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Dr. Alice Eden

I am an Early Career Fellow with the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick:
Follow me on twitter: @Alice_Eden4

I am delighted to annouce that my new book, Spirituality and Feminism in Modern British Art and Culture, is forthcoming, (Routledge, New York and London, 2019)

I completed my BA degree in History at Royal Holloway, University of London and an MA in British and American History at the University of Nottingham. I later completed an MA in Victorian Media and Culture (2007) during which I began research into Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933), one of many British artists of the period ‘forgotten’ in the art history annals, as their work cannot be aligned into the orthodoxies of the canon and art historiography. I obtained a Warwick Postgraduate Research Scholarship for my PhD research: ‘British Art 1880-1920: Representations of Women and Forms of Knowledge’ which, alongside Bell, also examines the work of Thomas Cooper Gotch and Frederick Cayley Robinson. The paintings I exmained in the thesis attest to the rich and varied experience of modernity in Europe; I contributed to and advanced scholarship which seeks a richer and more inclusive understanding of cultural modernism.

Cultural Modernity and Feminism:
A central concern of my thesis was to bring women, their increased presence in the public sphere and visual culture in the modern period, into the frame of art history. Contemporary women imagined invigorating movements, from the confines of the domestic interior into the airy heights of mountain tops, using languages of righteousness and joyous expectancy. Suffragettes made a number of physical and emotional transgressions in their battles for the vote. The artworks examined provide visual analogues and commentaries on these feminist possibilities.

Research Interests:
• Cultural Modernity: varied artistic voices in Edwardian Britain, visual culture, aural culture, female artists and feminine languages in art and culture, forms of feminist consciousness, representations, iconographies and mythologies of women; knowing and the unknown in art (including fin de siècle mysticism and the Symbolist movement, the unconscious); the material and immaterial in artworks; British art and its relationship with European art movements in this period; time and timelessness in art; viewing artworks; music and art.
• Feminism, its histories, impact, representations, methodologies
• Histories of freedom, oppression and marginality; subversive strategies by social movements including the peace movement, the 1960s Counterculture, music and fashion subcultures
• Histories of the occult, theosophy, alternative spiritualities
• Science fiction and fantasy
• Cultural ideas and representations of time
• Methodologies: connecting art and performative practise with academic, historical research; engaging with non-canonical, marginalised forms of knowledge; investigating tools used by protest movements (consciousness raising, peace movement sit-ins); exploring material culture through the immaterial and forms of connection through psychology, consciousness, spirituality, ritual, emotion.

All of the above with both national and global perspectives. I focus on Britain and connections with Europe, America and Australia.

New Forthcoming Book: Spirituality and Feminism in Modern British Art and Culture, (Routledge/Taylor & Francis: New York and London, 2019). This book proposes new understandings of modern life in Britain by bringing constructs of female spirituality centre stage and examining three ‘forgotten’ artists identified with the Pre-Raphaelites and Victorianism. Thomas Cooper Gotch, Robert Anning Bell, Frederick Cayley Robinson are resituated squarely within the tumultuous social and cultural changes of the period: the explosion in female agency, the ‘gender crisis’, the Suffragettes and associated visual cultures.

Articles and Other Publications:

‘Enchanted Community: Reflections on Art, the Humanities and Public Engagement,’ (6,000 words), forthcoming, Exchanges, the Warwick Research Journal, (April, 2018): public engagement, cultural value of the arts, scholarly overviews of ‘enchantment’. The words and images of participants in the Enchanted Community project are represented in various formats.

‘Perspectives on Public Engagement and Employability’, 1,000 word blog post, forthcoming 14th February, 2017, PhD Life Blog,, University of Warwick, Research Exchange. The blog had 142,035 views in 2017 with the top 5 readers coming from the UK, US, Australia, India and Canada.

Blog series - forthcoming, January- August, 2018, to be tweeted: @Alice_Eden4

In progress: ‘Modern Listening? Art and Sound in the Modern Age: Robert Anning Bell, The Echo, (1915),’ (10,000 words). This article is connected to but not included in my forthcoming book, advancing a new area of scholarly interest by considering how painting could deal with modern sound, with particular reference to ‘female’ forms of spirituality.

‘Art, Scholarship, Community: Experiences of Viewing,’ Exchanges, the Warwick Research Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2, (April, 2017), pp.232-243. Available at:

‘Robert Anning Bell in Liverpool: Arts and Crafts and the Creation of a Civic Artistic Culture, 1895-9’, The Burlington Magazine, Volume CLIV, Number 1310, (May, 2012), pp.345-350

‘Robert Anning Bell and the Mosaics in the Houses of Parliament’, British Art Journal, Volume X, No. 2, (Winter, 2009), pp.22-32

Public Engagement:
My scholarly approach engages with public and community histories and activities. I emphasise public engagement and outreach in my work. I am currently working on a community art project: Enchanted Community. Public engagement events, outreach and an exhibition of the collaborative artwork will take place in Coventry and Leamington from May-July, 2017. Please visit the website for further updates and photos!

Subversive Cultures and Practises Network:
I am building a network on cultural subversion and images of emancipation. Please contact me to join the network: a dot a dot eden at warwick dot ac dot uk

Past Activities:
In 2011 I launched the Victorian Culture Inter-Disciplinary Reading Group, for sessions see our web pages. I facilitated the session on Victorian Mysticism and Symbolist art in October. The group is now co-organised between History of Art and English Departments. In 2012-13 I taught on the module Natural World and the Arts of Modernity and have given two lectures entitled The Pre-Raphaelite Landscape: ‘Truth to Nature’ for the undergraduates. September, 2012 – I was nominated for and obtained a place on the HRC Inter-Disciplinary Postgraduate Scholars Programme at Warwick University. This venture gathered five postgraduate research students, who met regularly throughout the academic year to share work in progress, and worked towards the production of a joint project that drew on our separate projects to create a coherent whole. We organised and held an inter-disciplinary conference at Warwick on 18th June, 2013, entitled Myth-Making. Please see our web pages and report in the HRC newsletter here. In Autumn 2012 I was delighted to further gain Paul Mellon Centre funding for research trips to Glasgow (Glasgow School of Art), Kettering (Alfred East Art Gallery), Cambridge and London, for detailed contextualising research for my thesis. I gave the paper: Frederick Cayley Robinson: ‘in search of the unknowable’ at the Enchanted Edwardians Conference, Bristol University, 30-31st
March, 2015.

Selected Papers, Talks and Lectures:
• 'Frederick Cayley Robinson: Paintings of Life, Death and Still Life,' Modernist Life, international conference, Birmingham, 29th June - 1st July, 2017
• ‘Frederick Cayley Robinson’s Paintings of Interiors: Women, ‘Ineffable Glances’ and the Unknown,’ Enchanted Edwardians Conference, 31st March, 2015, Bristol University
• ‘Frederick Cayley Robinson: “in search of something unknowable,”’ 19th C Seminar series, Warwick University, 17th May, 2012
• ‘The Pre-Raphaelite landscape,’ lecture for undergraduates, University of Warwick, Oct 2011, 2012, 2014, Jan 2016, Jan 2017
• ‘Frederick Cayley Robinson, Women, Domestic interiors and the Unknown,’ Warwick History of Art Postgraduate Conference, May 2011