Title of thesis: To what extent has the narrative of heritage in England become more ethnically diverse since in 1997 and what is the impact of this on national identity?
Supervisor: Dr John Carman
BA(hons) History 2:1
I received my undergraduate degree from Oxford Brookes University in 2005 and his Masters in 2009 from the University of Warwick. Prior to undertaking my PhD I spent two years managing a Heritage Lottery funded community research project in Birmingham to uncover the hidden histories of early Black and Asian lives in the West Midlands dating back to the sixteenth century.
Following the election of the New Labour government in 1997, heritage became part of a wider programme to tackle social exclusion. This research is particularly interested in how, since this time, the national story has been diversified as a result of efforts to be more inclusive of diversity, in particular ethnic diversity, and the impact of this on national identity. Of special interest is funding directed at numerous presentations to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain in 2007, which provided significant resources to telling the stories of people of African descent and their ties to England dating back centuries. This reflects wider efforts in the heritage sector to move away from a heritage narrative of a ‘white past, multicultural present’. This research asks how successful this has been in diversifying heritage audiences and the wider legacy of such work in England’s heritage sector.
2013-2014 research activities include:
June 2013: research paper given at ‘Unofficial Histories’ conference at Manchester Metropolitan University
September 2013: research paper given at ‘Formations of British National Identity’ conference at the University of Warwick
Part of the advisory group for AHRC funded project at the University of Nottingham entitled ‘Reconnecting Diverse Rural Communities’. Details can be found at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/isos/research/rural-legacies.aspx
Peer reviewed published works:
‘The Black Presence in the West Midlands, 1650-1918, in Midland History, Vol. 36, 2, (Autumn, 2011), pp. 180-194
Non- peer reviewed
A Day in the Life: A Black Heritage Trail of the West Midlands, (SCAWDI, 2011)
(ed.), History Detectives: Black people in the West Midlands: 1650-1918, (SCAWDI, 2010)