Next week’s C19 meeting will feature Dr. Kate Hill (History, Uni of Lincoln) talking on the topic of ‘Professionalization, Status, and Masculinity in Provincial Museums, c.1870-1930’ . Kate is a great speaker, so please do come along!


As usual, refreshments will be from 4pm with the paper to start at 4.15pm. Kate’s abstract and biography are below.



4pm, 6th March



‘A rather undefined social position and public recognition’: Professionalization, Status, and Masculinity in Provincial Museums, c.1870-1930’


The figure of the lower middle-class man was rarely seen as particularly masculine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; he appears both at the time and in the work of subsequent scholars as an overly-domesticated ‘Pooterish’ type. But how might occupational identities – particularly new ones – contribute to their own sense of, and others’ perceptions of, manliness, especially at a time when women were starting to encroach on the lower ranks of the professions? This paper will examine regional and provincial museum curating, especially in municipally-funded museums, a field which grew from virtually nothing in about 1850 to supporting a professional association by the end of the century, to explore how occupation, remuneration and cultural capital put limits on curators’ ambitions to be part of the ‘learned (manly) professions’, and how they attempted to assert a particular version of masculinity in the face of class and gender challenges.



I am a principal lecturer in History here at the University and am a historian of museums and collecting in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; my most recent book was Women and Museums, 1850-1914: Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge (MUP 2016 – now out in paperback!). I’m currently working on a project on children and museums (going through all the demographic categories as you can see)