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Nineteenth-Century Spectacles: A London Walk

Venue: External

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Guided walk visiting places from the past and highlighting the legacy the nineteenth century has left behind. 
Meeting Place: Outside of the entrance to Courtauld Gallery, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

What would catch the eye of a nineteenth-century Londoner? This walk explores locations in London that once were – and some still are – dazzled with spectacles of various kinds in the 1800s. Situated in the capitalist city that demanded constant novelty and spurred by technological development and theories about vision, new visual entertainments and ways of looking enthralled the public. From the venue where Royal Academicians displayed their works and the bustling hub of print shops to sites of industrial wonders, the walk not only visits places from the past but also highlights the legacy the nineteenth century has left behind.

Dr Shijia Yu specialises in nineteenth-century British popular visual culture, especially the interaction between optical entertainments and print culture. Her doctoral thesis examines the origin and evolution of the English paper peepshow between the 1820s and 1850s. Shijia is also interested in using methods of (experimental) media archaeology and material culture in examining nineteenth-century visual entertainments and print novelties.


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