School of Humanities



Elizabeth Gralton

Start date

Jan 2008

Submission date

May 2013

Elizabeth Gralton


Deflating the Expo: Critics of modernity at the Parisian Expositions universelles, 1855-1900


The five Expositions universelles held in Paris between 1855 and 1900 were apotheoses of modernity. They celebrated technological advancement, human progress, mass culture and materialism. My thesis seeks to explore reactions to these events from conservative, anti-modern critics, those who saw these manifestations of modernity as destroying the social and cultural fabric of France.

Why my research is important

The Expositions universelles have received much attention as historical events in their own right in histories of mass culture, spectacle, industrialisation and empire building. My research instead focuses on perceptions of these important events as a new way of accessing the significant cultural clashes taking place in France in the second half of the nineteenth century.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award