My post-doctoral research examines the history of human wildlife conflict through visual records of carnivores, in-particular big cats, from different cultures and periods. The intention is to better understand how cultural species evolve in accord with their real-life counterparts, how the desire to assign symbolism to animals connects human cultures across time, and the different ways in which humans and wildlife have co-existed. Areas of particular interest are the cultural execution of felids in relation to their historic range and distribution in Mughal India, and the early trade in exotic wildlife in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain.
My doctoral research formed part of ‘Court, Country, City: British Art, 1660-1735’, a major collaborative research project between the University of York and Tate Britain. Focusing on the little studied written accounts of English art that were produced in these years, my thesis investigated the contexts of their production, their qualities as texts, and their authority as interventions in a rapidly transforming cultural scene. As part of the project I also collaborated on an exhibition which took its title – Dead Standing Things: still life 1660-1740 – from my research on the literature of the period, and ran from 31 May–30 September 2012 at Tate Britain. I also contributed towards an extensive new online database of primary sources – The Art World in Britain 1660–1735 – that provides a research tool for the study of the arts in late 17th and early 18th century Britain.
Outside WildCRU, I am a member of the British Art Research School (BARS), and a 2012 Visiting Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art.
‘A Royal Subject, William Sanderson’s guide to paintings on the eve of the Restoration’ in Court, Country, City: British Art, 1660 – 1740 eds. Mark Hallett, Martin Myrone and Nigel Llewellyn (Yale University Press, 2016).
‘‘An Epitome of Painting’: Edward Lutrell’s unpublished manuscript’ Making Art Picturing Practice c.1700-1900 – (Yale Center for British Art and University of York, Forthcoming).
‘Constructing the ‘English school’, Contested Narratives of Nation in the Writing of Richard Graham and Bainbrigg Buckeridge’ in History Writing in Britain 1689-1830: Vision of History eds. Fiona Price and Ben Dew (Palgrave, 2014).
From ‘dead-standing-things’ to ‘still life’: defining a new genre in British art Booklet essay to accompany Tate Britain still life display ‘Dead Standing Things’ with an extended version published online (Tate Publishing, 2012).