Department of History
PhD title: Reasons to Remember: Commemorating the Great and the Good in Late Victorian Birmingham
Supervisor: Dr Malcolm Dick
I have been a primary school teacher for 15 years and, despite graduating in Mathematics, quickly found refuge in the teaching of history. After 12 years of trying to squeeze the subject into most of my other lessons, I decided to do it properly and recently completed an MA in West Midlands History. The course was an extremely stimulating and rewarding endeavour and has engendered in me a strong desire to pursue my studies further, due in no small part to the excellent support and enthusiasm of the course leader, Dr Malcolm Dick and Stephen Roberts. I am now working on my PhD.
My PhD research will reflect on the former of these through the portrayal of the latter: by the beginning of the twentieth century, Birmingham was a veritable treasure trove of commemoration with a wealth of statues, monuments, architecture, streets-names and other memorials all intended to pay tribute to ‘the great and the good’ of Birmingham. My work will seek to identify the possibly less-than-altruistic motives behind these often grand gestures and consider what they reveal about the society, economy, culture and politics of nineteenth-century Birmingham.
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