Davies’s research project, “A Chequered Past: Nineteenth-Century Board Games, British India and Imperial Socialisation,” examines board gaming in metropole Britain as a cultural phenomenon explicating these networks, and in the process producing, disseminating, and construing imperial relations through play, ca. 1750–1914. By reading games in relation to contemporary processes of geographical expansion, his project explores how gaming’s representative interface and participatory nature promoted, complicated, and contested practices and ideologies of imperial domination, exploitation, and violence. As such, it reveals how ludic representations of Britain and her foreign possessions functioned formally as well as experientially to encode global expansion with ethical and imperial imperatives—to establish domestic and international geographies of power, to constitute domestic space with identity, and to revise diffusionist paradigms through Anglicized Indian board games that brought empire home.
Anderson’s research project, “Maritime Spaces of Early Modern England,” examines the variety of maritime spaces in England and abroad, looking first at the ship as one of the most important types of built structures that extended English political and economic ambitions abroad. Her research seeks to provide a new maritime history of England’s early modern architecture, encompassing the built structures as well as the urban and rural spaces that made England’s naval strength possible.
Weeks’s research project, “Framing the Orient: The Design and Function of the Orientalist Picture Frame in Britain and America,” focuses on the study of the orientalist picture frame in Western art from the Renaissance to the present day, with an emphasis on British and American frames and frame makers from the second half of the nineteenth century.