Professor Jason Edwards
Professor of History of Art

Profile

Biography

BA, MA, PhD (Cantab)

After completing a PhD in English at King's College, Cambridge, which explored the impact of Victorian evolutionary theory and molecular physics on W.B. Yeats's prose, Jason has been a research fellow at the Henry Moore Institute for the Study in Sculpture in Leeds, the V&A, Tate Britian, and at the Yale Center for British Art, as well as a Henry Moore Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of York. He has also been a visiting professor at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Jason works primarily on the sculptural pantheon at St Paul's Cathedral, British art in its global and imperial contexts, the art of Anglo-India, and British Orientalism in the period between 1760 and 1914. He has a number of interdisciplinary areas of interest, including queer theory, critical animal studies and vegan theory, and world systems and complex systems theory. Recent interests have also included fiber art and Victorian photography.

Departmental roles

Jason is currently Head of Admissions, and sits on the Departmental Management Team.

Research

Overview

  • British art, 1760 to 1940: global and imperial contexts
  • Sculpture at St Paul's Cathedral, c1795 to 1914
  • British sculpture, c1760 to 1914
  • Anglo-Indian encounters, c1700 to 1957
  • British orientalism, especially Frederic Leighton
  • Victorian photography
  • Queer theory, especially Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  • Critical animal studies and vegan theory
  • World systems and complex systems
  • The circum-polar world across the long nineteen century
  • Textiles and fibre art

Research group(s)

  • British Art
  • Sculpture Studies
  • Centre for Complex Systems Analysis

Grants

  • Jason has held grants and received funding from the AHRC and Leverhulme Trust, the Historians of British Art, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Elephant Trust, the Jim Matthew Fund, the Henry Moore Foundation, and the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art.

Supervision

Jason has supervised or is supervising PhDs on

  • Imperial frontiers
  • Sculpture at Westminster Abbey in the long eighteenth century
  • Victorian portrait busts
  • Charles Ricketts and Japan
  • Sculptural ceramics in the nineteenth-century Britain
  • Queer Bloomsbury
  • Victorian print novelties
  • Imperial aestheticism
  • The art of the circumpolar world, c1890 to 1940
  • Frederic Leighton and the Middle East
  • Bone and Whale: the Victorian visual and material cultures of whaling
  • The Wembley Empire exhibition, 1924-5
  • 19th-century Spanish cemetery sculpture
  • The chantrey bequest of British sculpture
  • William Goscombe John’s networks
  • The problem of sculptural allegory, c1750 to 1850
  • Victorian war painting
  • The concept of sculpture at the Victorian V&A
  • Stained glass at the great exhibitions
  • Sculpture at the great exhibition
  • Victoria and Albert as patrons
  • Sculpture and the royal children
  • Sisterhood: Victorian women artists
  • The sculpture of Herbert Ward
  • Rodin and the Decorative
  • After the arrest: the life and work of Simeon Solomon
  • The arts and crafts object

Publications

Selected publications

  • 'Postcards from the Edge: Thomas Woolner's Captain Cook For Sydney', in Jason Edwards and Michael Hatt, eds, Displaying Victorian Sculpture special issue of The Sculpture Journal (Autumn 2014).
  • ‘Introduction’ and ‘Charles Henry Felix Rossi’s Monument to Cornwallis’ in Sarah Burnage and Jason Edwards, eds., The British School of Sculpture, c1768-1832 (2014).
  • 'Two Arts, Fat and Thin: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as Fibre Artist' in Michael O'Rourke, ed., Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Gender, Sexuality and the Body (Ashgate, 2014).
  • "A Queer Variety of Natural History"? Staging the Mid-Victorian in Edmund Gosse's Sculptural Criticism, c.1890-1907, in Martina Droth and Peter Trippi, eds, Change/Continuity: Writing about Art in Britain Before and After 1900 (Ashgate, 2014).
  • '"By Abstraction Springs Forth Ideal Beauty?": John Gibson's Modernity', in Sarah Monks, Mark Hallett and John Barrell, eds, Living with the Royal Academy: Artistic Ideals and Experiences in Britain, 1768-1848 (Ashgate, 2013), 195-220.
  • 'War and Peace: Harry Bates's Lord Roberts Memorial in Calcutta, London and Glasgow, 1898-1924', in Julie Codell, ed., Transculturation in British Art, 1770-1930 (Ashgate, 2012).
  • 'Queer and Now: On Etty's Autobiography (1849) and Male Nude with Upraised Arms (1830)', in Sarah Burnage and Mark Hallet, eds, William Etty (York: York City Art Gallery, 2011).
  • '"Tell Me Not Wherein I Seem Unnatural”: Queer Meditations upon Coriolanus in the Time of War', in Madhavi Menon, ed., Shakesqueer (Duke University Press, 2010).
  • 'From the East India Company to the West Indies, and Beyond: The Global Contexts of British Sculpture, c.1757-1947', Visual Culture in Britain (Spring 2010), 147-172.
  • 'Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: In the Bardo (2 May 1950-12 April 2009)', Sexualities (2009), 675-677.
  • 'Rethinking the Victorian Interior: An Eclectic, Collabroative Introduction', in Jason Edwards and Imogen Hart (eds), Rethinking the Interior: Aestheticism and the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1867-1896 (Ashgate, 2009), 1-24. Co-authored with Imogen Hart.
  • 'The Lessons of Leighton House: Aesthetics, Politics, Erotics', in Jason Edwards and Imogen Hart (eds), Rethinking the Interior: Aestheticism and the Arts and Crafts Movement, 1867-1896 (Ashgate, 2009), 85-110.

Monographs

  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Routledge, 2008).
  • Alfred Gilbert's Aestheticism: Gilbert Amongst Whistler, Wilde, Leighton, Pater and Burne-Jones (Ashgate, 2006).

Edited Collections

  • The ‘British’ School of Sculpture, c.1762-1835. (Routledge, 2016). Co-edited = with Sarah Burnage.
  • Victorian Sculpture in its Global Contexts, special issue of Visual Culture in Britain (Spring 2010). Co-edited = with Michael Hatt.
  • Rethinking the Interior: Aestheticism and Arts and Crafts, 1867-1896 (Ashgate, 2009). Co-edited with Imogen Hart.
  • Joseph Cornell: Opening the Box (Peter Lang, 2007). Co-edited with Stephanie L. Taylor.
  • Anxious Flirtations: Homoeroticism, Art and Aestheticism in Victorian Britain, special issue of Visual Culture in Britain 8.1 (Spring 2007).

Full publications list

Monographs

Queer Craft: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Works in Fibre and Paper (Forthcoming, Duke University Press).

Queer and Bookish: Sedgwick as Book Artist (Forthcoming).

The Sculptural Pantheon at St Paul’s Cathedral (Co-authored with Amy Harris and M.G. Sullivan) (Forthcoming).

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Routledge, 2009).

Alfred Gilbert’s Aestheticism: Gilbert Amongst Whistler, Wilde, Leighton, Pater and Burne-Jones (Ashgate, 2006).

Edited Collections

Nature and Nation: Rethinking the Genius of Grinling Gibbons special issue of the Visual Culture in Britain (Autumn 2020). Co-edited with M.G. Sullivan.

Turner and the Whale, www.york.ac.uk/history-of-art/research/research-portal/ (2017)

Bathroom Songs: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as a Poet (Punctum, 2017).

The ‘British’ School of Sculpture, c.1762-1832 (Routledge, 2017). Co-edited with Sarah Burnage.

Tendencies at Twenty (2013), www.evekosofskysedgwick.net/conferences/conferences.html

Victorian Sculpture in its Global Contexts, special issue of Visual Culture in Britain (Spring 2010). Co-edited = with Michael Hatt.

Rethinking the Interior: Aestheticism and Arts and Crafts, 1867-1896 (Ashgate, 2009). Co-edited with Imogen Hart.

Joseph Cornell: Opening the Box (Peter Lang, 2007). Co-edited with Stephanie L. Taylor.

Anxious Flirtations: Homoeroticism, Art and Aestheticism in Victorian Britain, special issue of Visual Culture in Britain 8.1 (Spring 2007).

Exhibition Catalogues

Turner and the Whale (Bloomsbury, 2017). Co-authored (50%) with Martha Cattall and Meg Boulton (totalling 50 per cent).

Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901 (Yale University Press, 2014). Co-edited with Martina Droth and Michael Hatt. [Introduction, section introductory texts, catalogue entries, and biographies].

The ‘Open Secret’ of Alfred Gilbert’s Male Nudes, 1882-c.1895 (Henry Moore Institute, 2006).

The Cult of the Statuette in Victorian Britain. (Henry Moore Institute, 2000). Co-edited with Martina Droth, David J. Getsy, and Matthew Withey.

Recent Articles

Articles and Chapters in Books and Journals

 ‘For Beauty is a Series of Hypotheses: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as Fibre Artist’ in Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, eds, Reading Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Duke University Press, 2019), 72-91.

‘John Ruskin’s Dead Bitten, or Carnism’, in Richard Johns, ed. Ruskin, Turner, and the Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century (2019), 52-57.

 ‘Looking at the Overlooked: William Coombe Sanders’s Frame Resembling Carved Wood with Lobster and Crab Motif’, V&A Online Journal (Forthcoming, Autumn 2019).

‘Refuse/Refuge: Five Sonnets’, www.refuserefugeproject.co.uk/blog.

‘Etermal Treblinka, or The Unaesthetic Interior: In Defence of Turner’s Cats’, British Art Studies 9 (Summer 2018), www.britishartstudies.ac.uk/issues/issue-index/issue-9/artists-houses-conversation.

 ‘Bathroom Songs: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as a Poet’ and ‘Some Day We’ll Look Back with Pleasure, Even on This’, in Jason Edwards, ed., Bathroom Songs: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick as a Poet (Punctum, 2017), 17-75, 179-208.

‘Humanimal Relations in the Nineteenth-Century Circum-Polar World, or, J.H. Wheldon’s The Diana and the Chase in the Arctic (1857) from a Vegan-Theoretical Perspective’, in Emelia Jane Quinn and Benjamin Westwood, eds, Thinking Veganism in Literature and Culture: Towards A Vegan Theory (Blackwells, 2017?), 79-107.

 ‘Ex Omnia Conchis? Edward Onslow Ford and the Problem of Victorian ‘Animalier’ Sculpture’, in Stefano Maria Evangelista and Luisa Calle, eds, Sculpture and Literature at the Fin-De-Siecle special issue of Word and Image 34.1 (Winter 2018), 56-64.

‘Cosmopolitan Encounters in the Circum-Polar Contact Zone, or Turner in the Context of the City of Culture’, ‘Turner’s Dark Veganism’, and 72 catalogue entries, in Jason Edwards, ed. Turner and the Whale, www.york.ac.uk/history-of-art/research/research-portal/.

‘Introduction: Turner and the Whale’ and ‘Turner and the Whale/rs’, in Jason Edwards, ed. Turner and the Whale (Bloomsbury, 2017), 9-24, 54-93.

‘Introduction: Sculpture Victorious, or, The British School, c.1760-1834’ and ‘John Charles Felix Rossi’s Cornwallis Monument (1807-1811) and the Colonial Cosmopolitanism of the British School’, in Sarah Burnage and Jason Edwards, eds, The ‘British’ School of Sculpture, c.1760-1830 (Routledge, 2017), 1-21, 188-209.

 ‘Periodisation’, in Richard Walsh and Susan Stepney, eds. Narrating Complexity (Springer, 2017), 324-328.

‘The World of Victorian Portraiture: The Crystal Palace, Sydenham Portrait Gallery, c.1854’, in Kate Nichols and Sarah Victoria Turner, eds, After 1851: The Material and Visual Cultures of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham (Manchester University Press, 2017), 47-72.

 ‘The Relief of Lucknow: Henry Hugh Armstead’s Outram Shield’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (June 2016). http://www.19.bbk.ac.uk/articles/10.16995/ntn.734/

‘“Generations of Modernism, or, A Queer Variety of Natural History”: Edmund Gosse and Modern Sculpture’, in Martina Droth and Peter Trippi, eds, Change/Continuity: Writing About Art in Britain Before and After 1900 special issue of Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide (Summer 2015). www.19thc-artworldwide.org/index.php/summer15/edwards-on-edmund-gosse-and-sculptural-modernity.

 ‘Introduction: Displaying Victorian Sculpture’, in Jason Edwards and Michael Hatt, eds, Displaying Victorian Sculpture special issue of The Sculpture Journal 23.2 (Summer 2014), 127-130. Co-authored with Michael Hatt.

Postcards from the Edge? Thomas Woolner’s 1879 Captain Cook for Sydney’, in Jason Edwards and Michael Hatt, eds, Displaying Victorian Sculpture special issue of the Sculpture Journal (2014), 209-220.

Inter-Faith Dialogues? The World of Victorian Monumental Sculpture at St Paul’s Cathedral, c.1815-1899’, in Dee Dyas, ed., English Cathedrals and Monasteries through the Centuries: History, Community, Art, Architecture, Worship, Spirituality, Music (DVD-ROM), (York: Centre for Study of Christianity and Culture, 2014).

‘Edward Onslow Ford, Egyptian Singer and Applause, Object in Focus, www.tate.org.uk/about/our-work/tate-research and www.tate.org.uk/art/context-comment/blogs/focus-interview-jason-edwards.

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Frederic Leighton’s Orientalism
  • Art and Colonialism in South Asia
  • Turner and the Whale
  • Casts and Cultures: The Crystal Palace, Sydenham
  • Sculpture in the Circum-Atlantic World
  • Victorian Sculpture
  • The Cultures of Sculpture, c1815-1918
  • Twentieth-Century Sculpture
  • Victorian Art
  • Word and Image in the Nineteenth Century

Postgraduate

  • Art and the Raj
  • The Art of War: Sculpture at St Paul’s Cathedral, c1795-1914
  • The 'British School': Sculpture in Britain, c1760-1837
  • Sculpture, Craft, and Design Reform 1848-1901
  • English Sculpture, 1848-1899
  • Art and Aestheticism in Victorian Britain
  • Questioning the Victorians: Texts, Contexts, and Afterlives
  • Nostalgia, Conservatism, Modernity: Anglo-French Painting, 1918-1939
  • Art in Paris
  • Framing the Contemporary
  • The Cultures of Modernism: Paris/Berlin, 1914-1939

External activities

Performances

Jason is currently the Principal Investigator of Pantheons: Sculpture at St Paul’s Cathedral, c.1795-1914, a major 3-year, AHRC project looking at the cathedral’s sculptural pantheon in the wake of Black Lives Matter, Rhodes Must Fall, and the ongoing controversy surrounding civil war monuments in the United States.  

In 2017, he was the co-curator of the Turner and the Whale exhibition at Hull Maritime Museum, and, in 2014-15, of the Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention exhibition that travelled from the Yale Center for British Art to Tate Britain. 

Jason Edwards

Contact details

Prof. Jason Edwards
Professor of History of Art
Department of History of Art
Room V/232

Tel: 01904 324250


Office hours

On research leave this term. Please email if you need to make an appointment.