Prof Clare Pettitt, 'Moving Pictures: Serial Revolutions in 1848' (FREE ONLINE TALK)

Rebecca Butler's picture
May 25, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, European History / Studies, British History / Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, Literature


Professor Clare Pettitt, ‘Moving Pictures: Serial Revolutions in 1848’ (TALK), PPCRG New Directions Series


Time: 16.00 (BST) on Tues, 25 May 2021

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Duration: 75 mins (incl. 30 mins Q&A)

How to join: Email to request a joining link.

The Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG) at Nottingham Trent University is delighted to welcome Professor Clare Pettitt (King’s College London) to speak as part of our 2020-21 New Directions Series. This occasional series of invited guest speakers focuses on exchanging and developing methodologies across disciplines in periodicals and print cultural research. Hosted online, it is free and open to all.



The technologies that made illustrations cheap and fast to produce were only just becoming readily available in 1848, so that the sweep of revolutions was among the first news to offer itself to the new visual media techniques. The result was a new visual praxis which this chapter argues was key to creating a sense of connectivity and identity across Europe.  Because of the sharing of ‘stereotypes’ or printing plates, identical illustrations of barricades, insurgent fighting, and newly constituted parliaments and assemblies appeared in illustrated journals in Britain, Germany and France, copying themselves across Europe to very different readerships. This chapter tracks newspaper illustrations of revolution through France and onwards into Italy, Germany, Austria, and Hungary.  It suggests that the mistaken nineteenth-century idea that the 1848 revolutions started in Paris and radiated out from the French capital survives in our history books partly because of the very strong press links between Paris and London so that the Paris revolution of February 1848 was rapidly and extensively reported in the Anglophone press, and then exported from London to other European cities.


About the Speaker:

Clare Pettitt has taught at the universities of Oxford, Leeds and Cambridge and is now Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at King's College London.  She has written and published widely on periodical and print culture and media history, including articles on scrapbooks, annuals and miscellanies.  Her second monograph, 'Dr Livingstone, I Presume?'  Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers and Empire (2007) focused on the media history of the famous meeting between Livingstone and Stanley, and from 2012-2016, she was a Research Director on an interdisciplinary AHRC Project, Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900. Last summer, she published Serial Forms: The Unfinished Project of Modernity, 1815-1848 with Oxford University Press. This is the first volume of a three-volume reassessment of the impact of the media on political and literary culture from 1815-1918. The second part, entitled Serial Revolutions 1848: Writing, Politics, Form is due out with Oxford later this year.  A third and final part will track the emergence of the digital and its effects on literary culture and imperial and racial identities.  


About the PPCRG:

The Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG) is located in the English department at Nottingham Trent University and co-directed by Dr Catherine Clay and Professor Andrew Thacker. The group aims to develop work on the study of periodicals and print culture, from the nineteenth century to the present. It is concerned with the material culture of periodicals alongside books, newspapers, pamphlets, comics, zines, and other forms of print ephemera, along with the digital manifestations of these objects.

Contact Info: 

Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG)

Dept. of English

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham, UK.

Contact Email: