I am a 19th-century art historian, based in French Studies whose research and teaching are interdisciplinary, drawing upon the methods and fields of art history, literature and history of design.
My research may be categorised into two distinct but inter-related areas: (1) interior studies; (2) 19th-century art history and aesthetics. I have published peer-reviewed articles and books on major figures in 19th-century literature (Baudelaire, Nerval, Rodenbach, Maeterlinck, Verhaeren) and art (Manet, Courbet, Daumier, Redon, Gauguin, Ensor, Morisot). I am particularly interested in how the material conditions of 19th-century France shaped artistic process and aesthetic form. I explored the role of marketing and the nascent modern media in the artistic output and public profile of Courbet, Gauguin and Ensor in my 2016 monograph, Staging the Artist (Routledge). Most recently, I have published the edited volume, Domestic Space in France and Belgium (2022) and co-edited two special issues (on the Belgian Interior and on Intimacy) with the leading nineteenth-century journal Dix-Neuf (2018 and 2021).
I am currently completing my second monograph Morisot’s Modernism and Impressionist Art, contracted with Routledge, for which I was awarded the prestigious Society of French Studies Prize Research Fellowship in 2021. This project seeks to recalibrate the position of the female Impressionist, Berthe Morisot and challenge public and critical understanding of the Impressionist movement more broadly by focusing on the interior culture which shaped it. I am also co-editing another special issue with Dix-Neuf (2023), including an article directly related to this project, on the history of the aesthetic impact of women’s invisible work.
I have led a new significant programme of cross- and interdisciplinary research on interiors on an international basis, culminating in 3 major publications and in the research platform based at KU Leuven, which I co-direct with Dominique Bauer. I am recognized as an international expert on the Interior and 19th-century French art history, and I have given several invited papers at research institutes, museums and Universities, such as KU Leuven, the University of Oxford, the National Gallery of Ireland, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the University of Edinburgh and the Institute of Modern Languages Research.
I have supervised 3 PhD dissertations successfully as primary supervisor and 4 as second supervisor to completion, as well as 3 MRes projects. I currently supervise 1 PhD student as primary supervisor and 2 as second, as well as 1 MRes student. All of my doctoral students have been externally funded by Northern Bridge, DfE or Marie Curie. I am interested in hearing from potential students who would like to work on interdisciplinary projects (art, literature, architecture, theatre studies).
I am the associate editor of the Interior Spaces series at Amsterdam University Press and I am also the Editor for French of the Modern Language Review and Director at the Modern Humanities Research Association. I am also the Conference officer for SDN https://uksdn.wordpress.com/about I have served as an invited assessor for grants for the European Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Institute and Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).