The VMC Research Group at Northumbria provides a dynamic hub for researchers and students engaged with the historical and theoretical analysis of art, culture, design, museums and architecture. The group acts as a forum to bring together researchers across the university and offers an annual programme of events relating to current issues in visual and material culture research
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Martyn Hudson

Visualising Worlds: World making & Social Theory

Credit: Emily Hesse

‘Visualising Worlds’ is a book-length study (Routledge 2021) of world-making in the context of prehistory, late antiquity and Anglo-Saxon England rooted in an intimate understanding of actual and speculative landscapes. It is rooted in Martyn’s ‘On Blackamoor’ project which concerned itself with a set of moorland archives: John Atkinson, Harriet and Frank Elgee, and Bertram Frank and Raymond Hayes – the latter two of which are hosted by Ryedale Folk Museum. Martyn’s work on visuality and history develops out of a planetary and grand-narrativist understanding of historical becoming and social being resting upon phenomenology, ethnography, landscape and sound studies and a heterodox political practice. ‘Visualising Worlds’ is the most recent volume in a set of 10 existing and forthcoming books which examine transitions in ‘seeing’ from prehistory into Graeco-Roman antiquity and its imaginaries, through the Dark Ages and into the early modernity of the slave ship and capitalist empire of the crystal palace and indeed looks beyond capitalism to speculate upon new social futures and ecologies.