Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith is an AHRC Midlands4Cities-funded final year PhD student in the history department at the University of Leicester. Supervised by Professor Clare Anderson and Dr Kate Smith at the University of Birmingham, her thesis explores letter-writing and other forms of production in nineteenth and early twentieth-century British imperial families. She is interested in the ways textual forms intersect with visual media and material culture, and uncovering practices of ‘amateur’ art in colonial contexts. She was recently awarded the Paul Mellon Centre Andrew Wyld Research Support Grant for her project on art and craft at sea during imperial voyages in the nineteenth century. She has a BA in History and an MA in Modern British Studies from the University of Birmingham where she spent much of her time cultivating interests in Victorian art at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. She has previously been the convenor of the IHR History Lab seminar series and a new seminar group, ‘Culture, Things and Empire’ sponsored by the AHRC. Outside of research she has held internship roles at archives and heritage sites, and enjoyed curating an exhibition for the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections in 2018. She is also currently co-editing a special issue for the journal Cultural and Social History and is working on an article for a special issue on postcolonial memory with the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

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