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Anna Henderson

Thesis: Through the Eye of the Needle: Reconfiguring British Isles History as Narrative Embroidery.

My source texts - modern embroidered histories of the British Isles – offer an idiosyncratic form of public history that takes inspiration from the Bayeux Tapestry. Reworking a range of local and national historical narratives, they loosely appropriate the form of this well-worn cultural artefact to new ends.

I am researching how and why the Bayeux Tapestry is used as conceptual raw material in modern embroidery projects, and the ways in which recent projects use 'Bayeuxness' to interrogate significant cultural developments. These include debates concerning changing patterns of work and leisure and the upsurge in heritage consumption, and discourses surrounding the emergence of alternative constructs of national identity.

My work will incorporate reflections from project participants and responds to Raphael Samuel’s (1994) call for examination of 'the imaginative dislocations which take place when historical knowledge is transferred from one learning circuit to another.'

Supervisors

Expected submission date

  • 2017

Funding body

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Research interests

The Bayeux Tapestry, its reception and offspring; public history; memory studies; reception studies and medievalisms.

Publications

Henderson, Anna and Gale R. Owen-Crocker (eds), Making Sense of the Bayeux Tapestry: Readings and Reworkings (forthcoming MUP: 2015).

Henderson, Anna with Gale R. Owen-Crocker, ‘Introduction’, in Making Sense of the Bayeux Tapestry: Readings and Reworkings (forthcoming MUP: 2015).

Henderson, Anna, ‘Through Victorian Eyes: Re-assessing Elizabeth Wardle’s Replica’, in Making Sense of the Bayeux Tapestry: Readings and Reworkings (forthcoming MUP: 2015).

Conference presentations

'The Bayeux Effect', at The Middle Ages in the Modern World Conference, St Andrews, 2013.

'Re-inventing the Rules: Slipping between the Bayeux Tapestry and the Victorian Replica', at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 2012.

'The Bayeux Tapestry and its Victorian Facsimile', at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 2011.

'Travels in Time: The Bayeux Tapestry and its Heirs', at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 2010.

Additional information

I have returned to study after a career in academic publishing (as Editorial Director at University of Exeter Press). I completed an MA in Medieval Studies at Manchester in 2011.

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