I am currently a PhD student at the University of Sydney Australia. My APA funded research, tentatively titled Bodies of Whalebone, Wood, Metal and Cloth: Shaping Femininity in England, 1560-1690, examines the production, materiality, consumption and discourses generated around stiffened female undergarments – bodies, busks, farthingales and bum rolls – in order to analyse the way that women and their bodies were understood, displayed, regulated and experienced in England from 1560-1690. My research utilises a wide range of sources such as probate records, letters and diaries, to literature, the material objects themselves and even historical dress reconstruction and experimental archaeology. In doing so it seeks to understand not only the complexities of early modern material and artisanal culture, but also how these undergarments shaped femininity and became integral to the ways that early moderns perceived class-based appearances, the female body, gender and sexuality.
Primarily my research is situated in the fields of material culture history and the history of the body. My particular interests include the history of gender and sexuality, history of production, consumption and consumerism, the history of medicine and disability, history of manners and conduct literature, and the history of emotions.
From January-June 2015 I was also a visiting research student at Kings College London working on my doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Prof Laura Gowing and Prof Evelyn Welch.
September 2015 –
I’m currently an intern with Worn Through, a blog about the social-cultural, academic, historical, and critical thoughts on dress, aimed at academics, museum professionals and fashion/design educators. My main roles are social Media management and content Contribution.
I have previously volunteered in the curatorial area of the Fashion and Textiles department at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (formerly, Powerhouse Museum) in Sydney, and I also work on the Australian Dress Register, a collaborative project that aims to catalogue and research dress in Australian pre-1975.