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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

Photo of  Michelle Reynolds

Michelle Reynolds

PhD Student


I am a PhD student in Art History and Visual Culture and English, co-supervised by Dr Patricia Zakreski and Professor John Plunkett. My thesis considers the relationship between the professionalisation of Victorian and Edwardian women illustrators and cartoonists and the emergence of the New Woman in Britain. I am also looking at the New Woman's visual representation and how women illustrators and cartoonists contributed to this representation.

More broadly, my research interests include art and literature from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, focusing on women artists and writers, gender and sexuality, print and exhibition culture, photography, fashion, and film.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art (major) and History of Art (minor) from the University of Kansas, an MA in Photography from the University of Plymouth, and an MA in Art History and Museum Curating with Photography from the University of Sussex.

My biography of the poster designer and illustrator Ethel Reed for Yellow Nineties 2.0 was published in 2022. Plans for forthcoming publications include work on Celia Anna Levetus, Jessie Marion King, Marie Duval, and women illustrators in The Yellow Book.

In 2023, I was awarded the Amy P. Goldman Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies hosted by the University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum and a Dissertation Fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. I have also received various awards and grants in support of my research including a Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust Award which funded a trip to Glasgow.

I was invited to speak as part of the Women of The Yellow Book Jeudis hosted by the British Association of Decadence Studies in 2022 and the Jadavpur-Exeter Seminar Series in 2021. My research has also been presented at the annual conferences of the Victorian Popular Fiction Association, The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, and the British Association for Victorian Studies. In 2022, I was a committee member for the Art History and Visual Culture Inaugural PGR Conference.

Alongside my research, I am a PGR Representative for the University of Exeter's Centre for Victorian Studies. In this role I represented Exeter at the 2022 Dickens Universe. I am also an editor for Romance, Revolution and Reform.

I have volunteered for The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter for the last two years, cataloguing new and old acquisitions while also curating and installing my own display on the New Woman in interwar cinema.

In 2022, I was awarded the ASPIRE Associate Fellowship. Since 2020, I have supported teaching the following modules:

AHV1009: Topics in Art History and Visual Culture II
AHV1011: Questions and Methods in Art History and Visual Culture
AHV1012: Approaches to Art History and Visual Culture
EAS1038: The Poem

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