BA (Cambridge), MA (King’s College London), PhD (Queen Mary University of London)
Stephanie Howard-Smith works on the cultural history of animals in the long eighteenth century. Her research has focused on the role of lapdogs in eighteenth-century British culture and society. Stephanie recently completed her PhD at Queen Mary University of London, where she was also a Teaching Associate and Teaching Fellow in the History and English departments. In 2016 she was the principal curator of an exhibition on animals in the art and life of William Hogarth at Hogarth’s House in London.
Stephanie’s research focuses on the lapdog and its influence on literary, visual and material culture in Britain during the long eighteenth century, exploring how people felt and thought about the (real and imagined) lapdogs in their homes and in society—and, by extension, how they used the lapdog and its politicised body to consider and criticise one another. In particular, she is interested in the deployment of lapdogs and their owners in various moral debates during the Enlightenment (including those on effeminacy, luxury, animal welfare and human kindness). Stephanie’s PhD dissertation explored women’s agency and the privileging of lapdogs above people in moral philosophy, the relationship between lapdogs and sex in satire, the proliferation and exchange of pug figures in the European porcelain market, and the representation and experiences of male lapdog owners.
Stephanie has also worked on rabies in eighteenth-century Britain, and has further research interests in practices of memorialising dead pets and in animal furniture.