AHRC Care for the Future, Early Career Awards
IIICH Lecturer, Dr Anna Woodham, is involved in a series of AHRC project events over the coming months:
Who Cares? Interventions in ‘unloved’ museum collections
‘Who cares? Interventions in ‘unloved’ Museum collections explores the role of enthusiasm, creativity and affection in the stewardship of ‘unloved’ or under-appreciated museum collections. The project asks how care for objects has varied over time, and in relation to different time periods. It also considers what this experience means for how we care for collections in the future. Most significantly, from the professional curator to the serious hobbyist, to the nation as a whole, we consider who cares about collections and why. The project is based around three case studies each with a focus on a particular collection or group of objects, The Science Museum Group (Historic lock collection), The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (National Slag Collection) and the Museum of English Rural Life (Hand Tool collection), where the following questions will be asked: How do we conceptualise care in relation to museum collections and what are the emotional aspects associated with stewardship of and enthusiasm, past and present? How can inter-generational, inter-disciplinary and cross professional domain dialogue enhance or engender engagement with ‘unloved‘ collections?
Main partners: University of Reading (Dr Rhi Smith (PI)) Science Museum (Dr Alison Hess) Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham (Dr Anna Woodham).
The Family Archive: Exploring Family Identities, Memories and Stories Through Curated Personal Possessions
The Project explores the concept of the family archive through time. The archive allows the family to establish a sense of its history, but also to make provision for its future. The identity of the family is established through its archival practices. Such curatorship is not only documentary by extends to art and artefacts, with different cultural traditions emphasising different types of objects as significant for memory. The project will explore the past, present and future of the notion of the family archive, and consider what families need to curate their own archives. By examining archival and curatorial practices that take place outside formal cultural and heritage organisations, both historically and currently, this research will have important implications for historians and academics concerned with archives and heritage, as well as for archival and curatorial practice itself. The projects research questions include: What messages about family identity do these archives convey? What expectations do they pass on to subsequent generations? How do families integrate their histories with wider historical narratives and group identity?
Main partners: University of Cardiff (Dr Vicky Crewe (PI)), University of Leeds (Dr Laura King), Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham (Dr Anna Woodham), Royal Holloway, University of London (Dr Elizabeth Gloyn) and The National Archives.
Follow our blog at: http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/familyarchive/
Troubled waters, stormy futures: heritage in times of accelerated climate change
The project places ‘heritage’ at the centre of a giant contemporary and global challenge: ‘climate adaptation’, considering how and whether we can think forward through the past and in what ways accelerated climate change fundamentally disrupts this thinking, destabilising traditional heritage principles of conservation and ‘in perpetuity’. The research will take place in three main case study sites all impacted by accelerated climate change, Porthdinllaen (North Wales), Durgan Village (Cornwall) and South Tarawa (Kiribati). Working with the project partners the National Trust, qualitative research methods will be used to consider the concrete and abstract effects of accelerated climate change on communities, how communities’ response to the prospect of climate-change induced disruption and in what was the heritage organisations, local and national are discreetly or overtly changing their policies and stances of climate-vulnerable sites. The project will also engage with artistic responses to the theme, including the production or an observational documentary in Kiribati and a poetic response by Australian poet Mark Trediunnick.
Main partners: University of Aberystwyth (Sara Penrhyn Jones (PI)), Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham (Dr Anna Woodham), University of Exeter (Dr Bryony Onciul), Monash University, Australia (Professor Kate Rigby) and the National Trust (UK)
AHRC funded project ‘Research in Translation’ (September 2014 – July 2015)
Research in Translation is an exciting training programme designed to offer knowledge and first-hand experience to Early Career Researchers (ECRs) on how to communicate their research to the public. Working closely with museum practitioners, design professionals and museologists, participants will learn the skills and techniques to develop an effective museum exhibition or display to present their research to a wide range of audiences.
The specialist, disciplinary specific nature of research means that academics can often find it hard to present their work to non-specialist audiences in a meaningful way. As the benefits of knowledge transfer become more apparent, being able to get across your research to the public (and to potential funders!) in effective, engaging and creative ways is a very important and valuable ability.