Light Touches: Cultural Practices of Illumination, London 1780-1840

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Light Touches: Cultural Practices of Illumination, London 1780-1840

Show simple item record Barnaby, Alice en_US 2011-03-18T13:30:12Z en_US 2013-03-21T09:55:33Z 2009-09-30 en_US
dc.description.abstract In the last decades of the eighteenth century, urban lives were touched by a series of innovations in the technology and aesthetics of illumination. Unfamiliar combinations of new fuel sources and auxiliary equipment (for example, curtains, blinds, glass, mirrors and lampshades) meant that cities looked and felt different during both the day and the night. The spheres of elite, popular, public and private culture explored, exploited and were fascinated by the cultural value of light. Through four case studies in the aesthetics of urban illumination, my thesis demonstrates how the acquisition of skills for the manipulation of transparent and reflective surfaces were crucial when negotiating a balance between self-expression and standards of taste, morality, gender and class. Rather than relying upon canonical examples of the period’s fascination with light, such as the high Romantic idealization of nature’s sunrises and sunsets, my thesis investigates more everyday encounters with light in the built environment: the fashionably genteel pastime of transparent painting; the gendering of light to design both domestic interiors and female identity; the appropriation of patrician top-lighting for public buildings of education and exhibition; and the popularity of illuminated spectacles in commercial pleasure gardens. I argue that these new possibilities of lighting temporarily enabled new possibilities of subjectivity. My historical phenomenology suggests that the formation of perception between 1780 and 1840 was actively directed towards changes in the world through a finely-attuned consciousness of light. en_GB
dc.description.sponsorship AHRC en_GB
dc.identifier.uri en_US
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher University of Exeter en_GB
dc.subject London en_GB
dc.subject Light en_GB
dc.subject illumination en_GB
dc.subject transparency en_GB
dc.subject visual culture en_GB
dc.subject perceptual culture en_GB
dc.subject sensory history en_GB
dc.subject phenomenology en_GB
dc.subject nineteenth-century en_GB
dc.subject urban spaces en_GB
dc.subject built environment en_GB
dc.subject pleasure gardens en_GB
dc.subject domestic en_GB
dc.subject taste en_GB
dc.subject gender en_GB
dc.subject cultural practices of lighting en_GB
dc.subject lighting technologies enactive cognition en_GB
dc.title Light Touches: Cultural Practices of Illumination, London 1780-1840 en_GB
dc.type Thesis or dissertation en_GB 2011-03-18T13:30:12Z en_US 2013-03-21T09:55:33Z
dc.contributor.advisor Plunkett, John en_US
dc.publisher.department English en_GB
dc.type.degreetitle PhD in English en_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_GB
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_GB

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BarnabyA_fm.pdf 53.06Kb PDF View/Open Thesis Front Matter
BarnabyA_Vol1.pdf 1.561Mb PDF View/Open Thesis Volume 1
BarnabyA_Vol2.pdf 7.868Mb PDF View/Open Thesis Volume 2

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