This is my blog, and presents some of my ideas and thoughts about the issues that matter to me in my professional life as a Lecturer/Assistant Professor  in History of Art  at the University of Nottingham. One of my research specialisms focuses on the cultural relationship of Italian provincial centres to their dominant political counterparts in the Renaissance period. More recently though, I have become ever more interested in the significance of Nottingham’s medieval and early modern past and monuments and I am looking at how the provincial elites of the area, the families of Wollaton Hall,Hardwick Hall, Burghley House, and, maybe an unexpected addition, Thoresby Hall, have fashioned their own identities through their houses and estates and related to the great centre of the court at London. A further interest of mine is China, especially Renaissance China, and I remain as fascinated by Marco Polo, the Silk Road, Peking’s Forbidden City and cultural relations between elites, and East and West as I was as a teenager when I first read Marco Polo (see the link between China and Renaissance Venice?).
As a teacher, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to pass on my subject- specific enthusiasm for all things Renaissance to my students, and I also try and work on the many weird and wonderful skills a professional academic and art historian develops in their working life. I take great pride in my teaching awards, and am especially pleased to be both a National Teaching Fellow and  Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. For me, teaching needs as much thinking about as research, so this blog is as much about teaching and academic development (both of myself and my students!) as about the things I am interested in research-wise. Much to my astonishment, I have found that I can use social media very effectively for my teaching, so like all academics, my biography is a wonderful mix of diverse skills. I like it that way.
And then there are books. I retain my passion for reading ( I did a Joint Honours degree in English and History of Art at Aberdeen University) and in this blog, I occasionally talk about the books that have captured my imagination. This blog explores my passion for Art History, for teaching, and everyday encounters with ‘the arts’ in all their manifestations; some of the posts reflect on my teaching, some review some of the books I am encountering and where possible, I include some of my own photos. All views, opinions and mistakes are my own.



3 thoughts on “About

  1. Re: you comment that most monarch make arrangements for their own commemoration ….
    I don’t believe Richard III “‘wrote’ to meet Henry Tudor ……” I think your voice recognition
    made an error, or you didn’t check.

  2. Hi Gaby

    Had no idea you had a wordpress site! How are things? It’s been ages since we were last in touch! Mark M

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