Hannah Halliwell

Photograph of Hannah Halliwell

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Doctoral researcher (Midlands 3 Cities)
Teaching Assistant

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

PhD Title: The Morphine Addict in Fin-de-Siècle French Visual Culture
Supervisor: Dr Francesca Berry , Dr Camilla Smith and Dr Ting Chang (University of Nottingham)
PhD History of Art


  • In progress: PhD History of Art, 2016 – present, University of Birmingham (Midlands4Cities Doctoral Scholarship, 2016-2019; Haywood Fellowship, 2017-2018)
  • MA History of Art, University of Birmingham, Distinction (College of Arts and Law Masters Scholarship; Birmingham Alumni Award)
  • BA (Hons) History of Art, University of Birmingham, First


I am a Midlands4Cities-funded doctoral researcher (2016-2019), supervised by Dr Francesca Berry and Dr Camilla Smith (both University of Birmingham) and Dr Ting Chang (University of Nottingham). I received my MA and BA from the same department. My MA dissertation examined depictions of female figures in bicycle posters from fin-de-siècle France. With a continuing interest in the interdisciplinarity of art and the representations of women, my PhD thesis focuses on the (almost exclusively) female morphine addict in French visual culture, 1880-c.1916.

I was awarded the department’s Haywood Fellowship award in 2017-18, which involved teaching, organising research lunches for research staff in the department and co-ordinating school-wide research seminars. 



  • Debates and Methods seminars (1st year, History of Art seminars), 2018-2019; 2017-2018
  • Historical Concepts (1st year, History of Art seminars), 2016-2017
  • AWAS workshop leader, 2016-2017


  • Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (September 2016)
  • Introduction to Assessment and Feedback (October 2016)
  • Small Group Teaching (October 2016)
  • One-to-One Academic Tutoring (October 2016)
  • Supporting Diversity (February 2019), Cultural Differences (March 2019)


By the end of the nineteenth century, the morphine addict was a familiar visual and literary motif, created in response to the increasing social and medical problem of morphine addiction in France. My research analyses depictions of morphine use in fin-de-siècle French visual culture, examining the hypervisibility of the female body and the socio-political, artistic and medical implications of this hypervisibility. The research considers the visual culture of morphinomanie (morphine-mania) as an interdisciplinary, multi-functional device. It explores wider debates on medicine, femininity, masculinity, domesticity, class and opiate trading, reframing the significance of this widely neglected aspect of French society.

Research interests

  • Mass culture in late nineteenth-century France
  • Concepts of visual culture
  • Fin-de-siècle femininity and women’s experiences in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France
  • Consumerism and its representations in art
  • Medical history and its visual teaching aids
  • Concepts of addictions and visual depictions


Other activities

Professional memberships:

  • Association for Art History
  • Alcohol and Drugs History Society

Conference papers

  • 'Absent Presences: The Morphinomane at Home in French Visual Culture (1880-c.1916)’, Modernism in the Home conference, University of Birmingham (1-2 July 2019)
  • ‘The Significance of the Image: Morphinomanie in French Visual Culture (c.1880-1916)’, Changing Minds: Societies, States, the Sciences and Psychoactive Substances in History, the biannual Alcohol and Drugs History Society conference, University of Shanghai (13-16 June 2019)
  • ‘Medicalisation and Popularisation: The Morphinomane in French Art (1880-c.1916), annual Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, University of Virginia (14-16 March 2019)
  • ‘Medical Absent Presences: Images of Morphine Use in Fin-de-Siècle French Visual Culture’, Modern and Contemporary forum, University of Birmingham (6 March 2019)
  • Discussion of creative competition entry (How to paint a morphine addict for the French fin-de-siècle annual Salon), Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century conference, Edge Hill University (September 2018). Also appears in a follow up exhibition (Dr Jekyll’s Laboratory: Science and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century) at The Atkinson gallery, Southport (February – May 2019)
  • ‘The Body of the Fin-de-Siècle Morphine Addict’, Re/Presenting the Body: Between Art in Science, Association for Art History summer symposium, University of Glasgow (13-14 July 2017)


  • Midlands3Cities Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Studentship Award (2016-2019)
  • Haywood Fellowship, University of Birmingham (2017-2018)