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Title: In, out, and again : reading and drawing John Soane's lectures at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1817 and 1820)
Author: Read, Sophie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 3431
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis shifts existing scholarship on the lectures of the architect John Soane (1753-1837) from previous examination of them in architectural history as a set of written texts illustrated by drawings, towards a new understanding of how such lectures operated as events with associated textual documents, and as part of a nineteenth-century performance practice of architecture. Considering Soane’s lectures as a form of performance practice, and drawing on performance studies as a methodology for the practice of history, this thesis argues for greater acknowledgement of the active role of the drawings in the lectures than has previously been recognised, as well as a more nuanced appreciation of the way that words and drawings were used together by the Soane office to practise and perform architectural knowledge in various ways. Through analysis of new primary archival evidence related to Soane’s lectures at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (R.I.) – evidence and lectures not yet investigated academically – I explore this lecturing practice in relation to the particularities of the oral culture of the period and within the R.I.’s existing strong ‘arts and sciences’ culture of performance that was rooted in a longer tradition of scientific demonstration. With reference to existing work in the field, I make the case for architectural history as a practice that is performative. Overall the performative structure of the thesis which combines ‘reading’ and ‘drawing’ with ‘in’, ‘out’, and ‘again’ becomes a way to practise, perform and play with the history, to compare different actions of reading evidence (directly, contextually and repeatedly/performatively), and to facilitate and demonstrate further reflection on architectural historiographical processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available