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Dr Toni Weller

Job: Visiting Research Fellow in History

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Address: tweller@dmu.ac.uk

T: n/a

E: tweller@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/humanities

 

Personal profile

Dr Toni Weller is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in History, formerly Senior Lecturer in History, at De Montfort University. She holds Masters degrees in both History (University of Cambridge) and Information Science (City, University of London).  

Toni’s research interests are focused around the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of information history, of which she has long been an advocate. Specifically, she is interested in how information was thought of and used in a social and cultural capacity, as a distinct move away from the traditions of thinking of information in terms of its technological or organisational tools and processes.

Most of her work focuses on the Victorians and the long nineteenth century in Britain, but it also has links to contemporary issues around the history and origins of our own information age and the history of the information state. She is also interested in the role of history in the digital age. Toni has lectured and published internationally and is recognised as one of the leading scholars in the field of information history.

She has published and lectured on a wide variety of information history aspects, from the information culture of Victorian etiquette to the history of the surveillance state. She is also highly interested in the study and practice of history in the digital age, acting as a consultant on the City University of New York based project, Beyond Citation, and her book, History in the Digital Age, has become a key set text across many digital history courses in North America. Dr Weller is a former editor of the international journal, Library & Information History, a former Chair of the UK Library & Information History Group, and sits on numerous editorial boards. Her publications include Information History: An Introduction (2008), The Victorians and Information (2009), Information History in the Modern World (2010) and History in the Digital Age (2012).

Dr Weller is currently working on three different information history projects, respectively relating to surveillance, power, and women during the nineteenth century.

Publications and outputs 

Click here to view a full listing of Toni Weller's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Toni Weller (in press, 2021), 'The Racialisation of British Women During the Long Nineteenth Century: How White Women's Bodies Became Tools of Control and Surveillance' in Jeffrey Vagle et al (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Race and Surveillance (Cambridge University Press)

Toni Weller (in press, 2021), 'The Historical Ubiquity of Surveillance' in Laura Skouvig et al (Eds.), The Eyes and Ears of Power: Surveillance, History and Privacy (Routledge)

Toni Weller (2020), 'The Potency of the Human Element: Information and Power in History' in Ida Nijenhuis et al (Eds.), Information and Power in History: Towards a Global Approach (Routledge), pp. 1-17

Toni Weller (Ed.) (2012), History in the Digital Age (Routledge)

Toni Weller (2012), ‘The Information State: A Historical Perspective on Surveillance’, in Kirstie Ball et al (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies (Routledge), pp. 57-63

Toni Weller (Ed.) (2010), Information History in the Modern World: Histories of the Information Age (Palgrave Macmillan)

 

Research interests/expertise

  • Information history theory and historiography
  • Long nineteenth century in Britain
  • Social and cultural histories of information
  • Women and information culture
  • History of the Information Age
  • History of the Surveillance State
  • History in the Digital Age

Areas of teaching

In Dr Weller’s previous position as a Senior Lecturer in History at De Montfort (2008-2011), she was module leader for HIST 1014 Britain in Transition and HIST 2002 Britain Since 1939. Dr Weller also taught on HIST 1009 The Making of the Modern World and HIST 1002 Presenting and Representing the Past, as well as supervising dissertations and acting as an external PhD examiner. 

At previous institutions Dr Weller has also taught on research methods and historiography, the history and origins of the information society, an introduction to information history, and the history of information management, as well as classes on Victorian information culture. 

Qualifications

  • PhD Information History (City, University of London)
  • MA History (Newnham College, University of Cambridge)
  • MSc Information Science (City, University of London)
  • Introductory Certificate to Teaching in Higher Education

Courses taught

In her capacity as a Visiting Research Fellow, Toni is not currently teaching on any courses.

Honours and awards

Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2010. Awarded in recognition of the quality and impact of Toni’s teaching, voted for by the students themselves.

Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award Winner (Highly Commended), 2008. Annually awarded in recognition of exceptional doctoral research.

Membership of external committees

In 2007 Toni was elected Chair of the national Library and Information History Group (LIHG), the first woman to hold the office since the Group was established in 1962. After stepping down as Chair, she remained on the committee until 2012.  

 

Membership of professional associations and societies

 

Projects

Dr Weller is currently working on three different information history projects, respectively relating to surveillance, women, and power during the nineteenth century.

Forthcoming events

 

Conference attendance

INVITED LECTURES, CONFERENCE PAPERS & CONVENED CONFERENCES/PANELS

April 2019      Distinguished Speaker Series, IT University of Copenhagen - 'The Racialisation of British Women During the Long Nineteenth Century'

April 2019       Surveillance, Information Ethics and Privacy Research Group, University of Copenhagen  - 'Cambridge Women as Objects of Information, 1890-1914'

March 2019       Cultural Exchange Festival, De Montfort University, Leicester. Chairing an international panel discussing Cold War Spy Stories in Eastern Europe, with Professors Alison Lewis, Valentina Glajar, Carol Anne Costible-Heming and Corina Petrescu

Sept 2018         Keynote - Conference The Eyes and Ears of Power: Surveillance, History and Privacy, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen. Watch here https://youtu.be/E1RnSDr542U

Nov 2017          Keynote - Reflections on Information History, a keynote talk given at the Library & Information History Group Annual Conference by myself and other former editors, to celebrate 50 years of the journal Library & Information History

March 2017       Keynote - The Potency of the Human Element: Information and Power in History, keynote lecture delivered to Huygens ING, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy for the Arts and Sciences, Free University of Amsterdam

May 2016          Invited address - Cambridge Women as Objects of Information, 1870-1920, lecture delivered to the annual conference of the Library & Information History Group, London

March 2011       Sex, Culture and Politics: The Art of English Satire from Georgian Debauchery to Victorian Morality, De Montfort University Cultural Exchange Week, Leicester

March 2010       The Origins of the Information Age: Surveillance, Knowledge and Power in Victorian Britain, De Montfort University Cultural Exchange Week, Leicester

Aug 2009          Exploring Information History: The Past Through the Eyes of the Information Age, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA

June 2009         History in the Information Age: A Mutable Past and Present? 29th Irish Conference of Historians; University of Limerick, Ireland. Invited paper for a JISC sponsored panel

April 2009         The Dichotomy of Representation: The Private and Public Self in the Nineteenth Century Knowledge Culture – convened strand for the Social History Society annual conference (panel with Edward Higgs, University of Essex and Helen Yallop, King’s College, London), University of Warwick

March 2009       Organiser and Chair of the Library and Information History Annual Conference, CILIP, London

March 2009       Plenary panel (with James Raven, University of Essex and Alistair Black, University of Illinois), of the international annual conference of the Library & Information History Group, London, discussing Future Directions for Information History

Nov 2008          Introducing Information History: Concepts, Questions and Research, Loughborough University

Oct 2008           Information History: Exploring an Emergent Field, De Montfort University, Leicester

June 2008         Polite Information: Victorian Etiquette Books as Alternative Tools of Learning. Teaching and Text. Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing Annual Conference, Oxford Brookes University

June 2008         Searching for Culture: Etiquette, Self-Education and the Aspirant Classes – convened strand for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing & the Library and Information History Group (panel with Peter Hoare, University of Nottingham and Lauren Christos, Florida International University, Miami), Oxford Brookes University

June 2008         Applying Information History: The Relevance of Information History to Contemporary Information Policy and Planning, City, University of London

March 2008       Information History: The Historical Culture of Information. Social History Society Annual Conference, Erasmus University, Rotterdam

June 2007         Invited paper - Preserving Knowledge through Popular Victorian Periodicals: An Examination of the Penny Magazine and the Illustrated London News, 1842-1843. Making Connections Between Library, Book, Reading and Information History. Leeds Metropolitan University

April 2007         The Role of Behavioural Etiquette as a Social Regulator During the Nineteenth Century. Social History Society Annual Conference, University of Exeter

Feb 2007          Invited paper - Information History: Its Importance, Relevance, and Future, University of Lund, Sweden

Sept 2006         New Perceptions of the Victorian Information, City, University of London

Sept 2005         A New Approach: The Arrival of Informational History. Humanities, Computers and Cultural Heritage: 16th annual international conference, Association of History and Computing, Amsterdam

July 2005          Information History: A New Approach, City, University of London

June 2005         The Relevance of History and Historical Study within Information Policy, Information Policy Research Group, City, University of London  

Recent research outputs


 

Key research outputs

 

 

Consultancy work

Dr Weller was involved as a consultant on Victorian etiquette for Channel 4's Britain's Most Historic Town, broadcast May 2018

Dr Weller was a humanities editor and consultant for the City University of New York based project, Beyond Citation, which applies critical thinking to digital humanities research. http://www.beyondcitation.org/

Professional esteem indicators

Editor-in-chief, Library & Information History, 2009-2012

Editorial Board Member, Library & Information History, 2012-present

Editorial Board Member, Information & Culture: A Journal of History, 2012-present

Associate Editor for a special information history issue of the American Journal of Information Technology, 2012

Keynote conference lectures

Regular peer reviewer for journals and publishers

External PhD examiner

Dr Weller's 2010 article ‘An Information History Decade: A Review of the Literature and Concepts, 2000–2009’, Library & Information History, 26 (1), 83-97, was translated into Hungarian (‘Egy információtörténeti évtized: a szakirodalom és az elméletek áttekintése, 2000-2009’), for publication in the prestigious Hungarian history quarterly, AETAS, 27 (4) (2012), 214-235 for a special issue on information history. The article was preceded by a nine page interview with Toni on the field of information history (‘The Beauty of Information History’ or ‘Az információtörténelem gyönyörűsége’)

Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, De Montfort University. Voted for by the students themselves in recognition of teaching excellence, 2010

Article on Dr Weller's work in BBC History Magazine - Chris Bowlby (2010), ‘The Victorians Were Every Bit as Inquisitive As Us', BBC History Magazine, November, 11 (11), 51

http://www.bbchistorymagazine.com/feature/victorians-were-every-bit-inquisitive-us 

Highly Commended Award, Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards, 2008

Reviewer of the Year, Journal of Research Practice, 2007

Case studies

Filmed for Channel 4 Television’s flagship history series, Britain’s Most Victorian Town. Broadcast date 12th May 2018.

Article on Dr Weller’s work in BBC History Magazine: Chris Bowlby (2010), ‘The Victorians Were Every Bit as Inquisitive as As', BBC History Magazine, November, 11 (11), p. 51, http://www.bbchistorymagazine.com/feature/victorians-were-every-bit-inquisitive-us

Dr Weller's 2010 article ‘An Information History Decade: A Review of the Literature and Concepts, 2000–2009’, Library & Information History, 26 (1), pp. 83-97, has been translated into Hungarian (‘Egy információtörténeti évtized: a szakirodalom és az elméletek áttekintése, 2000-2009’), for publication in the prestigious Hungarian history quarterly, AETAS, in press for 2012/2012. The article is preceded by a nine page interview with Toni on the field of information history (‘The Beauty of Information History’ or ‘Az információtörténelem gyönyörűsége’).

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