Past Events

Global British Art History: New Directions & Early Career Perspectives

ECRN Events – Dr Isabelle Gapp, Matthew Dimmock, Sarah Piram, Dr Robert Wilkes

  • 7 May 2021
  • 1:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Online Event

This forum will discuss British art from a global perspective, echoing a growing body of research by early career scholars that addresses an expanded notion of what constitutes British art studies.

We are particularly interested in areas of the globe not formerly a part of the British Empire to explore alternative sets of international relations, such as the period before the formal British Empire, inter-imperial relationships, the effects of the British Empire on non-imperial states and parts of the globe that were not seen as ‘important’ to British imperial interests.

The event will be divided into two parts. The first section will feature ten-minute presentations from three speakers. Attendees will then be put into Zoom discussion rooms with one speaker hosting each room to discuss their topic in more detail along with the broader thematic questions about global British art studies.


1:00–1:05 pm – Welcome from ECRN convenors, Shijia Yu and Maddie Boden

1:05–1:15 pm – Welcome and introduction from Professor Matthew Dimmock

1:15–1:25 pm – Isabelle Gapp, ‘The Cartographic Arctic: Exploration, Empire and Environmental History’

1:25–1:35 pm – Sarah Piram, ‘Persian Art at the V&A: A Focal Point for Understanding the Relations between Victorian Britain and Qajar Iran’

1:35–1:55 pm – Robert Wilke, ‘“Truth to Nature” in the Tropics: Two Victorian Women Artists in Brazil’

1:55–2:25 pm – Break out room discussion

2:25–2:50 pm – Summaries of discussion & final Q&A

2:50–3:00 pm – Close

About the speakers

  • Headshot of Isabella Gapp against yellow background.

    Dr. Isabelle Gapp has a PhD in History of Art (2020), and will start as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto in October 2021. Her research considers the intersections between nineteenth- and twentieth-century landscape painting, gender, environmental history, and climate change around the Circumpolar North. She has an essay titled ‘An Arctic Impressionism? Anna Boberg and the Lofoten Islands’, to be published in Mapping Impressionist Painting in Transnational Contexts (May 2021), followed by an article to be published in Kunst og Kultur titled ‘A Woman in the Far North: Anna Boberg and the Norwegian Glacial Landscape’ (June 2021). Additional forthcoming articles relate to Arctic map-making, coastlines and wilderness ideologies.

  • Matthew Dimmock holding a book in dark room.

    Matthew Dimmock is Professor of Early Modern Studies and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Sussex. His prize-winning research on early modern English engagements with the wider world includes the books New Turkes (2005), Mythologies of the Prophet Muhammad (2013), Elizabethan Globalism (2019) and the Cambridge Elements Writing Tudor Exploration (2022). With Andrew Hadfield, he also recently edited the expanded second edition of Amazons, Savages, and Machiavels: Travel and Colonial Writing in English, 1550–1630 (2022) and is currently writing a book about the English navigator and explorer John Davis, provisionally titled “The Seeker”.

  • Sarah Piram standing in blurred gallery space.

    Sarah Piram is the curator for the Iranian collections at the V&A. She is completing a collaborative doctoral degree at Paris Nanterre University and the Louvre Museum on the history of Iranian heritage and museology in the last century.

  • Black-and-white head and shoulders headshot of Robert Wilkes.

    Dr. Robert Wilkes received his PhD from Oxford Brookes University in 2020 for his thesis on the art and writings of the Pre-Raphaelite artist and critic Frederic George Stephens. He has published articles in the Burlington Magazine and the British Art Journal and contributed essays to Defining Pre-Raphaelite Poetics (2020) and Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolours (exh. cat. Ashmolean Museum, 2021). He is currently working on a new research project examining the presence of British artists in nineteenth-century Brazil.