Dr Esther Chadwick
This MA Special Option considers an oceanic space – the Atlantic – and the images that were produced within it during the long eighteenth century. Three historical moments punctuate the course: the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783); the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804); and the British Emancipation Act (1833). We will concentrate on three areas in particular: artworks and artists that crossed the Atlantic, particularly between North America, Britain, and the Caribbean; art made in mainland Britain that responded to Atlantic developments; and art produced in the Caribbean.
What role did visual images, material objects, and cultural practices play in constituting or resisting imperial power? How do notions of ‘British’ art change when viewed in Atlantic perspective? And what is the significance of this history for debates about decolonising cultural institutions in the twenty-first century?