Prof. Thomas is Not Afraid to Stir the (Tea) Pot
The chair of the English department and newly appointed K. Laurence Stapleton Professor of English Kate Thomas is teaching and analyzing chinaware as texts in her classes and as part of her lecture "Bone Body: English Potteries and Colonial Violence."
The Royal Mail
The texts Kate Thomas researches are found everywhere, from the British postal system to Victorian foods and eating culture.
For Thomas, texts aren’t limited to what’s found between the covers of a book—as evidenced by the subject of her recent presidential lecture: a bone china plate.
“Bryn Mawr has a dedication to public scholarship. ... This is the heart of what we believe in here, which is getting the opportunity to learn new things, see new things, and talk about it together.”
“It’s a gilt-edged, pink-scrolled, gorgeous piece of china that was made in Staffordshire in England sometime around 1815 or 1816, having been commissioned by a prince in India.”
“I'm interested in tracing the pathway of this delicate piece of china and how it traces the complexity of colonial relations between England and India in the 19th century.”