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Personal profile

Research interests

Anna Vaughan Kett is an academic working across a range of interests within material and visual culture studies. Her research interests centre on political expressions through dress, and primarily the work of Quaker women anti-slavery activists in Britain and America in the nineteenth century. She is currently researching further into Quaker women, textiles and dress, the Free Produce Movement, and British women’s activism against slave-grown cotton goods during the mid-nineteenth century. Current projects include further investigation into ‘free’ cotton cloth produced in Manchester and Carlisle, the packages of aid sent by Quakers to freed slaves in Kansas and the humanitarian work of the Quaker shoemaking Clark family of Street, and their extended kinship networks in Britain and America.

Her research areas include histories of craft, design, textiles and dress; Quaker and non-conformist histories, and their approaches to dress; abolitionism and women’s role; the material culture of abolitionism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; political and dissenting dress; the production of slave-grown and (non-slave) free-labour cotton and the production of hand-woven cotton. 

Anna teaches on the Academic Programme in History of Art and Design (BA Hons History of Art and Design; BA Hons Fashion and Dress History; BA Hons Visual Culture; BA Hons Philosophy, Politics, Art; MA History of Design and Material Culture). She also teaches Critical Studies on the BA Hons Fashion and Textiles and BA Hons 3-D Design and Craft. She is a member of the university's Centre for Design History and Objects Unwrapped Research Group; Museum Lab at University College London; the Quaker Studies Group at the Religious Society of Friends, London.

Supervisory Interests

Anna supervises postgraduate students - both MA and PHD - on textiles, dress and material culture. Anna has special interests in the following areas: the material culture of abolition; cotton activism; dress and politics, especially boycotts; and Quaker women's histories. 

Scholarly biography

Dr Anna Vaughan Kett is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art and Design in the School of Humanities and also Critical Studies in the School of Art. Her research interests and publications cluster into these areas: the histories of textiles and dress; nineteenth century visual and material culture; the visual and material cultures of abolition and slavery; Quaker history. Prior to teaching at the University of Brighton Anna was a Lecturer in Cultural and Supporting Studies at Northbrook College, Worthing, on the BA Hons Fashion and Textiles and BA Hons Media Studies programmes. Before that, Anna was Assistant Director of the International Summer School at the University of Sussex, and prior to that a Lecturer in Fashion Studies on the Summer School Programme. Anna continues to give guest lectures at a number of other universities and institutions.

Anna holds a PhD, an MA in Design History and Material Culture (Distinction) and a BA in Fine Art (Painting) (First Class), all from the University of Brighton where she has lectured since 2007. She also holds an MA in Fine Art (Painting) (Distinction) from Slade School of Art, University College, London.

Approach to teaching

At the University of Brighton Anna has taught extensively across years within the History of Art and Design programmes and also delivering the historical and theoretical elements of Critical Studies programmes to arts practice-based students. These require differing teaching styles and modes of delivery, even as they share subject content. As such, they require flexible, adaptive and innovative teaching to maximise student engagement and to boost student confidence. Anna use objects and examples to bring the subjects alive, and sees object-based research as the crux of historical enquiry.  As a first year tutor, and Personal Academic Tutor Anna's roles are focussed on student wellbeing. 

Research interests

Publications

2020 (forthcoming) ‘The Charitable Work of Eleanor Clark of Street in the 1850s and the 1870s:Quaker Women’s Networks, Sisters and Philanthropy’ in New Critical Studies on Quaker Women, 1800-1920 ed Robynne Healy and Carole Spencer. Oxford University Press.

2019 book review of Fashion, Agency and Empowerment. Ed by Annette Lynch and Katalin Medvedev. Bloomsbury Press, 2019. To be published in Costume, 2020.

2018: ‘Escape and Evasion: Dresses Made From Maps in the Second World War’ Objects Unwrapped. https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/objectsunwrapped/essays/formatted-final_avk_escape-and-evasion-dresses-made-from-maps-in-the-second-world-war-1xzjqtz/

2018: Book review of Moral Commerce: Quakers and the Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy. Cornell University Press, in Winterthur Portfolio 51:4 (2018) 256-7.

2017:Bookreview of Moral Commerce: Quakers and the Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy. Cornell University Press. Quaker Studies 22:4 (2017) 265-7.

2014. ‘Quaker Women and Anti-Slavery Activism: Eleanor Clark and the Free Labour Cotton Depot in Street’, Quaker Studies.Volume 19, Issue 1, September 2014 pp.137-156.

2014: ‘”Without the Consumers of Slave Produce There Would be no Slaves”. Wearing Belief, Quaker Women, Dress and Anti-Slavery Activism 1853-1858’, in Brycchan Carey and Geoffrey Plank (eds) Quakers and Abolition 1657-1865, University of Illinois Press.

Conference Papers

2019: ‘“Village Chronicle” and “Village Album”: The Hand-written Periodicals and Creative Expressions of the Clark Family’s Literary Society in the mid-Nineteenth Century’. The Annual Conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, University of Brighton, 27 July, 2019.

2019: ‘Dressing Abolitionists and the Enslaved: Slave-Labour and Free-Labour Gingham Cloth in Carlisle in the 1850s’ Annual Conference of the Association of Art History (AAH) University of Brighton 2-5 April, 2019.

2018:‘Cotton and Antislavery: The Strange Story of Slave-Labour and Free-Labour Gingham Cloth in the 1850s.’ Costume Colloquium VI: Textiles in Fashion, Creativity in Context (Florence, Italy 14-18 November). 

2018: ‘Escape and Evasion: Dresses Made From Maps in the Second World War,’ Objects Unwrapped, Worthing Museum, Worthing (30 June).

2016:Negotiating Simplicity and Extravagance in Nineteenth Century Quaker Dress: Restraint and Excess in the Clothing Worn by Eleanor Stephens Clark and Helen Bright Clark of Street’, Costume Colloquium: Restraint and Excess, Florence, Italy (16-19 November).

2016:‘Free Labour Cotton and Radical Antislavery in the Domestic Lives of British Women Quakers in the Mid-Nineteenth Century’ Radical Histories/Histories of Radicalism, History Workshop Journal, QMUL, London (1-3 July).

2016:The Charitable Work of Mrs Eleanor Clark of Street: The Olive Leaf Society and ‘Grand Fancy Bazaars’ in the 1850s’ Quaker Historians and Archivists Annual Conference, Woodbrooke Centre for Quaker Studies, University of Birmingham (24-26 June).

2013:‘Cotton Anti-Slavery and Empire: Issues in the Atlantic Supply Chain for Free-Labour Cotton in the 1850s’, Pennsylvania Historical Society Annual Conference, Gettysburg, USA (16-19th October).

2012: ‘The PhD Journey’ History Lab Symposium, Institute of Historical Research, University of London 10th October); ‘Wearing Anti-Slavery Activism: British Quaker Women and Free-Labour Cotton Dress in the 1850s’, History Lab Annual Conference, Institute of Historical Research, University of London (13-14th June).

2011: ‘Wearing Belief: Quakers and Free-Cotton in the 1850s’, Developments in Dress History, University of Brighton (7-9th December). 2010: ‘Wearing Belief: Women Quakers and the Free Produce Movement in Britain 1853-1858’, Quakers and Slavery 1657-1865, Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, Philadelphia, USA (4-6th November);‘”Buy For the Sake of the Slave”: The Street Free Labour Cotton Depot 1853-1858’, Quaker History Group, Friends House, London (23rd October).

2009: ‘The Clarks of Street, Transatlantic Co-operation and the Free Produce Movement in Britain’, Liberating Sojourn: Black Abolitionist Visitors to Britain, Faculty of History, University of Liverpool (23-25th April).

2009: ‘The Clarks of Street, Transatlantic Co-operation and the Free Produce Movement in Britain’, Student Research Day, Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton (10th October); ‘When Fashion Promoted Humanity: The Wedgwood Slave Medallion 1787-1807’, Brighton Postgraduate design History Society Annual Conference (6th June).

Research funding awards

2009-2011: PhD Research Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. 2008-9: PhD Studentship, University of Brighton; 2007: MA Research Bursary, the Pasold Fund, UK; The Boise Foundation Travel Scholarship, University College, London; The Maud Foster Memorial Travel Scholarship, University College, London; Italian Government Travel Abroad Study Scholarship for Cultural Exchange, UK.

Research interests

Research funding awards

2009-2011: PhD Research Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. 2008-9: PhD Studentship, University of Brighton; 2007: MA Research Bursary, the Pasold Fund, UK; The Boise Foundation Travel Scholarship, University College, London; The Maud Foster Memorial Travel Scholarship, University College, London; Italian Government Travel Abroad Study Scholarship for Cultural Exchange, UK.

Scholarly biography

Bachelor, University of Brighton

Master, University of Brighton

Master, University College London

Master, University of Brighton

PhD, University of Brighton

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  • 2 Similar Profiles
Quaker Arts & Humanities
Slaves Arts & Humanities
Anti-slavery Arts & Humanities
Labor Arts & Humanities
1850s Arts & Humanities
Cotton Arts & Humanities
Clothing Arts & Humanities
Cloth Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2014 2020

The Charitable Work of Eleanor Clark in the 1850s and the 1870s: Quaker Women's Networks, Sisters and Philanthropy

Vaughan Kett, A., 2020, (Accepted/In press) New Critical Studies of Quaker Women 1800-1920. Healy, R. & Spencer, C. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press (OUP), Vol. 2.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

Philanthropy
Sister
1850s
Quaker
1870s
Abolitionist
Labor
Slaves
Cloth
1850s

Book review of Moral Commerce: Quakers and the Transatlantic Boycott of the Slave Labor Economy

Vaughan Kett, A., 2018, In : Winterthur Portfolio . 51, 4, p. 256-257 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook Review

Labor
Slaves
Cloth
Anti-slavery
1850s