lead researchers

Leonie Hannan – History and Museums & Public Engagement, UCL

Leonie Hannan is an historian of eighteenth-century gender, epistolary and material culture and a museum professional. Her doctoral research demonstrated the critical role of letter-writing for English women’s engagement with the life of the mind and identified the home as a key site for female knowledge production in the period c.1650-1750. Her current research uses material and textual evidence to explore the practice of scientific enquiry as it took place in the eighteenth-century home, focusing on activities such as collecting, experimenting, and theorising. As lead researcher on the 100 Hours project, Leonie will coordinate and synthesise the project team’s collaborative research, develop her own object-centred research – undertaken collaboratively as part of the project, and document the project’s findings via the website and blog. Leonie’s ongoing role in UCL’s Museums & Public Engagement department focuses on initiating innovative and interdisciplinary object-based learning and she will bring this expertise to the project by facilitating the object-centred engagements of the project team.

Leonie is currently co-editing a book entitled Gender, Material Culture in Britain since 1600, which is forthcoming with Palgrave MacMillan in January 2015. She has written for publication in the Women’s History Review and Literature & History, has contributed several book chapters focused on collections, object-based learning, and museum practice and is completing a monograph based on her doctoral thesis.

Kate Smith – History, UCL

Kate Smith is a cultural historian of eighteenth-century Britain, who focuses on processes of production, consumption, acquisition and loss as they relate to the material world. Her doctoral research explored the nexus of production, consumption and retail to demonstrate how consumers related to the production processes that manufactured the burgeoning material world around them. Through studying encyclopaedias, travelogues, trade cards, objects and pamphlets Smith demonstrated how representations of production shaped consumer cultures during the long eighteenth century. Based on this research, Material Goods and Moving Hands: Perceiving Production in England, 1700-1830 will be published by Manchester University Press in 2014.

Smith’s current research focuses on the meanings attributed to objects and the built environment by families in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. As Research Fellow on The East India Company at Home project she is completing a number of in-depth case studies which track East India Company officials and their families as they returned to Britain. This research explores the objects they returned with and the country houses they bought, built and rented once home to demonstrate how Britain’s global and imperial connections shaped material culture in this period.

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