The Marvellous Mechanical Museum – Talk at Compton Verney Exhibition

EDIT: This talk is now happening on Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 2:30-3:30pm!

I’m very excited to be giving a talk on ‘Automata in Literature and Culture’, fathoming the literary and psychological depths of our fascination with automata through history at  The Marvellous Mechanical Museum exhibition, for which I acted as a consultant, at Compton VerneyLancelot ‘Capability’ Brown‘s former abode. With Greek Mythology, Frankenstein, Rowland Emmet (and possibly even LEGO), there’s definitely going to be something for everybody! Tickets include entry to the exhibition (which you must see!).

 

PS: Don’t miss out on the gorgeous book accompanying the exhibition for which I wrote an essay!

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Oxford Graduate Studies Video Interview

Earlier this week I was privileged to be interviewed about my doctoral research for a new video for the Oxford Grad Study Campaign. For this I was thrilled to return to Christ Church Library (thanks so much to Steven & Cristina for arranging everything on the day!), to introduce some items from their Lewis Carroll Collection, which included early sketches by Carroll for the characters in Alice in Wonderland, proof pages, as well as the presentation first edition copy of Alice to the college library, some of Carroll’s original photographs and letters (click through the Instagram gallery to see a few of those items) – what a memorable day!

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TRT documentary on Alice in Wonderland adaptations now online

Last week I appeared live on TRT Showcase about adaptations of Alice in Wonderland together with author and fellow Carrollian Charlie Lovett. We spoke about our most fascinating finds in researching Lewis Carroll, early Alice theatre adaptations, Carroll’s library and real mad tea parties – have a look!

 

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Talks Summer 2018

2009072I will be giving several public talks this summer, ranging from Alice in Wonderland and asylums, to psychology in Victorian fantastic literature, the psychology and sociology of recently rediscovered Arts and Crafts objects, insect metamorphoses and morality tales for children, and Automata, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Frankenstein. If you’re nearby, come and say hi!

My talks:

If you fancy reading more from me, essays of mine will appear in the Journal Of Scottish Thought as well as the exhibition catalogue of the Marvellous Mechanical Museum Exhibition. Don’t miss the Insects Through the Looking-Glass Exhibition at The Story Museum which runs throughout the Royal Entomological Society’s National Insect Week until Alice’s Day!

 

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Insects Through the Looking-Glass: Exhibition at Story Museum Oxford & BSHS Outreach Grant

With support from the Royal Entomological Society you’ll be able to discover the world of literary insects, from mythology to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland novels, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach and M.G. Leonard’s Beetle Boy trilogy at Oxford’s Story Museum this summer! The exhibition will be on throughout National Insect Week to Oxford’s annual Alice’s Day, and run parallel to the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth exhibition at the Bodleian Library.

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You’ll be able to delve into the history of entomology and the creation of the characters of some of your favourite children’s books, and discover how much we learn about the true biology of insects from them in interactive exhibits supported by the British Society for the History of Science, who have generously awarded us with their Outreach Grant. The exhibition will not only feature real Looking-Glass Insects, but will also be accompanied by numerous events – from live insect handling to school & illustration workshops, and readings my M.G. Leonard herself – as well as a museum trail. On the 23th of June, Dimitra Fimi will talk about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Insects in a lecture entitled ‘Wings, Antennae, and Stings: Tolkien’s Creepy Crawlies’On the 7th of July – Alice’s Day, and the final day of the exhibition before the Museum closes for refurbishment – there will be a talk entitled ‘A bug-hunt in Wonderland: the symbolism and science of Alice’s insects and their transformations’ by the curators Chris Jeffs & Franziska Kohlt.

List of events:

For the academic side of our project, we will be presenting a panel on Cross-Disciplinary Public Engagement at the Annual Conference of the British Society for Literature and Science (Panel 8B). We will shine a light the different sides of a cross-disciplinary collaboration in a panel discussion with Christopher Jeffs (University of Oxford), research scientist at the Department of Zoology, Luke Tilley (Royal Entomological Society), Deputy CEO and Director of Outreach, Katherine Ford, Science Museum London/ University of Sheffield Libraries Engagement, and Maya Leonard, author of ‘Beetle Boy’ trilogy and ‘Beetle Collectors Handbook’.

To create a future resource for future science communicators and everyone more widely involved in outreach and engagement on the intersections between the sciences and the humanities, we will be conducting a survey on how to create a successful cross-disciplinary outreach event – do participate & share widely!

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Arte documentary on Oxford & Lewis Carroll available online

The Arte documentary for which I was interviewed in December has just been aired, and I’m very excited and grateful for the generous feedback it has received – and the many views! It’s available online, dubbed French and German, until the 12th of May, and can be downloaded here.

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