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Shijia Yu

Through the Victorian Eye: Paper Peepshows from nineteenth-century Britain.

Focused on the Gestetner Collection at the V&A, my research investigates the production, dissemination and consumption of nineteenth-century paper peepshows in the U.K. Drawing on Jonathan Crary’s concept of the embodied viewer, I am interested in how the paper peepshow can add to our understanding of ‘multiple ways of seeing’ during this period. The project also aims to examine this optical entertainment’s relationship to popular print media of its time, and its complicated position between the domestic and the public sphere.

Supervisor:  Professor Lynda Nead.

Image caption: Thomas J. Rawlins, ‘Lane’s telescopic view of the interior of the Great Industrial Exhibition. Detail into peep show showing the towers in the centre in perspective,’ Columbia University Libraries Online Exhibitions.