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Dr Nicole Garrod-Bush


I am currently beginning my third year of doctoral research under the supervision of Dr Peter Garratt. My work explores the visual culture of motion image technologies in the nineteenth century in relation to the vocabulary, form, and representational strategies of midcentury fiction.

The Victorian fascination with perception was not limited to the expansion or enhancement of vision (the use of the telescope and microscope, for example), or with the capture of the static image in photography, but importantly included a widespread interest in images which flickered, transformed, and transitioned sequentially -- in short, with the beginnings of the motion picture several decades before the cinema industry burgeoned at the very end of the nineteenth century.

Weaving historiographic, scientific, and textual analysis, my thesis explores Victorian physiological optics and haptic perception alongside the phenomenological issues raised by visual technology and offers specific readings of texts by Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy in order to demonstrate their use of a linguistic register associated with the mechanism and visual effects of popular moving image media.

I serve on the executive committee of BAVS (the British Association for Victorian Studies) as an elected postgraduate representative, 2012-14. I act as an external peer reviewer for Victorian Network, an MLA-indexed open access journal.

I am a lead applicant on an AHRC Collaborative Skills Development project, co-organised with postgraduate colleagues at the Universities of Newcastle and Durham, which focuses on William Armstrong and practices of Victorian philanthropy.

In September 2011 I co-founded and currently sit on the organising committee of the North East Nineteenth-Century research group, a regional network for postgraduates working on any aspect of the long nineteenth century, the inaugural event of which received funding from BSLS to host a conference on the theme of ‘Moving Towards Science’.

For further details about my doctoral work, wider research interests, and upcoming projects please see my research profile.