2023–2024 William H. Helfand Fellow in American Visual Culture

Alice Crossley, University of Lincoln

Alice Crossley is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Lincoln. Her project, Nineteenth-Century Valentines: Materiality, Affect and Identity, examines the material and visual significance of sentimental and comic valentines in terms of these works importance for the 19th-century history of emotions, as well as their role in negotiating identity politics and exclusionary practices through their use of social parody. Crossley’s scholarship focused on valentines as unique types of artifacts that trace the interplay of identity, anonymity, embodiment, sensory play, and affect for 19th-century Britain and America. During her fellowship Crossley researched the Library’s strong collection of comic valentines, as well as related and similar ephemera and visual materials, including sentimental valentines (loose and in scrapbooks), metamorphic prints, social satires, rewards of merit, and trade cards in her study of valentines and their intricate, decorative design, and as ephemeral graphic and collaged, tactile tokens.