Travel and transport in the Country House

This project will take as its focus the theme of the next YCHP joint exhibition (projected for 2018/9) Travel and Transport in the Country House. The theme will challenge curators and academics to think creatively about the role of the country house in pioneering cutting-edge transport technologies; to explore the movement of goods and ideas in addition to people; to find new ways of understanding and interpreting everyday objects, from clothing to carts and cars; and of viewing estate architecture, from railway stations to stables and garages, lodges and gatehouses– in the past and present. The project will also explore more exotic experiences of travel, by the family and household on the Grand Tour, and in colonial contexts.
The Yorkshire Country House Partnership is a network of 12 country houses, which together make a profound contribution to Yorkshire’s tourist economy. Individually, the curators of these houses are often working with limited resources; the YCHP enables them to pool their expertise to generate new and exciting exhibition programmes. To date, the YCHP and its Chair, Dr Chris Ridgway have worked very productively with members of the University of York’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities on exhibitions such as Women in the Country House, but has not accessed the full range of relevant research across WRUC. Such expertise exists: for example, the Centre for Collaborative Heritage Research at Leeds has collaborated with Harewood House on interdisciplinary workshops such as ‘The Ethics of Museum Display’ and the School of English at Sheffield has created a MOOC on the topic of ‘Literature of the Country House’.
The project aims to bring about a step-change in the relationship between YCHP and its academic partners by:
· sharing expertise and broadening the relationship across the White Rose Universities
· drawing in specialists in academic areas untapped in previous research collaborations
· generating cutting-edge interdisciplinary research which goes beyond the ‘authorised heritage discourse’ of the country house
Lead Academics
Dr Kate Giles, Department of Archaeology (York)
And Dr Christopher Ridgway, Honorary Research Associate, University of York, Chair YCHP
Dr Kerry Bristol, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, Leeds
Dr Jane Hodson, School of English, Sheffield
Other staff associated with the project
Professor Jon Mee, Department of English, University of York
Dr Hannah Greig, Department of History, University of York
Dr Abigail Harrison Moore, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
Dr Helen Graham, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
Professor Susan Fitzmaurice, School of English, University of Sheffield
Dr Julia Moses, Department of History, University of Sheffield

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