I have taught at the University of Westminster since 2010, where I am currently a Senior Lecturer and the Course Leader for the MA in Art and Visual Culture. I previously studied at La Sapienza University, Rome (Laurea quinquennale in Scienze della Comunicazione, Cattedra di Sociologia delle Arti e della Moda, 2004) and at the London College of Communication (FdA in Photojournalism, 2006), and hold an MA in Visual Culture (2010) and a PhD (2014) from the University of Westminster. I also previously worked as a photographer and photo editor in both commercial and non-profit organisations.
I am the Course Leader for the MA in Art and Visual Culture and the Module Leader for the core modules Visual Culture: Production, Display and Discourse and the Art and Visual Culture Dissertation module, and for the option modules Engaging the Archive and Representing World Cultures. I also supervise MA dissertations in Art and Visual Culture; Cultural and Critical Studies; and Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture. At BA level, I am the Module Leader for Objects and Meanings: World Cultures in London Galleries and Museums and Art and Society on the Modern Languages and Study Abroad programmes respectively. Additionally, I have designed and delivered workshops for undergraduate and postgraduate (taught and research) students on visual research methods and engagement with archive and museum collections; I also have experience of designing and delivering summer school programmes.
I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, and I am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.
The area of my research interests includes photographic history and theory; the relationship between cultural technologies, media and modernity; mobility and visuality from the late nineteenth-century; archival theory and practice; media history; and, more broadly, the interdisciplinary study of visual culture and cultural studies.
My first monograph, Travel Marketing and Popular Photography in Britain, 1888-1939: Reading the Travel Image, was published by Routledge in 2018. It examines how popular participation in the production, dissemination and consumption of photographic images, specifically those that pertained to the experience of travelling, challenged and subverted the dominant visual culture of travel in Britain between 1888 and 1939. In this project, I analyse the intersection of the popularisation of photography with the social and cultural changes that saw the emergence and development of mass consumer culture and tourism marketing from the late nineteenth century. As the book shows, the relationship between popular photography and travel marketing was shaped by the different desires and expectations that consumers and institutions projected onto photography, in what became, effectively, a struggle over the interpretation of the travel image itself.
My most recent work looks at the wide range of photographic practices that shaped people’s experience of modernity from the late nineteenth century, focusing in particular on the significance that photographers’ interactions with other media and technologies had on the production of ways of being modern. There are two key strands to this project:
i) in the first, I investigate the intertwined development of new forms of mobility and visuality that cycling and developments in camera technology made possible, and how this shaped/was shaped by the experience of modernity. During this time, these new technical forms became increasingly popular against the backdrop of the experience of living in a modern metropolis; my research investigates people’s engagement with such technologies within a new social and cultural landscape. It aims to understand how such new body-machine interactions influenced visual experiences and, consequently, the emergence of new photographic possibilities and desires.
ii) the second strand looks instead at the influence that the infrastructure of the postal system had on photographers’ understanding of their own role in the production of photographic meanings and values from the late nineteenth century. Here I am focusing, in particular, on the role played by the collaborative nature of postal photographic clubs in the production of photographic knowledge and, consequently, modern photographic identities. The research explores how the collective participation in the construction, sharing, and cyclical remixing of photography-related material on which postal clubs depended implicitly challenged the institutionalisation of this period’s dominant photographic discourse.
In 2017 I was the convenor of the symposium Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography, which brought together academics, artists and curators interested in exploring how these three activities are central to the production of our knowledge about photography (more information at http://rwepsymposium.weebly.com/).
I am a member of the European Society for the History of Photography and of the Società Italiana per lo Studio della Fotografia. I have published in titles including History of Photography; Photography and Culture; Science Museum Group Journal; Source: Thinking Through Photography; and Trigger.
For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.