Dr Madeleine Pelling

Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellow, June - December 2020

Home Institution: University of York    


Project title: Women and History: Female Antiquarianism and Historiographical Strategies, c. 1750‐1830

Madeleine Pelling is an art historian specialising in eighteenth- and nineteenth century Britain. She completed her PhD in 2018 at the University of York, where she was the recipient of the History of Art Department doctoral scholarship. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the John Rylands Research Institute at the University of Manchester, as well as visiting research fellowships at the Royal Archives through the Georgian Papers Programme, the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Queen Mary University London and the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University. Her research focuses on material and visual culture, with focus on four key sites: the collected and found object, the manuscript, the inscribed surface and the cinematic screen. Her work appears in Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Journal 18: a journal of eighteenth-century art and culture, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal and Women’s History Review and she is currently preparing a monograph, The Duchess’s Museum: Collecting, Craft and Conversation, for publication.  

At IASH, she will be working on her postdoctoral project Women and the Objects of History. This project advances a growing field of enquiry into early modern historiographical practice by turning to a range of materials, many previously unknown to scholars, to ask how, in the shadow of a public discourse dominated by men, women both upheld and questioned the grand narratives that presented Britain as an ancient and colonial power. Her research explores how material and textual sources, including letters, manuscripts, subterranean objectscapes, cabinets of curiosity and even the body, became the loci of individual and collective historiographical endeavours. A foundational article based on this research appears in Women's History Review and Madeleine is co-editing, with Professor Stefan Berger, A Cultural History of Historiography, 1650-1800  for Bloomsbury Academic. ​

Madeleine has taught in the History of Art Department at the University of York, and is a member of the editorial board for History, journal of the Historical Association, in which capacity she organises and conducts peer review and commissions new work. She is the newly-appointed Communications Officer for the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies committee, and has published peer-reviewed book reports in Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Women’s Writing, Aphra Behn Online, Women’s Studies Group 1550-1830, History and Eighteenth-Century Fiction journals. Along with Dr Freya Gowrley, she convenes the New Directions in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Art digital seminar series (ndenca.wordpress.com).  

Select Publications:  

Journal Articles 

‘Reimagining Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots: Women’s Antiquarianism and Domestic Identities, c. 1750 – 1800,’ Women’s History Review (Published online October 2019, forthcoming in print 2020) 

‘Selling the Duchess: Narratives of Celebrity in A Catalogue of the Portland Museum (1786),’ Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 13, no. 2 (Spring 2019): pp. 3-32. 

‘Crafting Friendship: Mary Delany’s Album of Découpage and Queen Charlotte’s Pocketbook,’ Journal 18: a journal of eighteenth-century art and culture, special issue ‘Eighteenth-Century Albums, (Published online October 2018) 

‘Collecting the World: Female Friendship and Domestic Craft at Bulstrode Park,’ Journal for Eighteenth- Century Studies 41, no. 1 (January 2018): pp. 101-120. 

Chapters in edited collections 

‘Theme Parks and Seaside Resorts: Rethinking Material and Visual Culture in Austenland (2013) and Sanditon (2019),’ in Hannah Moss and Joe Bray eds., Jane Austen and the Arts (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2022) 

‘I made memorandums’: Mary Hamilton, Sociability, and Antiquarianism in the Eighteenth-Century Collection,’ in Arlene Leis and Kacie Wills eds., Women and the Art and Science of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Europe (Routledge, forthcoming 2020) 

Edited books and special issues 

Co-edited with Stefan Berger. A Cultural History of Historiography: The Age of Enlightenment and Revolution, 1650-1800, vol. 5 in A Cultural History of Historiography series, General Editor N. Wilson (Bloomsbury Academic, under contract for 2023)  

Co-edited with Lilian Tabois. ‘Women and History, c. 1500 – Present,’ Special Issue of History, journal of the Historical Association (Forthcoming 2021).