Rachel Teukolsky

Vanderbilt University


Rachel Teukolsky will be an assistant professor of English at Vanderbilt University in fall 2008. She previously taught for four years in the English department at the Pennsylvania State University. Her book on Victorian aesthetics and art writing is forthcoming from Oxford University Press; in a new project, she will explore the relationship between high art cultures and material cultures in the long nineteenth century, juxtaposing aesthetic history with the rise of modern media. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in PMLA, English Literary History, and in edited collections on Victorian studies. She has taught courses on Victorian literature and culture, word and image, literary theory, and the literature of travel, among others.

The Arts of Media: 
Word and Image in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Wednesday, June 10th 2009

The long nineteenth century witnessed a transformation in the history of modern media, especially the media of word and image. New mechanical techniques in printing, engraving, and book illustration created objects for an ever-wider reading public, while mass communications networks developed around the flourishing of newspapers, photographs, and advertisements. Though this history has typically been studied in colleges of communications, in fact nineteenth-century media has a rich history of interaction with the aesthetic fields of literature and the fine arts. This talk will use pieces from the Beinecke’s collections to explore a series of case studies analyzing interactions between high art and modern media. From John Boydell’s “Shakespeare Gallery” to the reportage on the Crimean War, I will show how aesthetic culture was always defining itself in relation to the new types of words and images appearing in the cultural marketplace.

James M. Osborn Post-doctoral Research Fellow in British Studies
Aesthetics and Medium: Material Histories of Word and Image in the Long Nineteenth Century
Visiting Fellow


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