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Dr Amanda Sciampacone

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Professional biography

I am an art historian who explores the intersections between British art, visual culture, medicine, and the environment in the long nineteenth century. I received my PhD in History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London and held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Warwick. I joined The Open University in 2021 and have previously worked at Birkbeck, University of London, King's College London, the University of Warwick, and Queen Mary, University of London. I am a member of the Health and the Arts, Objects, Collections, and Museums, and Open Ecologies research groups at The Open University, and the British Art Network.

Research interests

  • British art and visual culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • History of medicine and science
  • Epidemic disease and the British Empire
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Air Pollution
  • Museum Studies
  • Imperialism and collections
  • Visual technologies
  • Print and material cultures

Teaching interests

I have taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules that explore art and visual culture from antiquity to the present, the history and curation of museums, the visual history of medicine, and theories and methodologies of the discipline. I am currently teaching on A112: Cultures and A843: MA in Art History Part 1. I have also supervised BA and MA dissertations on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, visual culture, photography, and media.

Impact and engagement

I have presented my research at national and international conferences and workshops. I have also been invited to give public talks at the Wellcome Collection, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, and Brooklyn Rail.

In 2018, I curated the exhibition Art, Air and Illness at the Lanchester Research Gallery at Coventry University. The exhibition shed new light on significant relations between art and science in shaping how we perceive and experience the impact of the environment on human health, culturally, societally, and through the very air we breath. It showcased an exceptional range of rare archival maps, weather charts, historic meteorological texts, and public health photographs on loan from the National Meteorological Library and Archive and Coventry History Centre, alongside works by the contemporary artist Jayne Wilton, linked to the Life of Breath project supported by the Wellcome Trust, the University of Durham, and the University of Bristol. The exhibition was part of a larger Leverhulme Trust project and featured a conference, 'Cultural Histories of Air and Illness', which was held at the University of Warwick, and a workshop in collaboration with Coventry University (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Visual Arts Research). 


The ‘Scourge of Modern Times’: Cholera, Race, and Empire in Early Nineteenth-Century British Illustrated Print Culture (2022-04)
Sciampacone, Amanda
Journal of Victorian Culture, 27(2) (pp. 356-369)

‘Epidemics in a Mist’: Medical Climatology and Cholera in Victorian Visual Culture (2020-10)
Sciampacone, Amanda
Journal of Victorian Culture, 25(4) (pp. 492-511)

Matter Pictured In Its Place: Cholera and the Slums of London (2013)
Sciampacone, Amanda
Dandelion: Postgraduate Arts Journal and Research Network, 4(1)

Urban Ruin: James Baillie Fraser's Representation of the Black Hole Memorial of Calcutta (2011-11)
Sciampacone, Amanda
Third Text, 25(6) (pp. 751-762)

Material Value and Immaterial Vision: The Role of Real and Represented Gems in the Gospels of Saint-Médard of Soissons (2011)
Sciampacone, Amanda
Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 42 (pp. 1-35)

"Invisible Destroyers": Cholera and COVID in British Visual Culture (2023)
Sciampacone, Amanda
In: Morton, Marsha and Akehurst, Ann-Marie eds. Visual Culture and Pandemic Disease since 1750: Capturing Contagion. Science and the Arts since 1750 (pp. 137-156)
ISBN : 978-1-032-26107-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York