Diagram and Dimension: Visualising time in the drawings of Opicinius de Canistris (1296–c. 1352)
Using an object-based methodology that combines the history of art, science and technology, my thesis (funded by an AHRC Studentship) demonstrates how Opicinus incorporated and creatively configured new sources into representations of time in order to create unique cosmologies (digitised here) which sought to visualise, and so better to comprehend, the metaphysical themes of time, space and God. In addition to elucidating a selection of Opicinus’s neglected drawings, they are contextualised here in order to illustrate their value to the study of medieval visual culture.To hear more about my research on Opicinus, listen to my interview with the Uncommon Knowledge Podcast (Oxford).
Supervisor: Gervase Rosser
BA Art History of Art, University of Cambridge (Churchill College, 2009–12)
MA Art History of Art, Courtauld Institute (2012–13)
Graduate Curatorial Intern, Medieval Department, Metropolitan Museum of Art (June–August 2013)
DPhil History of Art, University of Oxford (2014–18)
My research interests are diverse across medieval visual culture, including (although not limited to):
- medieval science and technology
- diagrammatic representation and scientific instruments
- calendars and horology
- digital tools as a resource for teaching and researching
- perceptions of the body: anatomy, pregnancy and relics. For example, see my online article for Thinking 3D: 'Ordering the Internal Body: A Thirteenth-Century Uterus Diagram in Bodleian, MS Ashmole 399'
Alongside writing my doctoral thesis, I researched a significant yet unknown large, astronomical volvelle. The outcome of this research is currently in press:
‘Synchronising the Hours: A fifteenth-century wooden volvelle from the Basilica of San Zeno, Verona,’ Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, LXXXI (Dec., 2018)
The research was made possible by a Studentship jointly-funded by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and TORCH (Humanities Division, Oxford) and a Dibner fellowship in the history of science and technologyat the Huntington Library (California) in August 2016, and a small grant from the Scientific Instrument Society.
Teaching and Outreach
In addition to my own research, I am enthusiastic about the use of museum collections for teaching and outreach and the use of digital tools to make them more accessible. This led me to write a portfolio on object-based pedagogy to become an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. As an Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellow (2017-18), I constructed a seminar series anchored around the Ashmolean's collections with three other doctoral students from different disciplines.
Previous to this, I was an RA for Cabinet, an OxTalent award-winning online platform for the University of Oxford's collections. In addition, I have given numerous one-off outreach talks on museum collections at the Ashmolean, Courtauld Gallery, Fitzwilliam Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.