Dr Emma Merkling

Associate Lecturer and Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for American Art

I specialise in interdisciplinary research on late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century visual and material culture, science, and the occult in Britain and the US.

My PhD thesis focused on the spiritualist art and automatic writings of English artist Evelyn De Morgan (1855–1919) in relation to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century physics, mathematics, psychology, philosophy of science, and psychical research.

I co-host Drawing Blood, a podcast about visual culture, the history of science and medicine, and the macabre.


Education

  • PhD History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2017 – 2021): ‘Imponderable: Physics, Mathematics, Psychical Research, and Evelyn De Morgan’s Spiritualist Art, 1885–1910’, supervised by Professor Caroline Arscott and examined by Professor Sally Shuttleworth and Dr Suzannah Biernoff
  • MA History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2017): ‘The Sensate Body: Consciousness in Albert Moore’s Art’
  • BA Art History and Archaeology, Columbia College, Columbia University (2015)

Postdoctoral and Doctoral Fellowships

Teaching

  • 2021 – 2022: Associate Lecturer, Body Politics: Art, Gender and Class in the Victorian Metropolis (BA3), The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2020: Teaching Assistant, Summer University: ‘Art and Identity’ (pre-BA, non-selective state schools), The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2019 – 2020: Teaching Assistant, Core Methodologies (MA), The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2019 – 2020: Guest Lecturer, Victorian Science and Aesthetic Movement Art (MA), The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2017 – 2018: Guest Lecturer, Victorian Science and Aesthetic Movement Art (MA), The Courtauld Institute of Art

Grants and Awards

  • Seed Funding Research Grant for the project ‘Biomedicine and Belief: Spiritualism, Observation, and Margery Crandon’s Extraordinary Body c. 1920–35′, International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society (2022–23)
  • Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Grant for International Study (2017–2020)
  • Lord Jacob Rothschild Scholarship, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2018–2020)
  • Research Support Grant for project ‘Evelyn De Morgan in Florence, 1895–1914,’ Paul Mellon Centre (2019)
  • Friends of The Courtauld Institute of Art Scholarship, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2017–2018)
  • Paule Vézelay Award for Best Dissertation in Modern and Contemporary Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2017)
  • Edmond J. Safra Scholarship, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2016–2018)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Columbia University (2015)

Professional Activities

Publications

Blogs and Media

Conference Papers & Invited Lectures

Research Interests

  • Visual culture, science, and alternative science
  • Physics, mathematics, psychical research, physiological psychology, medicine, and philosophy of science
  • History and theory of photography
  • Fin-de-siècle art
  • Spiritualism, Theosophy, and Esotericism
  • Occult history and histories of magic
  • Histories of death
  • Queer and women artists

Citations