About Domus

DOMUS, the Latin term for home, aims to develop a new historiography around educational ideas, actors, practices and outcomes. We are committed to interdisciplinary collaboration and to the shared production and application of historical knowledge in the fields of international education and development; peace and humanitarianism; heritage education; educational progressivism. 

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DOMUS emerged as a centre for research in 2000 out of a shared interest in the heterogeneity, coherence and direction of the field of historical inquiry in education; the radical shifts in the structures, discourses and sites of education in the late 20thC /early 21st C; and the projection into new spaces and purposes of learning (cross national governance, virtual learning, commercial education services, lifelong learning). These shared interests were complemented by a desire to seek collaboration with other disciplines or specialist areas of study.  Members published, presented and made national and international project applications both as independent scholars and in collaborative partnerships. The research centre established links with leading academics in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, and Central and Latin America. In 2005 the activities of DOMUS were reviewed and the social, political and cultural history of childhood was added to its focus on the histories of education and schooling. The desire for collaboration and the commitment to interdisciplinary enquiries that challenge and explore boundaries of knowledge and ways of seeing remained central to the activities of DOMUS.  Over time, the membership of DOMUS changed as colleagues moved institutions or retired and consequently the profile changed from being a research centre to a small research group with activities largely centred on collaborative writing, support for early career researchers and an annual seminar programme.

Core members  

Professor Jane Martin (Director of DOMUS)

Jane Martin is Professor of Social History of Education at the University of Birmingham, England. She teaches and researches on gender, politics and policy-making in education, and research methods, with a focus on biographical approaches to the practice of history. She is currently editor of Educational Review and a member of FORUM’s editorial board, as well as History of Education. Her first book, Women and the Politics of Schooling in Victorian and Edwardian England, won the History of Education Society book prize as an outstanding contribution to the field. Her most recent book is Making Socialists: Mary Bridges Adams and the Fight for Knowledge and Power, 1855-1939 and she is currently completing a manuscript for Gender and History a Palgrave book series. Future publications include a biography of the educationalist Caroline Benn (1926-2000). 

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Dr Kevin Myers (Deputy Director of DOMUS)

Kevin Myers is a social and educational historian, working on migration, education and social change. He is the author of Struggles for a Past:  Irish and Afro-Caribbean Histories in England, 1951 – 2000 and a special issue of the journal Paedagogica Historica on migration, mobility and education. Current research projects include work on citizen histories of the First World War and on memory practices in decolonising India. 

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kevin myers

Dr Helen Carr

After 9 years working as a secondary history teacher, Helen completed a PhD on the history of education in England in 2018 at Birkbeck College. University of London. Her research and teaching interests include the history of racial and religious diversity in Britain, multiculturalism, the history of state-funded religious schooling and the teaching of sensitive, contested and controversial histories.

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Dr Laura Day-Ashley

Laura has published, edited and reviewed articles and books on private sector and non-state actors in education, particularly in developing countries. She has also historically investigated Indian influences on progressive education in Britain in the early 20th century. 

Other work has focused on alternative and informal / non-formal practices in education; a particular interest has been how such practices might enable marginal and mainstream communities to come together in educational settings. 

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Professor Ian Grosvenor

Ian Grosvenor is Emeritus professor of Urban Educational History at the University of Birmingham, England. He has worked extensively with AHRC having served on the Connected Communities Advisory Group, the Care for the Future Steering Group and the Common Cause Working Group. He is currently Director of the AHRC funded Voices of War and Peace Legacy of the First World War Engagement Centre and Chair of Birmingham Museums Trust.

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Dr Siân Roberts

Siân Roberts worked as a practitioner in the heritage sector before moving into HE. She is a social and educational historian with research interests in refugee histories, creative and therapeutic educational interventions with children in contexts of war and displacement, and the educational humanitarianism of British Quaker women in the twentieth century.

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Dr Sian Roberts

Ruth Watts

Ruth Watts is Emeritus Professor of History of Education at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests are in the history of education and gender and she has published much on these, her first book being Gender, Power and the Unitarians in England, 1760-1860 (Longman, 1997) and her latest being Women in Science: A Social and Cultural History (Routledge, 2007). 

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Associate Members

  • Helen Fisher, University of Birmingham
  • Lee Hale, University of Birmingham
  • Nicola Kalinsky, University of Birmingham
  • Stephen Parker, University of Worcester
  • Martin Lawn, University of Edinburgh
  • Corina Rayner, Birmingham City Archivist
  • Arathi Sriprakash, University of Cambridge
  • David Thompson, University of Wolverhampton
  • Toby Watley, Birmingham Museums Trust

Corresponding International Members

  • Professor Tim Allender, University of Sydney
  • Professor Eulalia Colledemont, University of Vic 
  • Professor Inés Dussel, CINVESTAV, Mexico
  • Professor Julie McLeod, School of Education, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Iveta Kestere, University of Latvia
  • Professor Karin Priem, University of Luxembourg
  • Dr Helen Proctor, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Lisa Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen
  • Professor Kate Rousmaniere, University of Miami, Oxford, Ohio
  • Professor Angelo Van Gorp,  University of Landau
  • Professor Christian Ydesen, University of Aarhus