Dr Hannah Halliwell

Dr Hannah Halliwell

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Teaching Fellow in Art History

Contact details

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
University of Birmingham
B15 2TS

Hannah’s specialisms are in French art and visual culture 1850-1914, with a particular interest in the representations of the female body, intersections between art and medicine, and the art market in Paris.


  • BA (Hons) Art History, University of Birmingham
  • MA Art History, University of Birmingham
  • PhD Art History, University of Birmingham


I studied my Master’s in Art History at the University of Birmingham, where I took on an additional role as Assistant Editor for the Journal of Art Historiography. I obtained my PhD in Art History from the University of Birmingham in November 2020. The PhD was funded by Midlands4Cities. Alongside my PhD, I worked as a Teaching Associate in the department and taught undergraduate seminars primarily (2016-2020). In 2016-2017 I was the Art History Academic Writing and Advisory Service (AWAS) Postgraduate Workshop Leader. In 2017-2018 I was awarded the department’s Haywood Fellowship award. I joined the department as Teaching Fellow in Art History in February 2021.


  • Object and Medium 2
  • Art History in 20 Objects
  • Debates and Methods
  • Dissertation Supervisor
  • MA Personal Tutor
  • Study Abroad Tutor


My doctoral thesis is titled ‘Art, Medicine, and Femininity: Images of Habitual Morphine Use(rs) in French Visual Culture, c.1884-1914)’. The research considers the representation of morphine addiction in French art and visual culture at the turn of the twentieth century. The thesis uncovers and analyses over fifty images of morphine use(rs), the majority of which have never before been discussed in scholarship. Ranging from Salon-approved and modernist paintings, to caricatures, lithographs and wax models, these works were created by artists living in Paris. Through an analysis of art, newspapers, medical texts, and novels, the thesis investigates the origins and implications of the repeated characteristics used by artists in this visual culture. Even though the morphinomane (morphine addict) has been neglected in existing scholarship on French history, feminism and journalism, the thesis shows that this visual culture impacted societal issues far beyond the so-called morphine epidemic.

My future research will focus on images of opium use(rs) and the impact of the colonisation of Indochina by France on this visual culture.