By Anna Mercer
Special Issue on Ecologies of the Atlantic Archipelago
Seán Hewitt & Anna Pilz
Ellen Hutchins, Fucus ovalis, collected on Whiddy Island, 1805, Trinity College Dublin
Studies of the intertwined histories of Great Britain, Ireland, and their associated islands have given rise to the notion of ‘archipelagic studies’. As in John Kerrigan’s seminal work Archipelagic English, the cover of which shows the familiar image of Great Britain and Ireland on a map tilted, reaching out from mainland Europe and into the Atlantic, this involves a new perspective on geography, identity, and the relations between nations. Central to this field of criticism are concerns regarding land and the natural world.
Nineteenth-century developments resulted in dramatic shifts within the archipelago, with attending drastically-altered human-environment relationships. There were numerous instances of famine, subsistence crises, demographic change, and altered pressures on land and systems of tenure. Connective technologies of the modern world spread to sparsely populated regions, complicating notions of centre and periphery as well as tradition and modernity. Unprecedented infrastructural developments via roads and railway networks connected rural and urban geographies, resulting in increased tourist traffic; the expansion of ports further enhanced trading networks with Europe and beyond; and the spread of …read more
I thought I’d write this blog as I reach the end of a 18-month period working at Keats House Museum in Hampstead. Last Friday, the Principal Curator (Rob Shakespeare) and I were interviewed by a film crew for a short educational piece. I ended up writing my answers down so I thought I’d repurpose them and create a post.
I spent a year in a full-time training position at the museum after I completed my PhD, and since October 2018 I worked part-time alongside teaching at Cardiff. In September 2019 I am thrilled to say I will start a fixed-term one year role as a Lecturer in English Literature (Romanticism) at Cardiff University. I will maintain connections with Keats House and the City of London, running some academic talks in the upcoming months. It’s been a wonderful place to work. Here’s a little piece about the House and why you should visit – especially now, as we mark 200 years since John Keats lived in the building and composed some of his best loved poems under the banner of #Keats200!
What can a visitor find at Keats House?
Our visitors tell us that the House allows them to …read more