-breaking, and dangerous curs of the streets rather than the afflicted and ailing animals that they were.

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The New Police Regulations of Dogs (Detail), The Graphic, 1885, p.697.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: The Acquisition of Genius

Below are some images from my time working as a Young Explainer with the Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery  back in 2009. The work revolved around the ‘Sir Joshua Reynolds: The Acquisition of Genius‘ exhibition.

Enjoying the exhibition opening.

Enjoying the exhibition opening.

A glimpse of the 'Big Screen' banner, the art for which was selected with the help of the Young Explainers.

A glimpse of the ‘Big Screen’ banner, the art for which was selected with the help of the Young Explainers.

Another view of Reynold's self-portrait on the 'Big Screen'.

Another view of Reynold’s self-portrait on the ‘Big Screen’.

A photograph of the presentation myself an my colleague, Manuela Husemann, conceptualized for the 'Big Screen'.

A photograph of the presentation myself an my colleague, Manuela Husemann, conceptualized for the ‘Big Screen’.

More shots from the presentation.

More shots from the presentation.

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My time as a Young Explainer included-

Being part of the group deciding which image would be placed on the back of Plymouth’s Big Screen TV as part of ‘The Big Blueprint‘ project.

Collaborating on a talk to the public concerning Reynolds as a Collector of art (titled ‘Reynolds the Collector‘) with one of my colleagues.

Collaborating on a small slideshow to be featured on Plymouth’s Big Screen TV with a colleague. Creating the initial design concept independently and working on the texts, images and sequence with a colleague.

Talking on the local BBC radio with a colleague.

Playing a part behind-the-scenes in a live-performance of some of Reynold’s most popular works for primary school children, titled ‘Living Reynolds’.

The experience was very rewarding and gave me valuable insights into many facets of Museum work and public engagement.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the exhibition (and the contribution of the Young Explainers) then check out the article here.

For the full Big Screen TV slideshow just click on the Vimeo video below.

Young Explainers – Reynolds Animation from PCMAG on Vimeo.