Dr Elisa deCourcy

BA (Hons. I) PhD
Research Fellow, ARC Project, Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Nineteenth and early-twentieth century photography, particularly systems of photographic transmission, travel photography and, photography as performance/masquerade.

Nineteenth century visual experimentation and appropriation, paritcularly springing from the many uses of the magic lantern. 


Dr Elisa deCourcy is an art historian with a broad interest in the use and development of visual technologies, mainly during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. She was awarded her PhD in 2014 for a thesis that examined the photography of early twentieth century English explorers in Africa and Central Asia. After her doctorate was conferred, she worked as a curatorial intern in the photography department of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and as the research adminstrator for the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University. She is currently the Research Fellow on the Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the world ARC Discovery Project run out of ANU School of Art and Design. Elisa is particularly interested in photography and cross cultural masquerade, photography and image transmission, and nineteenth century visual experimentation and appropriation. She has spoken and published about her research in Australia and abroad. In 2018 she was awarded a Harry Ransom Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin and an Australian Academy of the Humanities Publishing Subsidy Award in 2019. Both of these grants contribute to an extended book project about the global career of daguerreotypist and magic lanternist James William Newland (1810-1857), co-authored iwth Martyn Jolly. It will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2020.  

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Updated:  19 August 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers