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Grant number like: FT-254572-17

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Rachel Teukolsky
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017

The Aesthetic Life of Images in Britain's Machine Age

A book-length study on new media technology in Victorian England and its influence on literature and aesthetics.

“New media” today conjures cyberspace, hypertext, and other digital innovations. Yet media invention itself is not new, and every epoch has had to confront the disruptive and transformative effects of new communications technologies. This project looks back to the new visual media of Britain’s nineteenth century, to demonstrate their centrality to Victorian ideas about aesthetics, politics, and visual value. Each of the book’s chapters considers a different kind of emergent visual media object, including pictorial newspapers, stereoscopic views, illustrated bibles, advertising posters, and early film. The book shows how these mass-produced visual objects, usually considered disposable ephemera, in fact offer access to some of the Victorian era’s foundational aesthetic concepts, keywords such as character, illustration, realism, sensation, and the picturesque.