Things: Workshop I


Workshop I: “Things: Material Cultures of the Long Eighteenth Century”

April 23-26, 2012, at the Huntington Library, California 


Rebecca Addicks – English, University of California, Riverside

Steven G. Anderson – History, University of California, Riverside

Katy Barrett – History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University

Maxine Berg – History, Warwick University

Heidi Brayman Hackel – English, University of California, Riverside

Susannah Brooke – History, Cambridge University

Melissa Calaresu – History, Cambridge University

Luisa Calè – English and Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London

Sean Epstein-Corbin – English, University of California, Riverside

Adriana Craciun – English, University of California, Riverside

Molly Dorkin – History of Art, Cambridge University

Ian Duncan – English, University of California, Berkeley

Richard Dunn – National Maritime Museum

Jonathan Eacott – History, University of California, Riverside

Elizabeth Eger – English, Kings College London

Patricia Fumerton – English, University of California, Santa Barbara

Randolph C. Head – History, University of California, Riverside

Steve Hindle – Huntington Library

Sarah Kareem – English, UCLA

Maia Nuku – Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Jonathan Lamb – English, Vanderbilt University

Leanna McLaughlin – History, University of California, Riverside

Patricia Seed – History, University of California, Irvine

Dana Simmons – History, University of California, Riverside

Peter Stallybrass – English, University of Pennsylvania

Mary Terrall – History, University of California, Los Angeles

Sophie Waring – History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University

Alexander Wragge-Morley – History, University College London

Participant Biographies and Papers

Rebecca Addicks   
Rebecca Addicks is currently a Ph.D. Student in the English Department at UC Riverside, where she is focusing on Print Culture and the Long Eighteenth Century. She completed her M.L.I.S at UCLA in 2009, with an emphasis on Academic Libraries and Rare Books. She also has an M.A. in interdisciplinary studies from Cal. State Long Beach where she focused on the transmission of Italian Print Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century.

Steven G. Anderson   
Steve Anderson is currently a PhD student in the History Department at UC Riverside. Steve’s primary research field is Twentieth-Century United States, focusing on the postwar era and Digital Humanities. As a member of the Designated Emphasis in Book, Archive, and Manuscript Studies program at UCR, Steve’s most recent work has concerned the analog/digital transition, technological determinism, and book history as well as sixteenth through eighteenth century prints. Steve is also the webmaster for this site. | @sgahistory |

Katy Barrett   
Katy is one of the conveners of the CRASSH seminar series ‘Things: Material Cultures of the Long Eighteenth Century’ at Cambridge. She is a PhD Student on the AHRC-funded research project ‘The Board of Longitude 1714-1828: Science, Innovation and Empire in the Georgian World’ hosted by the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. She did her BA and Masters degrees in History at the University of Oxford, and then worked in a series of British national museums, including the British Museum, Natural History Museum and National Gallery before joining the Longitude project. Her research interests focus on eighteenth-century cultural history and digital humanities.

Maxine Berg   
Maxine Berg is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, founder of the Global History and Culture Centre at Warwick in 2007. She initiated the Luxury Project and the Eighteenth-Century Centre at Warwick in 1997, and as a European historian then turned her interests to the impact of Chinese, Indian and Japanese luxury and trade goods on Europe’s emerging consumer and industrial cultures. She is currently leading a European Research Council Fellowship project, ‘Europe’s Asian Centuries: Trading Eurasia 1600-1830. She is the author of Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (OUP, 2005).

Heidi Brayman Hackel   
Heidi Brayman Hackel is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Reading Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy (2005) and co-editor of Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (2008) and Teaching Early Modern English Literature from the Archives (forthcoming 2012). Her current book project is titled “Dumb Eloquence: Deafness, Muteness, and Gesture in Early Modern England.”

Susannah Brooke   
Susannah is a third year History PhD candidate at Queens’ College, Cambridge, under the supervision of Prof. Peter Mandler. The title of her doctoral thesis is ‘Private Art Collections and London Town Houses, 1780-1830’. Previously, Susannah read Architectural Studies at the University of Nottingham and earned her Masters at The Courtauld Institute in 2007. Her MA specialisation was ‘The History and Theory of the Art Museum, 1650 to Present’, which was taught by Giles Waterfield. Her interest in London town houses stems from her MA dissertation which was on the Picture Gallery at Bridgewater House. She has presented her research for the Attingham Trust, at the Courtauld Institute, the Institute of Historical Research and the University of Cambridge. She hopes to finish her PhD in October this year. Susannah is a Freeman of the City of London and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers.

Melissa Calaresu   
Melissa Calaresu is a Lecturer in History at Gonville and Caius College and currently Chair of the M.Phil. in Early Modern History at the University of Cambridge. She is writing a cultural history of the Neapolitan enlightenment which has grown out of earlier interests in the political thought of late eighteenth-century Naples and has combined this with newer interests on the material culture and material interests of the European enlightenment. Her recent research includes the history of ice-cream and the snow trade in eighteenth-century Italy which explores recent paradigms in Enlightenment historiography; an article entitled ‘Making and eating ice cream in early modern Naples’ will be published in Past and present in 2013. Her work on ice-cream has led to new research on the representation and realities of selling food on the streets in early modern Europe and she is now co-editing a book on food hawkers from antiquity to the present (forthcoming 2013). She has written articles on historical and autobiographical writing in the eighteenth century, the Grand Tour, the representation of urban space in the early modern period, and on the public sphere and political reform in Naples. She is also co-editor (with Filippo de Vivo and Joan-Pau Rubiés) of Exploring cultural history: Essays in honour of Peter Burke (2010).

Luisa Calè   
Luisa Calè is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. Between 2009 and 2011 She co-organized the series The Disorder of Things: Predisciplinarity and the Divisions of Knowledge and co-edited of the special issue of Eighteenth-Century Studies on ‘The Disorder of Things’ (Fall 2011). She is the author of Henry Fuseli’s Milton Gallery: ‘Turning Readers into Spectators’ (Oxford, 2006) and the co-editor of Dante on View: The Reception of Dante in the Visual and Performing Arts (Ashgate 2007) and Illustrations, Optics and Objects in 19C Literary and Visual Culture (Palgrave 2010). Her current book project, entitled ‘The Book Unbound’, explores extra-illustration and other practices of reading, collecting, and dismantling the book from Walpole to Dickens.

Sean Epstein-Corbin   
Sean Epstein-Corbin is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside. His dissertation, Secularizing Sentiment, Democratizing Virtue: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject over the Long Nineteenth Century, considers the rhetoric of sentiment and virtue and its role in the evolution of liberal subjectivity. He has been a visiting fellow at the University of Southampton and Chawton House Library, where he did archival research on the Bluestocking circle.

Adriana Craciun   
Adriana Craciun is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, and Director of the “Material Cultures of Knowledge, 1500-1830″ Multi-campus Research Group at the University of California. She has published widely on British literature and culture, and is completing a new book titled Northwest Passages: Arctic Disaster and the Cultures of Exploration. With Luisa Calè she co-organized the series of events, “The Disorder of Things: Predisciplinarity and the Divisions of Knowledge, 1660-1850,” and co-edited the special issue of Eighteenth-Century Studies devoted to The Disorder of Things (2011). For 2012-2013 she has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Molly Dorkin   
Molly Dorkin is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She received her BA in art history from Harvard University, and her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art. Molly then spent four years as a Specialist in the Old Master Paintings department at Christie’s auction house in New York, where she assisted with record-breaking sales including Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Portrait of Princess Sybille of Cleves (April 2008; $7.66 million) and J.M.W. Turner’s Giudecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio (April 2006; $35.9 million). She is presently a 3rd year PhD candidate at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, where she is studying Grand Tour period plein-air landscape sketching with Mr. Duncan Robinson. Molly has contributed a number of articles to galleries specializing in old masters, including Otto Naumann Ltd. in New York and Simon Dickinson Ltd. in London, and hopes to return to the gallery and auction world after graduation.

Ian Duncan   
Ian Duncan is the Florence Green Bixby Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel: The Gothic, Scott, Dickens (Cambridge, 1992) and Scott’s Shadow: The Novel in Romantic Edinburgh (Princeton, 2007; winner of the Saltire Society / National Library of Scotland award for best research book of the year, 2008). Other books include several co-edited collections of essays, among them Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism (Cambridge, 2004); editions of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (Oxford, 1996) and Rob Roy (Oxford, 1998), James Hogg’s Winter Evening Tales (Edinburgh, 2002) and Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Oxford, 2010); and a co-edited anthology, Travel Writing 1700-1830 (Oxford, 2005). He is currently a member of the editorial board of Representations, a General Editor of the Collected Works of James Hogg (Edinburgh, ongoing), a Vice-President of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is working on a study of the novel and the science of man, from Hume and Henry Fielding to Darwin and George Eliot.

Richard Dunn   
Richard Dunn studied history of science at the University of Cambridge. He has worked at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich since 2004, where he is Senior Curator of the History of Science. He is currently working on the history of the British Board of Longitude as part of a collaborative project with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (see His publications include The Telescope: A Short History (London, 2009) and Re-Inventing the Ship. Science, Technology and the Maritime World, 1800–1918 (Ashgate, 2012), co-edited with Don Leggett.

Jonathan Eacott   
Jonathan Eacott is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William and Mary. Eacott is completing his first book, Selling Empire: India Goods in the Making of Britain and America, 1690-1830, for the UNC Press. Selling Empire, explores the trade, marketing, consumption, and ideological importance of products from India in the simultaneous development of British power around the globe. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries promoters of an English empire, such as Richard Hakluyt and Samuel Purchas, dreamed of using colonies in America to supply England with the raw materials to produce Asia’s fantastic goods, instead of purchasing these goods from non-Christian Asian powers with silver and gold. Selling Empire argues that the fulfillment of this imperial dream came in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. From the perspective of conventional political narratives, it seems ironic that the vision of a British empire that made use of America as the way to gain Asia’s riches came to its greatest fruition after the American Revolution and as British conquest in Asia accelerated. By foregrounding patterns of production and consumption in the exercise of imperial power, however, the British use of the post-Revolutionary United States appears as the logical culmination of two centuries of imperial political economy. Beyond the eighteenth century and beyond India goods, Selling Empire offers a new approach to understand the multiple ways in which people use the production and consumption of goods to actively and vitally develop, and also occasionally challenge, structures and ideologies of power across space and time.

Elizabeth Eger   
Elizabeth Eger is Reader in 18th-century Literature at King’s College London, where she teaches on the MA in 18th-century studies, an interdisciplinary course taught in partnership with the British Museum. She works on the literary and cultural history of the long eighteenth century, including women’s writing, poetry, visual culture and the conceptual history of ‘luxury’. Her work has included critical editions, editing and contributing to collections of interdisciplinary essays, an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and a book Bluestockings: Women of Reason from Enlightenment to Romanticism (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), part of the series Enlightenment and Romantic Print Cultures (eds Anne Mellor and Clifford Siskin). She is currently working on a biography of Elizabeth Montagu for Oxford University Press, and embarking on a collaborative project on the history of Sir Hans Sloane’s collections: ‘Re-constructing Sloane’.

Patricia Fumerton   
Patricia Fumerton is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Director of UCSB’s award-winning English Broadside Ballad Archive, or EBBA, Fumerton is also author of the print monographs Unsettled: The Culture of Mobility and the Working Poor in Early Modern England (Chicago, 2006) and Cultural Aesthetics: Renaissance Literature and the Practice of Social Ornament (Chicago, 1991) as well as co-editor of Broadsides and Ballads in Britain, 1500-1800 (Ashgate 2010) and Renaissance Culture and the Everyday (Pennsylvania, 1999). In addition, she is bringing out a print companion to EBBA, Broadside Ballads from the Pepys Collection: A Selection of Texts, Approaches, and Recordings (forthcoming MERTS, 2012), which includes two CDS of song recordings. She continues to expand EBBA while also working on her book project, Moving Media, 1569-1789: Broadside Ballads, Cultural History, and “The Lady and the Blackamoor.”

Randolph C. Head   
Randolph C. Head is Professor of History at UC-Riverside. He specializes in early modern European history, having written on Early Modern Democracy in the Grisons (Cambridge, 1995), a study of political culture in early modern Switzerland, as well as producing a variety of articles on religious identity and co-existence in Switzerland after the Reformation. His second book, Jenatsch’s Axe (Rochester, 2008), examines the biography of Georg Jenatsch, a seventeenth-century pastor, soldier, convert, and murderer who was himself murdered in 1639 – with an axe, by a man dressed as a bear –, then immortalized as a flawed national hero in Conrad Ferdinand Meyer’s nineteenth-century novel. A Concise History of Switzerland (co-authored with Clive Church) is expected to appear in 2013, as is his chapter on the sixteenth century for a new general history of Switzerland now in preparation by Schwabe Verlag, Basel. His current project, Archival Knowledge Cultures in Early Modern Europe considers the practices of record-keeping, archival organization, and metdata that emerged in a sample of early modern political archives from Lisbon to Vienna. After extensive research supported by fellowships by the Schweizer Akadamie der Geisteswissenschaften, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the American Philosophical Society, he is spending 2011-12 working on his manuscript at the Newberry Library with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Steve Hindle   
Steve Hindle became W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library in July 2011. Dr. Hindle is by training a social historian of early modern England, and he previously worked at the University Warwick, where he was successively Director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, Deputy-Chair and Chair of the History Department. He is the author of The State and Social Change in Early Modern England (Palgrave, 2000) and On the Parish?: The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England, c.1550-1750 (Oxford UP, 2004), and is currently at work on a new book, The Social Topography of a Rural Community: The Warwickshire Parish of Chilvers Coton, c.1600-1730, for which he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship in 2010.

Sarah Kareem   
Sarah Tindal Kareem is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is completing a book on the role of wonder in eighteenth-century fiction and also working on a book about figures of flotation and suspension in the long eighteenth century. Her recent and forthcoming essays concern the scientific career of Rudolf Raspe, the romance of skepticism in David Hume and James Beattie’s philosophical works, and fictionality in Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels.

Maia Nuku   
Dr. Maia Nuku is Research Associate currently engaged on a three-year project ‘Artefacts of Encounter’ based at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (University of Cambridge) which uses artefacts as primary evidence of the nature of encounters between Europeans and Polynesian islanders on a number of Pacific voyages from 1765-1820 and beyond.

Jonathan Lamb   

Leanna McLaughlin   
Leanna McLaughlin has been pursuing her doctorate in Early Modern English history at the University of California-Riverside under the tutelage of Thomas Cogswell since 2009. She recently achieved candidacy and now is pursuing her dissertation research in earnest. Her dissertation explores British political partisanship from the Popish Plot to the “Glorious” Revolution through the lampoons and songs that proliferated during the period. She lately presented a conference paper on the libelous depictions of Charles II during the Popish Plot and Exclusion Crisis entitled “The Pimp, the Whore, and the Buffoon.” Many audience members commended her on her ability to recapture the scandalous rhetoric and nature of Carolinian politics. Her interest in political intrigue stemmed from watching the soap opera dramas that only small Southern towns can produce. She found that the nature of Southern social negotiation was similar to the personal nature of early modern British politics. She was able to study both while she achieved her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Mississippi.

Patricia Seed   
Patricia Seed has just finished the two volume *Oxford Map Companion to World History,* due out later this year. Professor of History at UC Irvine, currently working on the history of cartography through a UCHRI/NEH/ACLS funded project titled “The Origins of Large-Scale Coastal Mapping: Portugal and the African Coast. ( She has just finished a literary history of the origin of the word “modern” to appear in *Seven Renaissance Keywords* later this year and was extensively involved in the reorganization of the National Archives of Mexico. She is the author of numerous previous books including American Pentimento: The Pursuit of Riches and the Invention of “Indians” (2001) (winner of the Prize in Atlantic History) and Ceremonies of Possession in Europe’s Conquest of the New World (1995).

Dana Simmons   
Dana Simmons is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Riverside. Dana is interested in intersections of the human sciences, life sciences, political economy and the modern welfare state. She has just completed a project (Needs, Nature and Inequality in Modern France) on the notion of human need, and the political construction of expertise and control over what counts as a need. Her current research is designed to think about the ‘nature’ of work and capital via a history of modern agronomy. Dana is particularly interested in alternate formulations of work and capital appropriated by and from nineteenth-century chemists such as Justus von Liebig and Jean Baptiste Dumas. These men are recognized as intellectual forefathers of modern industrial agriculture; but their ideas also led in some surprisingly anti-capitalist and utopian directions.

Peter Stallybrass   

Mary Terrall   
Mary Terrall is professor of history at UCLA, where she teaches history of science and medicine. She is the author of The Man Who Flattened the Earth: Maupertuis and the Sciences in the Enlightenment (2002) and is currently finishing a book on Reaumur and 18th-century natural history. Her paper for this workshop is taken from one chapter of this book, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.

Sophie Waring   
Sophie is currently a PhD student on the AHRC funded Project: ‘The Board of Longitude 1714-1828: Science, Innovation and Empire in the Georgian World’ coordinated by HPS at Cambridge and the NMM, Greenwich. As part of her doctoral research Sophie developed an interest in material culture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and co-founded with Katy Barrett the CRASSH seminar series ‘Things: Material Cultures of the Long Eighteenth Century’. Sophie previously read history and philosophy of science at UCL for her BSc and then took a Masters in the history of science, technology and medicine coordinated between UCL, Imperial College London and the Wellcome Trust Centre. Sophie has volunteered at various museums, including the Natural History Museum and the Royal Institution and her current research interests focus on the physical sciences and state sponsorship in early nineteenth century Britain. She has previously worked on natural history collecting in the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

Alexander Wragge-Morley   
Alexander Wragge-Morley is a teaching fellow in Early Modern European History at University College London. He gained is PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge in 2011. His research work concerns the history of scientific knowledge in Britain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He seeks to expose those aspects of early modern scientific knowledge, such as its capacity to affect people emotionally and to provoke ethical change, that are most challenging to narratives of continual progress in the sciences. Most often, he does so by considering representations of nature made by early modern natural philosophers and medics, as well as the discourses and practices that informed their production and consumption. These discourses and practices – including architectural drawing, artistic practices and theory, connoisseurship, rhetoric and poetics – lie outside the strict bounds of natural philosophy. By studying how they informed the production and consumption of the knowledge of nature, therefore, we can better understand how early modern intellectual, artistic and material culture informed early modern natural philosophy. His current research project is about the beautiful and expensive anatomical atlases made by members of the circle of the physician and connoisseur Richard Mead, who lived and worked in London during the first half of the eighteenth century.