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Chloe Wigston Smith



Chloe joined the department in 2016 as a specialist in eighteenth-century literature and culture. She is a member of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. Her research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to print culture and she holds degrees in literature (University of Virginia) and the history of dress (Courtauld Institute of Art).

Chloe was previously Associate Professor of English at the University of Georgia. At UGA, her research received support from the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts, the Sarah Moss Fellowship and the Office of the Vice President for Research. She was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Outstanding Assistant Professor in the Arts and Humanities in 2015.



Chloe's research sits at the intersection of literary history and material culture studies, with a particular emphasis on writing about and by women. Her 2013 monograph (paperback 2016) Women, Work, and Clothes in the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Cambridge University Press), was shortlisted for the Millia Davenport Publication Award by the Costume Society of America. It studies clothes, accessories, narrative textiles, as well as a host of other material objects. It also explores a broad range of authors, including Jane Barker, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Charlotte Lennox, John Cleland, Frances Burney and Mary Robinson.
Chloe has also published articles and essays on servant dress, travel literature, theatrical portraiture, trade cards, object narratives and most recently, map samplers and Atlantic world fiction. Her 2009 article on costume books, visual culture, and nationalism was awarded the Percy G. Adams Article Prize for the best essay in eighteenth-century studies by the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her research has received funding from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Yale Center for British Art, the Huntington Library, the American Association of University Women, the Folger Institute, the Lewis Walpole Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities in the US. In the UK, she has given invited talks at Oxford and Warwick.


Chloe is working on an interdisciplinary co-edited collection, Material Literacy in Eighteenth-Century Britain: A Nation of Makers, with historian Dr Serena Dyer. It is forthcoming from Bloomsbury's Material Culture of Art and Design series. Her chapter focuses on recipes for crafts and women's material literacy in Hannah Robertson's Young Ladies School of Arts.

For 2018-19, Chloe received mid-career fellowships from the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art and the British Academy to support the research and writing of her second monograph, a study of women and material entanglements in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. A portion of the project appeared in the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies in 2017. More information about the project is available at the department's current research projects.

Chloe has two forthcoming articles, one on small things in Eighteenth-Century Fiction's special issue on 'Material Fictions' and the other on haberdashery in the work of Frances Burney in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature.


Chloe would welcome hearing from prospective students in eighteenth-century studies with interests in the history of the novel, interdisciplinary studies, gender studies, women’s writing, visual and material culture, the global eighteenth century and transatlantic print culture.

Contact details

Dr Chloe Wigston Smith
Department of English
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 44 1904 323924

External activities


External Activity 

Chloe Wigston Smith has collaborated with museums and heritage sites, including the V & A MuseumFairfax House and Mansion House
Drawing on research from her first book, she created the educational programme The Story of Things in partnership with Fairfax House. It teaches children how to write modern day versions of 18th century object narratives, a type of novel that told tales about things. She has helped to develop educational resources and education packs for Mansion House and the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond. She has also led immersive learning experiences on 18th century salon culture at Richmond's Georgian Festival and York's Mansion House.
Chloe has written short pieces for The Conversation UK and contributed a piece on Frances Burney to the British Library's Discovering Literature: Restoration and 18th Century.
For summer 2019, she is co-organizing two conferences with American partners: Small Things in the Eighteenth Century and Crusoe at 300: Adaptations, Afterlives & Futures