PhD supervisor: Professor Richard Taws
Working title for PhD: Olivetti: 'Circulated and consumed: Tracing animal lives in the visual culture of British meat supply chains, c. 1880-1910'
My research pays attention to the depiction of animal lives in the visual culture related to Britain’s meat consumption in the late nineteenth century, encompassing photography, print and painting. I seek to show that, in addressing Victorian Britain’s dietary focus on ‘flesh-forming’ animal proteins, a topic inextricable from animal death, it is important to look at the way that nonhuman life was central to the visual culture of meat consumption. Looking at life in the face of death draws attention to the interdependence of Britons and the animals they ate in several ways. Across four chapters on Cows, Pigs, Sheep and Fish respectively, I consider the visual dimensions of technology and disease in the treatment of bodies, the points at which animal rights and labour movements intersected, and the use of animal lives to further territorial expropriations of empire. I am particularly interested in the ways that images of animal bodies and their constituent parts not only moved internationally along similar routes to the actual meat products, but also were translated between different media as part of their reception into British visual culture. This transmutability between media and contexts, I argue, is key to approaching the core tensions of Victorian Britain’s chauvinistic dependence on foreign food supplies, as a means of mitigating the anxieties of meat production’s increased geographical distance.
My PhD is funded by AHRC and is supervised by Richard Taws.
- ‘Consuming animals in print: being a live cow on Victorian cattle ships’, Object, no. 21 (forthcoming).
- I have contributed reviews and writing to Art Monthly, Art Quarterly and Studio International, among other publications.
- ‘Refrigeration and animal suffering: consuming humanitarian ethics in Victorian Britain’, Waste Not, Want Not: Food and Thrift from Early Modernity to the Present, University of Cambridge, 12th-13th September, 2019.
- ‘Victorian anti-cattle ship campaigns and the visual legacy of abolitionism’, Animal History Group Summer Conference, King’s College London, 6th-7th June, 2019.
- ‘The insectile imperialism of Edouard Duseigneur-Kléber’s Le Cocon de Soie photographic series’ Consuming Animals, University of York, 17th-18th March, 2017.
- Oxford Art Journal Dissertation Prize, 2016.
- Dean's List, UCL, 2016.
- Teaching Assistant, HART0001, History of Art and its Objects, Spring 2020.
- Teaching Assistant, Art History Link-Up.