GLITS Seminar, Jacob's research is a theoretical work undertaking Forensic Architecture to interrogate the architectures at the root of contemporary climate change.
All student from the ECL Department are welcome to join - there will be wine!
Jacob Henry Leveton
Ph.D. Candidate // Department of Art History
Northwestern / Art Institute of Chicago
Co-Editor, Romantic Circles Gallery (https://romantic-circles.org/gallery)
Jacob's research draws upon contemporary theoretical work undertaken by Forensic Architecture to interrogate the architectures, infrastructures, and technologies at the root of contemporary climate change that took shape within the urban environment of Romantic-period London.
“Architecture at the Edge of the Anthropocene: British Romanticism’s Forensic Creativities, 1800-1830.”
This paper argues that specific architectures of environmental destruction were central to the urban background of London that catalyzed many of the diverse and critical modes of creative production associated with British Romanticism. Focusing on Albion Mill in Southwark, the first site where multiple steam engines were mobilized in a process of mass manufacture, Westminster Gas Works, where coal was distilled for gas illumination in the core of the metropolis, and New Shot Mill in Lambeth, where coal-powered ammunition production at home for the Napoleonic Wars abroad, this paper demonstrates that a veritable carbon-intensive cartography of the city developed that produced destructive pollutant-intensive effects with corresponding generated creative political-aesthetic effects that move across the literary and visual culture fields of the period. Through readings of Mary Robinson’s poem ‘London on a Summer Morning’ (1800); William Blake’s Milton: A Poem in 1 Books (1811); and J.M.W. Turner’s painting The Thames of Above Waterloo Bridge (c. 1830)—alongside architectural designs of industrial facilities never before engaged in Environmental Humanities scholarship— this paper shows how infrastructure and art formed a matrix through which new forms of committed radical social practice emerged.
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