Adam Drazin is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UCL (University College London), where he coordinates the MA programme in Culture.Materials.Design. His two main current research interests are design anthropology (and specifically the role of material objects in mediating how anthropology and design articulate), and the anthropology of domesticity and home. He has published in a variety of journals and volumes, most recently in Design Anthropology (Ed. Ton Otto et al 2013) He is an external examiner for the product design programme at Glasgow School of Art.
Alex Woodall is in the third year of her PhD in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, and is exploring, using a theological framework, material encounters with objects in art galleries and their role in imaginative interpretation. Her research, supervised by Dr Sandra Dudley, is based on 10 years professional practice, particularly that undertaken while working as Interpretation Development Officer at Manchester Art Gallery. She is currently a freelance consultant for museum and gallery interpretation, runs the Yorkshire & Humberside Group for Education in Museums (GEM), and is an AMA Mentor for the Museums Association.
Bethany Viviano is currently a student in the MA History of Art program at UCL engaging her research interests in material culture with emphasis on textiles and paper. Upon completion of her studies at UCL, she will be pursuing a degree in textile conservation in New York. Bethany is fascinated by the human/material relationship and how that interplay has affected, and even shaped, all aspects of human existence throughout history. Her goal is to work with small institutions to preserve material culture while exploring the implications these objects can have in the modern world.
Bill Sherman is Head of Research at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of York. He has published widely on the history of books and readers and his books on the subject include Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England. He is now working on a study of visual marginalia called The Reader’s Eye.
Elaine Tierney is a postdoctoral fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Architecture, where she is preparing a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. Her research concerns the material culture of politics in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and, in particular, the practical realisation of early modern festivals. Part of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Research Department since 2006, she has contributed to projects including the exhibition and catalogue, Baroque: Style in the Age of Magnificence 1620–1800 and the Handmade in Britain television series, a collaboration between the V&A and BBC4.
Emily Hayes has a BA degree in archaeology and anthropology from the University of Cambridge and an M. Sc. in Environmental Archaeology from Paris 1, Sorbonne/Nanterre X. Her professional experience of cataloguing in London auction houses and galleries, notably as a specialist of modern and contemporary prints and multiples at Christie’s, has provided her with insight into the way in which visual and material artefacts find new homes and meanings around the world. Currently, through her AHRC funded CDA Ph. D, she has explored the visual and material properties of glass lantern slides and their role in knowledge representation, production and reception, and the early history of modern academic geography in the late nineteenth century.
Emma Richardson teaches the material science of art and heritage artefacts, with a particular focus on the conservation and preservation of organic polymers. She received her doctorate in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Southampton in 2009, and subsequently took the position of post-doctoral fellow at the Getty Conservation Institute (2009-2012). Her education and research has combined both science and conservation, which has led to multidisciplinary collaborations with various institutions such as The National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, English Heritage, Disney Animation Research Library and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Gill Partington is a research fellow at Birkbeck College. Her work explores changing engagements with – and unorthodox treatments of – the material page. Her recent writing focuses on radical artist John Latham, who specialised in burning, dismembering and chewing books, and on Tom Phillips, whose ongoing creation of cult novel A Humument involves excising, manipulating and overwriting an existing work. She has just co-edited a collection entitled Book Destruction in the West: From the Medieval to the Contemporary, (Palgrave, 2014) and is convening a conference in June this year entitled ‘Perversions of Paper’.
Jareh Das’s PhD research explores through a series of artists case studies, audiences visceral response to body art and how current neuroscience research (dealing with neurotechnologies) could potentially contribute to new understandings of performance art. Her research builds on the critical tradition of performance art since the 1960’s, a discourse centered on destabilising normative bodily understandings. It also seeks to address the resistance and problems associated with theorising the experience of performance art. It is her intention to explore how neuroscience research might contribute to this area.
Julia Farley is an Archaeologist based at the University of Leicester, and has previously worked as the curator of the European Iron Age collections at the British Museum. She currently holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, investigating the circulation of gold and silver in Iron Age and Roman Britain. Her work focuses on flows of materials and transfer of knowledge, exploring how materials were transformed as they circulated through ancient communities. As part of this project she has worked with craftspeople and experimental archaeometallurgists to learn about ancient metalworking techniques, including smelting and silver-smithing.
Kate Smith is a historian of the long eighteenth century who uses cultural and material approaches to examine historical processes. Based in History at UCL, Kate Smith currently works as Research Fellow on The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 project (http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/eicah/), which seeks to understand British material cultures in global and imperial terms. Kate also acts as co-covenor of the 100 Hours project. Funded by CHIRP, 100 Hours has brought together an interdisciplinary group of early career researchers to investigate new frameworks for the study of material things in historical and contemporary contexts (http://ucl100hours.wordpress.com/). Kate’s first monograph Material Goods, Moving Hands: Perceiving Production in England, 1700-1830 will be published by Manchester University Press in October 2014.
Lina Hakim holds a BA in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut (2001), an MA in Book Arts from Camberwell College of Arts (2004), and an MRes in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium, Birkbeck, University of London (2009), where she has recently completed her PhD on ‘Scientific Playthings: Artefacts, Affordance, History’ (2013). Building on her doctoral thesis, Lina’s current research is concerned with the ways in which we learn from made things and from the act of making, and explores generative model(s) for engagement with things at the interface between making and understanding.
Lucy Lyons investigates drawing as a phenomenological activity that evidences experience and communicates knowledge in medical sciences. Her PhD involved using drawing as an activity to investigate the breadth of experiences of FOP, a rare disease where connective tissue turns to bone. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at Medical Museion at University of Copenhagen her research investigated issues relating to ageing in a medical museum context through drawing practice. She is an active member of the Nordiskt Sommaruniversitet exploring experience and performativity of artistic research and is a lecturer in drawing research and painting at City & Guilds of London Art School. As artist in residence at Barts Pathology Museum QMUL she coordinates a Share Academy project in partnership between UCL, UAL and London Museums Group.
Sally Holloway completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2013, funded by the AHRC and supervised by Professor Amanda Vickery. She is currently converting the thesis into a monograph, provisionally entitled Romantic Love in Words and Objects: Courtship and Emotion in Georgian England. She has spent the past year working as a Historical Researcher at Kensington Palace on the exhibition ‘Glorious Georges 1714-2014’, and is an Affiliated Research Scholar at the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions.
Tom Fisher is Professor of Art and Design in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University. After study in art and design and some years running a small craft business, he took his PhD at the University of York in Sociology, concentrating on the role of artificial materials in consumption experiences. His current research is informed by the interest that researchers in the human sciences show in Design and one of its objectives is to see if these ways of thinking about technologies and ‘social practice’ might help Design to reflect on itself. Work on information technology since the 1980s has pointed to principles of connectivity, co-determination and resistance to change of ‘socio-technical systems’ that can be generalised to the social, ethical and environmental dimensions of design. His work draws on his background in craft practice and stresses the materiality of our interactions with things, and therefore their design. It has led to a book on the everyday re-use of packaging, as well as funded research on sustainable clothing (Defra), and industrial heritage (AHRC).
Petra Lange-Berndt is a lecturer in history of art at University College London. Her work argues from the side of making and doing. Her book Animal Art: Präparierte Tiere in der Kunst, 1850-2000 (Preserved Animal Bodies in Art, Silke Schreiber 2009) investigates into entanglements of art and biology: it surveys art practices that deal critically with power relations connected to body-preserving. From 2010-12 she ran the AHRC research network on Cultures of Preservation. The Afterlife of Specimens between Art and Science since the Eighteenth Century. She is also interested in curatorial processes. Together with Dietmar Rübel she has co-edited a book on Sigmar Polke & Company, their living situation and art production of the 1970s: Sigmar Polke: We Petty Bourgeois! Contemporaries and Comrades, The 1970s (published by Walther Koenig Books in 2009; English version Thames & Hudson 2011). This research was the starting point for an exhibition curated by Petra and her collaborators with Dorothee Böhm in three parts taking place over eleven months at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, March 2009 to January 2010. They won the “Exhibition of the Year” award by the International Association of Art Critics (German section). The experimental format of the exhibition is documented in a separate publication. With the same team, she co-curated the exhibition A World of Wild Doubt at the Hamburger Kunstverein; the catalogue came out with Sternberg Press. In summer 2013 together with Strange Attractor and Morbid Anatomy she co-organised the Congress for Curious People that took place in various venues around London. (Photo of Petra is copyright Olaf Pascheit, Hamburg).
Lucy Razzall is a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where she is working on her first book, about containers and containment in early modern literature and material culture. Her next project is about
recycling, reuse, mending, and repairing in early modern literature. She is a member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Material Texts, based at
the Faculty of English, Cambridge.
Kate Steiner is Editor of the Science Museum Group’s new open access E-journal, which launched in Spring 2014. As well as raising the profile of research activities across the group, the journal will create an innovative voice in discussions worldwide about science, its history, material culture, communication, display and presentation in museums. Kate was previously Head of the Museum’s Audience Research unit, and has led many research and policy initiatives in this field including introducing audience profiling, piloting user testing for digital projects, and conducting in-depth studies of under-represented visitor groups. She has especially nurtured the Museum’s growing expertise in involving different audience communities in museum activities, and authored the group’s policy for Deaf and Disabled Access.