Friday, 7 October 2016

Professor Rebecca Houze, TVAD Visiting Researcher 2016-17

Professor Rebecca Houze is a specialist in the history of design and the decorative arts, with an emphasis on textiles and dress. She received her B.A. from the University of Washington (1993) and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1994, 2000). Her research centres on relationships between art, industry, collection, and display in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Professor Houze is author of Textiles, Fashion, and Design Reform in Austria-Hungary Before the First World War: Principles of Dress (Ashgate, 2015), and New Mythologies in Design and Culture: Reading Signs and Symbols in the Visual Landscape (Bloomsbury, 2016). She has published her work over the years in Journal of Design History, Design Issues, Fashion Theory, Textile, and Centropa, and is co-editor of The Design History Reader (Berg, 2010).

She joins TVAD as Visiting Researcher for the academic year 2016/17 and she will make two trips to UH during the year, in October and February. The programme of events through which students and staff can engage with Prof Houze is published here and is open to all.
·       TUESDAY 11th OCTOBER  2016

10.30 am - Gallery Café. Welcome to the School of Creative Arts, and School tour and campus tour, Dr Grace Lees-Maffei.

1.30 pm – 2.45 pm, CDC Studio. “Women’s Needlework Education in the Late 19th Century”, Session with Contemporary Design Crafts and/or MA students. Hosted by Antje Ilner.
·       WEDNESDAY 12th OCTOBER  2016

12.45 for 1 pm, 1A159 Lindop. Lunch provided. TVAD Talks series. Prof Rebecca Houze discusses her monograph Textiles, Fashion and Design Reform in Austria-Hungary before the First World War

This study offers a new reading of fin-de-siècle culture in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy by looking at the unusual and widespread preoccupation with embroidery, fabrics, clothing, and fashion - both literally and metaphorically. Houze resurrects lesser known critics, practitioners, and curators from obscurity, while also discussing the textile interests of notable figures, Gottfried Semper and Alois Riegl. Spanning the 50-year life of the Dual Monarchy, this study uncovers new territory in the history of art history, insists on the crucial place of women within modernism, and broadens the cultural history of Habsburg Central Europe by revealing the complex relationships among art history, women, and Austria-Hungary. Houze surveys a wide range of materials, from craft and folk art to industrial design, and includes overlooked sources-from fashion magazines to World's Fair maps, from exhibition catalogues to museum lectures, from feminist journals to ethnographic collections. Restoring women to their place at the intersection of intellectual and artistic debates of the time, this book weaves together discourses of the academic, scientific, and commercial design communities with middle-class life as expressed through popular culture. 


·       THURSDAY 13th OCTOBER 2016 to SUNDAY 16th OCTOBER

Independent research in Vienna. Prof Houze will speak about her recent research at a conference.

·       MONDAY 17th OCTOBER 2016

10 am to 4 pm, AB146. DHeritage Core Workshop, Year 2: ‘Proposal Development and Presentation’. Workshop Convenor: Dr Grace Lees-Maffei. This workshop examines the development and dissemination of doctoral research in heritage.
·       TUESDAY 18th OCTOBER 2016

11 am to 12.45 pm, AB132 Todd Building. ‘Discovering New Mythologies in Design and Culture’, MA Art and Design, Module: Research and Enquiry workshop led by Prof Houze in which students write their own volume of "new mythologies".

3 pm to 5 pm, Gallery Cafe. TVAD Reading Group. Session with TVAD and School research staff and PG students focused on supportive peer review of work in progress. If you wish to participate, please send your text to Dr Grace Lees-Maffei

·       WEDNESDAY 19th OCTOBER 2016


·       THURSDAY 20th OCTOBER 2016

5.00 – 6.30 p.m., A154 Lindop. Design Talks series, convened by Julian Lindley. Prof Rebecca Houze discusses her work writing New Mythologies: Reading Signs and Symbols in the Visual Landscape (Bloomsbury 2016).

Taking as its point of departure Roland Barthes' classic series of essays, Mythologies, Rebecca Houze considers a range of contemporary phenomena, from the history of sustainability to the meaning of sports and children's building toys. Among the ubiquitous global trademarks she examines are BP, McDonald's, and Nike. What do these icons say to us today? What political and ideological messages are hidden beneath their surfaces? Just as Barthes' meditations on culture concentrated on his native France, New Mythologies is rooted in the author's experience of living and teaching in the United States. Houze's reflections encompass both contemporary American popular culture and the history of American industry, with reference to such foundational figures as Thomas Jefferson and Walt Disney. 

For questions about TVAD, TVAD Talks and the TVAD VIsiting Researcher programme, please contact the TVAD Research Group Leader, Dr Grace Lees-Maffei,

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