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Emma Ferry

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design


Emma is a Senior Lecturer in Design and Visual Culture based at the School of Art and Design where she contributes to the three mandatory year-long Design and Visual Culture modules: 'Introduction to DVC' at Level One; 'Design, Culture and Commerce' at Level Two; and the final Dissertation module offered at Level 3. She is also a member of the School's Academic Standards and Quality Committee (SASQC); the Assessment and Feedback Team (Peer Review of Learning and Teaching); the nominated Design and Visual Culture 'eGuide'; and undertakes the supervision of research students (PhD).

Current projects

Emma's most recent research project examines the changes made to the interior of a small village church in rural Worcestershire in the period 1890-1920 which will be published year in a special edition of Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture; a new academic journal published by Berg.

Career overview

Dr Emma Ferry read History at the University of Southampton, where she specialised in 19th Century British Art and Architecture. Having worked at Southampton Art Gallery and for the National Trust, she was later awarded the Oliver Ford Scholarship to study for a Masters Degree in the History of Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art (1995-97). Emma also received a Distinction for a second MA in Nineteenth Century Studies from the University of Worcester (2001), before being awarded a full-time Research Degrees Scholarship to undertake doctoral research at Kingston University (2002-04). Supervised by Professor Penny Sparke, she received her Doctorate for interdisciplinary research carried out on Macmillan’s ‘Art at Home Series’ (1876-83) in December 2004.

Emma is a qualified teacher, holding both a PGCE and a specialist teaching qualification in working with learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (dyslexia). Having worked for the School of Art & Design History at Kingston University, where she is attached to the Modern Interiors Research Centre; for the Department of Art History at the University of Bristol; and at the School of Creative Arts at UWE, Bristol.

Emma currently works as a Senior Lecture in Design and Visual Culture at the School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University. Emma is also a course tutor for the MSt in History of Design at the University of Oxford.

Research areas

Emma's research focuses on aspects of 19th century and 20th century visual and material culture, particularly those that relate to women's history. Her main interest lies in exploring some of the methodological issues that are central to the study of modern history; in particular the use of surviving objects, images, texts and environments as a means of studying and representing aspects of the past. Her specialisms and research interests include: Interior Design and Decoration 1800-1950 Art, Architecture and Design 1800-1950, Fashion History, Women's History Research, group, centre Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Fashion Management, Marketing and Communication.

Emma is also an External examiner, BA (Hons) Visual and Material Culture, Buckinghamshire New University. Reviewer for the Journal of Design History.
Associate Researcher at the Modern Interiors Research Group, Kingston University Associate Member of the Visual Culture Research Group, UWE, Bristol Course Tutor: M.St. History of Design, University of Oxford Reviewer for Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture (Berg).

External activity

Between 2008 – 2012 Emma was External Examiner for the Visual and Material Culture programme at Buckinghamshire New University; she currently examines critical and contextual studies modules for the BA and FdA programmes Interior Design at the London College of Communication, University of the Art and the Visual Culture module for the MA (Creative Industries) at UWE, Bristol.

Emma has disseminated her research at a number of conferences and invited symposia. These include the Geffrye Museum; the William Morris Society; the Centre for the Study of the Domestic Interior (CSDI) at the V&A; the annual Women's History Network conference and the Modern Interiors Research Centre at Kingston University. She also reviews manuscripts and articles for several journals and publishing houses.


FERRY, E., 2014.'Strawberry Thief' in LEES-MAFFEI,G., (ed) 2014.Iconic Designs: 50 stories about 50 things, Bloomsbury, (to published later this year)

FERRY, E., 2013. Writing Home: The Colonial Memories Of Lady Barker, 1870-1904. In SPARKE, P. and MASSEY, A., (eds) 2013. Biography, Identity & the Modern Interior, Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, no pp., ISBN 9781409439448

FERRY, E., 2011. 'The Other Miss Faulkner': Mrs Orrinsmith And The 'Art At Home Series'. The Journal Of William Morris Studies, XXIII:3, pp.47-64, ISSN 1756-1353

FERRY, E., 2009. Introduction to Part One: The late nineteenth century interior (1870-1900). In SPARKE P., MASSEY, A., KEEBLE, T. and MARTIN, B., (eds) 2009. Designing the Modern Interior: From the Victorians to Today, Oxford: Berg, pp. 13-29, ISBN 978-1847882882

FERRY, E., 2008., Lucy Faulkner and the 'ghastly grin': Re-working the title page illustration to Goblin Market, The Journal of William Morris Studies, Vol. XVIII, No. I, winter 2008, pp. 65-84, ISSN 1756-1353

See all of Emma Ferry's publications...

Press expertise

  • 19th Century British art, craft and design – especially female artists, designers and craftswomen
  • Arts and Crafts Movement, specialising in interior design and decoration
  • Dress history from the Middle Ages to present day
  • Women's history and 19th Century Suffrage