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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Photo of Dr Lotte Crawford

Dr Lotte Crawford



I am a historian and curator specialising in intersectional and decolonial approaches to modern British decorative and applied arts (1880-1950). My current research seeks to problematise gender constructs through British and South Asian art, craft and poetry.

I trained in Illustration at Kingston School of Art before gaining an MA in Art History from UCL and PhD from Coventry University in affiliation with Compton Verney Museum and Park. I reconcile transdisciplinary knowledge of the British applied arts and legacies passed through practice-based pedagogies with decolonial, anti-racist, feminist and queer approaches to art history. 

My office hours are on Mondays between 12:30-2:30.

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I am interested in the artistry of design. Each aspect of my research, curation and outputs examines configurations of womanhood, imperialism and applied arts in highly interconnected but sometimes overlooked transnational avant-gardes and modernist circles. 

My monograph Enid Marx and the Enchantment of the Material Modern, forthcoming from Manchester University Press in 2025, examines Marx’s abstract patterns for fabric as art and social history made within communities of designers and artist-craftswomen between 1922 and 1947. The research forms a basis for my curation of a major national exhibition at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park opening in spring 2026. 

My book on the acerbic and surreal works of Tirzah Garwood was published by Eiderdown Books in January 2023. Formerly I assisted the curator June Hill with Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles at Two Temple Place, London. The exhibition was the first to scrutinise the history of women’s collecting practices through their textile collections. It included Edith Durham, Louisa Pesel, Olive Matthews, Enid Marx, Muriel Rose, Jennifer Harris and Nima Poovaya-Smith. My related Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Paul Mellon Centre for British art examined epistemic conditions of imperialism in modern British crafts through two couples, Ethel and Ananda Coomaraswamy as well as Dorothy Larcher and Phyllis Barron. I continue to explore how British coloniality in the Indian subcontinent imbricates with Edwardian constructions of sexuality and suffrage to affect British interwar textile modernism. 

I am also a consultant historian for Transport for London & The London Transport Museum. Ongoing outreach includes LGBTQI+ information packs on queer women’s sexualities for staff and Museum tour guides as well as teacher training on gender and sexuality for Key Stage Four school pupils which is in place in the Museum. 

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I welcome students from the humanities and social sciences interested in intersectional, feminist and social histories of art, design and craft. Equally I welcome students trained in British decorative and applied arts looking to develop decolonial approaches to historic practices and art school pedagogies, including: visual communication, illustration, graphic design, interface platforms, pattern design, textiles and motion design. 

My expertise encompasses supervision of experimental writing practices for designers and art historians; especially autoethnographic approaches developed in response to art and social history, literature, anthropology and sociology. 

Doctoral subjects might include (but are not limited to):

-Intersectional approaches to modern British art, design and craft 

-Queering gender in design and craft histoires, including expansive ideas of womanhood

-Intersections between interwar art, craft and design with literature, comparative literature and/or poetry

-Intercultural translation and coloniality 

-Illustration as an expanded and theoretical field 

-Victorian and Edwardian legacies in contemporary visual communication and design 

-Histories of emotions and radical empathy in UX (accessibility in design)

Research students

Hana Alsimsimi: 'Saudi Contemporary Arts and Craft', co-supervised with Prof William Gallois in the Institute for Arab and Islamic Study 

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Lecturer specialising in intersectional and decolonial approaches to modern British decorative and applied arts (1880-1950) including transnational, queer and feminist approaches to modern and contemporary art, craft and design. 

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