CMNH's Project areas, often developed over a number of years, are designed to encompass, and encourage synergy between, our core activities: the organisation of events, the production of publications and other public outcomes of research, the building of scholarly and social partnerships, the development of research capacity and of individual researchers including postgraduate students, and research funding applications.
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Since 2008 Dr Noakes has published widely in edited books and academic journals, including the Journal of War and Culture Studies and the Journal of Contemporary History, on themes including website history-making on WW2, women at war, gender and citizenship during total war, and the wartime culture of bereavement and grieving. She has given over two dozen public lectures and other talks to organisations including the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the Royal United Services Institute in London, and the British Embassy in Finland, as well as universities in Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and Italy. In 2014 Dr Noakes, in collaboration with historians of World War Two from the University of Sussex, secured one of six annual nominations to organise a British Academy Conference, hosted at the BA, London, on the topic ‘War: An Emotional History’, out of which an edited collection is planned. Besides presenting a paper at this conference, her public presentations in 2014 have addressed a wide variety of audiences, notably a paper on remembrance in the 1930s delivered at the Royal United Services Institute symposium on the First World War, attended by politicians, civil servants and senior military personnel, in November; and various contributions to the BBC's 'The War at Home' programmes, including a televised interview about Zeppelins and air raids in First World War Britain (July 2014 and repeated subsequently).
Other Centre researchers have also contributed to this project area. In 2009 Professor Graham Dawson, as well as Dr Noakes, spoke at the ‘War, Gender and Myths of Military Conquest’ conference, co-organised by CMNH with the German Research Council (the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and the Universities of Salford and Reading, and held at the Carl Von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg. This international and interdisciplinary conference developed collaborative and comparative exchange between researchers in Germany and Britain investigating memories of aerial and sea warfare in the twentieth century, and exploring the different theoretical traditions in memory studies, in the two countries. A forthcoming edited collection includes Prof. Dawson’s essay on the popular memory of World War Two in Britain. Former member of CMNH’s Steering Group, Dr Rebecca Bramall – who now works at London College of Communication, University of the Arts – explored the significance of cultural memories of the Second World War for the politics of austerity in Britain since the financial crash, in her monograph The Cultural Politics of Austerity: Past and Present in Austerity Times (2013) and an essay in Noakes and Pattinson. These publications developed ideas first explored spoken in Dr Bramall’s presentation in the CMNH seminar series 2008-09 and in the Annual Symposium 2012, ‘History, Memory and Green Imaginaries’, which she organised. In April-May 2014, CMNH sponsored an exhibition, ‘Healing War Through Art’, at the University Gallery in Grand Parade. Co-organised by Visiting Researchers Pawel Leszkowicz and Tomasz Kitlinski, and Dr Gillian Scott from the School of Humanities, the exhibition examined the role of art and craft training in the rehabilitation of limbless soldiers from the Brighton Pavilion Hospital from 1916–19, and was accompanied by a seminar exploring its curation and resonance with contemporary debates about war, disability and military rehabilitation. In 2015 Dr Eugene Michail joined CMNH’s researcher membership, introducing new expertise in the history and memory of the World Wars in the Balkans, in the context of more recent war and conflict.
Five doctoral students, located and supervised within the Centre, are working on cultural memory of the two World Wars. Lauren Auger’s thesis explores Memory and the negotiation of gendered and national identities in life stories of British war bride veterans of the Second World War in Canada. Lisa Hardie, recipient of a fully funded University of Brighton Doctoral Studentship on ‘Negotiating post-conflict spaces’, is researching ‘Memorial Landscapes: The Case of New Zealand Visitors to Gallipoli’ . Ian Cantoni’s research on ‘Camp de Rivesaltes: A Topography of French Cultural Memory’ – supported by a fully funded studentship awarded by the AHRC/TECHNE consortium – focuses on the site of a Second World War concentration camp and its subsequent uses, as a prism for investigating a wider history of conflict in France. In April 2016, as a result of CMNH’s successful application to co-supervise a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentship advertised by the Imperial War Museum, London, Kasia Tomasiewicz began her PhD on ‘The IWM and Public Memory of the Second World War’. Frances Casey has a fully funded AHRC/TECHNE studentship to research ‘Gendered Identities and the Role of Needlecrafts in Britain on the Home Front during and after the First World War, 1914-1925’.
In addition to our success in competitive applications to win external funding support for doctoral students and conferences, CMNH has secured a number of other grants for research and/or partnership development concerned with the history and cultural memory of the two World Wars. In 2010 Prof. Dawson was awarded a small grant under the 'On Our Doorsteps' scheme run by Brighton’s Community University Partnership Project (CUPP), to develop an innovative skills and knowledge exchange with the Brighton and Hove Black History (BHBH) community group. Titled ‘Black History and Cultural Memory: The India Gateway Commemoration Project’, this brought academic staff from the School of Humanities together with BHBH co-ordinators and community volunteers, to develop dialogue and activities in support of BHBH’s planned commemoration in October 2010 of the 69th anniversary of Brighton’s India Gateway – itself a memorial site closely associated with Brighton Pavilion’s use as a hospital for soldiers from India injured on the Western Front during the First World War.
In 2013 Dr Noakes co-ordinated CMNH’s participation in a South-East regional consortium which secured three years funding under the auspices of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Connected Communities theme and the joint Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)/Heritage Lottery Fund (HTF) programme to establish Co-ordinating Centres for Community Research and Engagement to Commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. Also involving the Universities of Kent, Sussex, Portsmouth, Southampton and Greenwich as well as community groups and museums including French partners, the ‘Gateways to the First World War’ public engagement centre began its work in January 2014, with Dr Noakes as a Co-Investigator. Her activities have included participation in Public Information days on the First World War held at Brighton Museum (September 2014) and the National Maritime Museum, London (September 2014); and a public lecture at Woolwich Arsenal on Women and the First World War, organised by HTF in October 2014. A key aspect of the Gateways project is working with groups applying for, and awarded, funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund for projects concerning the First World War. CMNH’s involvement in the Gateways project has been further enhanced by our administrator and Community History coordinator, Dr Sam Carroll’s, work as Community Heritage Researcher for the Engagement Centre in Kent. In a connected development, Prof. Dawson has participated in a workshop and given a public lecture organised by Leicester CND as part of its HTF-funded ‘Memories in Conflict’ project which focuses on local history and popular memory of resistance to the First World War in Leicester. In February 2016, in collaboration with the ‘Gateways to the First World War’, Professor Albert Grundlingh (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) gave a special seminar on ‘Mutating Memories and the Making of a Wartime Myth in South Africa: Remembering the SS Mendi Disaster 1917- 2007’. In August 2016 the Engagement Centre was awarded a further £500,000 by the AHRC to continue its work until December 2019 and CMNH will continue to work with the Engagement Centre on a variety of local, regional, national and international projects throughout this period.
Also in 2014, Dr Noakes, together with her long-standing collaborative partner Professor Susan R. Grayzel of the University of Mississippi, USA, won an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Collaborative Research Fellowship for a two-year project on 'Gender, Citizenship and the Non-Combatant at War in a Democratic State', beginning in September 2014. Whilst in the USA, Dr Noakes delivered by invitation a prestigious public lecture on 'Burying the People of the People's War: Death, the State and Intimacy in Second World War Britain', to the 'War and Intimacy' Lecture Series organised by the George L. Mosse program and Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison USA, October 2014.
Increasingly, CMNH’s research activity brings work on the History and Memory of Twentieth-Century World Wars into relation with research into other, historically prior and more recent wars and forms of violent political conflict, and their ‘postwar’, ‘post-conflict’ aftermaths. At the War: An Emotional History conference, these included European wars of religion in the 16th and 17th centuries, the American Civil War, the Falklands-Malvinas War, and the war in and over Northern Ireland. At CMNH’s Annual Symposium 2013, on ‘New Approaches to the History and Memory of War and Conflict’, this comparative and trans-historical approach was made explicit in panels with thematic links across World Wars One and Two; the ‘Mau Mau’ War in Kenya; Northern Ireland; the war of the 1990s in Bosnia Herzegovina; and the 21st centuries wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as associated forms of ‘terrorism’.
In October 2015 a special symposium to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, titled The Armenian Tragedy: A Commemorative Symposium, was hosted by CMNH and organised by a network of Armenian scholars and activists from the diaspora, and members of the local Turkish community. Such links and wider approaches are also promoted by the University’s Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence research cluster, established in 2013 and collaboratively co-led by CMNH and the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics.
In November 2015 CMNH, together with the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and the AHRC Gateways to the First World War Engagement Centre, organised a conference reflecting upon and celebrating the presence of soldiers from India in Brighton during the First World War. Voices of India: the First World War bought together scholars, researchers and public figures from India and Brighton to discuss the presence of Indian troops in the town, where they were sent to recuperate from their injuries on the Western Front, and the wider history of India and the First World War. Launched with an evening public lecture by Glyn Prysor, Chief Historian at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, conference participants included Rhana Chhina, from the Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research, USI of India, Dr Santanu Das, King’s College London, and Anita Armand, BBC journalist and author. The conference was followed by a reception in the Royal Pavilion.
Led by Professor Graham Dawson, this project area investigates the complexities, contradictions and contestations entailed in efforts towards ‘dealing with the past’ and transforming the legacies of violent political conflict, in the context of the peace process to resolve the conflict in and over Northern Ireland. Building on his acclaimed monograph, Making Peace with the Past? Memory, Trauma and the Irish Troubles (2007), since 2008 Professor Dawson has published several articles in edited books and academic journals exploring questions of memory in relation to the ‘legacy issues’ of truth, justice and reconciliation, to experiences and representations of ‘victims/survivors’ and ‘ex-combatants’, and to the politics of space and place, in so-called ‘post-conflict’ culture in the North of Ireland since the restoration of devolved government. Over that time he has also given over thirty lectures and public talks at universities and other public institutions in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa.
Four doctoral students located and supervised within CMNH are currently working on histories, memories, legacies and representations of the Northern Ireland conflict. Garikoitz Gomez Alfaro is holder of the ‘Landscapes of Affect’ University of Brighton fully-funded studentship for his project, ‘Mapping Postconflict Memory: Affective landscapes, imagined geographies and the politics of of time in Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland) and Portbou (Spain)’. Ken Clarry’s practice-based PhD on 'The Spectre of Violence in Contemporary Political Art Practices’ includes work on Ireland. Fearghus Roulston, holder of an AHRC/TECHNE fully-funded consortium studentship, is researching the history and memory of punk in Belfast in relation to sectarianized space and identities, and questions of resistance and transgression within the city. Lucy Newby also holds a fully-funded AHRC/TECHNE studentship for her oral history project, ‘Reflecting upon youth experience during the Troubles: the trans-generational transmission of memory in post-conflict Belfast’.
CMNH has benefited from Professor Dawson’s strong links with scholars and practitioners in HEIs and other organisations in the North of Ireland. These include Ulster University (where he has acted as External Examiner for PhDs on 'Audiovisual Storytelling in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland' and ‘The Role of Community Oral History Archives in Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland’), Queen’s University Belfast, INCORE in Derry/ Londonderry, the Dúchas Oral History Archive at the Falls Community Council in West Belfast, the victims’ support group West Tyrone Voice, the NGO Healing Through Remembering, the Prisons Memory Archive currently based at Queens, and the Belfast-based community theatre company, Kabosh. CMNH has hosted a number of speakers from Ireland at its events: Professor Brandon Hamber (INCORE) was keynote speaker at our conference on ‘The Irish Troubles in Britain’; the film-makers Professor Cahal McLaughlin and Dr Jolene Mairs spoke in the seminar series 2011–12 and ‘Public Lives, Private Lives’ postgraduate research conference in 2010 respectively; Claire Hackett (Falls Community Council) gave a paper in the seminar series 2013–14; Dr Emilie Pine (University College Dublin), co-ordinator of the Irish memory Studies network, spoke at the ‘New Approaches in the History and Memory of War and Conflict’ conference in 2013; and Dr Gary McGladdery (Queen’s University Belfast) and Paula McFetridge (Kabosh Theatre Company, Belfast) spoke at the symposium on The Brighton ‘Grand Hotel’ Bombing: History, Memory and Political Theatre in 2014. In 2016-17 Prof. Dawson will be collaborating with the Dúchas Archive on the Lanark Way Community History project, supported by Belfast City Council and the University of Brighton.
CMNH has also pioneered research on the Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain. This has developed principally through a long-term collaboration with partners at the University of Leicester and the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace at the Warrington Peace Centre. By initiating sustained research into the involvement of the British State and British people in the violent political conflict over Northern Ireland and the peace process to resolve that conflict, this collaboration addresses a neglected and marginalised topic both in the history of Britain since 1945 and in contemporary public debate in Britain. Launched with a grant from the University of Brighton’s Research Network Fund in 2011, the partnership organised a national conference (with international participation) on 'The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain: Impacts, Engagements, Legacies and Memories’, hosted by CMNH in 2012. This brought together academic scholars working within and across a range of disciplines – including literature, cultural studies, history, politics, sociology, social policy, Irish studies, film and media studies, performance studies, human geography – and also former political activists, peace-builders, artists and writers, community historians, members of the Irish-in-Britain community, former members of the police and armed services, and family-members of former servicemen. A book of the same title emerging out of this conference, and co-edited by Prof. Dawson with Stephen Hopkins and Jo Dover, is due for publication by Manchester University Press in November 2016. Editorial work on the collection involves close work with both academic and non-academic contributors to develop and produce their writing to a consistent publishable standard without sacrificing the particularity of the various voices and forms of writing represented in the collection.
This conference also led to the creation of a network with plans to coordinate further research and commemorative activities, and to establish an archive of the Northern Ireland conflict in Britain. Network members participated, as speakers and delegates, in a two-part symposium and dramatic performance co-organised and hosted by CMNH and the Brighton-based theatre company, Wildspark, under the auspices of the Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence research cluster, entitled The Brighton ‘Grand Hotel’ Bombing: History, Memory and Political Theatre. Organised to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the bombing, in October 2014, the symposium explored histories and memories of the Provisional IRA’s bombing campaign in England and the counter-insurgency measures adopted by British State; and the role of political theatre in relation to this, and other, political conflict. Scholars at the University of Brighton participated in debate with other academics, theatre practitioners, peace-builders and political and community activists from Brighton, Britain and Ireland.
The centre-piece of the event – the rehearsed reading of a play, The Bombing of the Grand Hotel, currently being developed by Wildspark’s playwrights – attracted wide media coverage from TV, radio and both online news and the printed press locally, as well as nationally in Britain and Ireland. Prof. Dawson was interviewed about the significance of the bombing and its anniversary commemoration for local radio station Heart Sussex and for ITV Meridian News. The Dublin-based political newspaper, An Phoblacht/Republican News, carried a detailed report on the symposium, and the event was also covered in the Irish Post, newspaper of the Irish in Britain. Proceedings of the symposium are to be published in the Centre’s Working Papers in Memory, Narrative and Histories series; the play had eighteen performances at the Cockpit Theatre, London, in April 2015 and was also staged three times at The Warren in the Brighton Festival Fringe in May 2015.
Co-ordinated by Dr Sam Carroll, CMNH works with a wide range of local and community history organisations and projects to aid in their search for funding and to provide academic support, guidance and collaborative participation in the design and conduct of their research activities. Recently conversations and activities directed towards actual or potential funding bids have taken place with, among others, Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust; Brighton Women's Centre; Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Lewes History Society; rYico, the Rwandan Youth Information Community Organisation; QueenSpark Books; Sussex Traditions; Nutkut Performance Company; Fabrica; and Strike a Light Arts and Heritage Organisation.
Successful partnerships that have secured grant funding include those with ART:synch on the ‘Crossing the Teas’ project, bringing together community groups in Brighton and Hove from diverse cultural backgrounds to share tea-drinking practices, histories and stories, which secured a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £50k in 2014–15; and, more ambitiously, and also supported by a HTF award, ‘Our Dancing Feet’, a collaborative research project with the local community-theatre specialists Sara Clifford (inroads productions) and Veronica Stephens (Zap Arts), leading to performance on the social history of dance halls and fashion in the 1950s. In the first phase, focused on the Regent Dance Hall in Brighton, Dr Carroll trained a group of volunteers in oral history interviewing, transcription and analysis skills. The performance aspect included a projection of collected oral histories, dance and photographs on the side of Boots (where the dancehall once stood) and some interactive theatre based at Oceana's nightclub over a weekend in November 2013. CMNH also organised and hosted a well attended seminar in November with presentations by historians Professor Claire Langhamer (University of Sussex) and Dr Jane Hattrick (University of Brighton) to an audience that included substantial numbers of interviewees. In a further phase, a similar process also involving Dr Carroll, researching memories of The Winter Garden in Eastbourne, led to second event culminating in a performance at the venue over a weekend in March 2014.
Our collaboration with Zap Arts and inroads productions has continued in partnership with Gateways to the First World War with a successful application to HLF for for the Newhaven and Seaford-based oral history and drama project, ‘Home Fires. A haunting story of love and loss in the Great War’. The resulting production took place at Newhaven Fort on 18-21 March 2015. Through Gateways to the FWW we are also supporting the work of Strike A Light Arts and Heritage organisation on ‘The Orange Lilies’, an HLF-funded project to research and commemorate the men who fought and died in the Battle of Boar’s Head, 1916. Activities include the training of community researchers, the creation of a digital map of Brighton, to include biographical details of soldiers, and a range of public engagement and information activities. These include a public seminar on the First World War at the University’s City campus and a screening of the 1916 Battle of the Somme film at the Duke of York Picturehouse Brighton, both in November 2016.
This CMNH project sits within the University of Brighton’s research cluster on “Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence”, launched in autumn 2013. It brings together UofB researchers in social and cultural history, cultural studies, social anthropology, cultural geography, psycho-social studies and literature to investigate the complex inter–relations between past, present and future within histories and memories of war and conflict that are produced in the time afterwards, by those living in ‘post–war’ or ‘post–conflict’ cultures and societies. In exploring the interplay between representations of a ‘past’ that in many ways is not ‘over’, but overshadows the present and complicates efforts towards the building of a peaceful future, the project focuses in particular on the sites and cultural landscapes where war and conflict ‘took place’, and where its continuing significance is contested in post–conflict geographies. Several fully-funded doctoral studentships have been established in the early stages of this evolving project: Garikoitz Gomez Alfaro (University of Brighton studentship ‘Landscapes of affect’), ‘Mapping Postconflict Memory: Affective landscapes, imagined geographies and the politics of of time in Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland) and Portbou (Spain)’; Lisa Hardie (University of Brighton ‘Understanding Conflict’ studentship ‘Negotiating post-conflict spaces’), ‘Memorial Landscapes: The Case of New Zealand Visitors to Gallipoli’; Ian Cantoni (AHRC/TECHNE consortium studentship), ‘Camp de Rivesaltes: A Topography of French Cultural Memory’; and Struan Gray (University of Brighton ‘Understanding Conflict’ studentship ‘Histories, memories and the sites and spaces of conflict: Tropes of haunting in negotiating violent pasts’), ‘A Haunted Transition: Places of Past Violence in Post-Dictatorship Chilean Film’. Other doctoral students based and supervised in CMNH work on ‘post-conflict’ culture and politics, in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Melina Sadikovic) and the Basque Country (Andrea García González), as well as Northern Ireland (see above).
Based jointly in CMNH and the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, this major interdisciplinary research cluster in the field of violent political conflict was established by the University of Brighton in 2013. It brings together established expertise in humanities and social sciences from across the University. Contributing disciplines and areas include: applied philosophy, critical theory, cultural geography, cultural and social history, literature, material culture, politics, psycho-social studies and social anthropology.
The cluster is led by Professor Bob Brecher (applied philosophy) and Professor Graham Dawson (historical cultural studies). It builds usable understandings of violent conflict and its human legacies, developing two areas of interdisciplinary investigation rooted in the recent work of the two research centres. One area is concerned with ethical and political justifications of violence, based on the principle that the philosophical study and practical implementation of an ethics of suffering have to take on board people's experiences of living with, through and after violent conflict. Here, our interdisciplinary approach constitutes a vision of how ‘applied philosophy’ may be brought to bear on real-world situations, encouraging debate, generating new knowledge and developing ways to move forward after conflict. The other area (see above, ‘Negotiating ‘the Past’ in Post–conflict Spaces’) investigates cultural and historical constructions of past, present and future as experienced, understood and negotiated in cultures and societies undergoing violent conflict or dealing with ‘post-conflict’ legacies. Here, our interdisciplinary interests focus on the intersection of these temporal dynamics with the spatial locatedness of conflict, the significance of landscapes and sites in conflict and post-conflict geographies, and the role of spatial transformation in building just and peaceful futures.
By developing dialogue between historically and geographically situated studies and more abstract philosophical approaches, and through collaboration with external partners from outside the academy with lived experience and/or practical knowledge of conflict and its transformation, the cluster aims to develop over a number of years a valuable interdisciplinary synthesis for understanding and engaging with the forms and legacies of recent and contemporary violent conflict. For further details, see here
CMNH is working with the University’s interdisciplinary research group on Representation: ‘Race’, Culture and Identity, to develop this emerging project area. The ‘Race’ group addresses the role of historical representation in shaping radical cultural, aesthetic, and political meanings of ‘race’ in the current context. From the election of Obama to the increasingly effective slavery reparations movement, and from South Africa’s post-apartheid complexity to the rise of far-Right parties in Europe, and the reconfiguration of Europe as a fortress, ‘race’ remains a lightening rod telegraphing the fault-line within liberal democracies, and exposing their hidden histories. The group held a successful launch conference “Reparative Histories: Radical Narratives of 'Race', and Resistance” in September 2014. The conference explored critical historical and cultural representations that are rooted in particular histories and cultures and their legacies in the contemporary moment. It questioned what it means to turn to history to appeal for recognition and redress in the present, why the appeal to ‘origins’ remains such a powerful tool of oppression and of resistance, and how traditions of political struggle are currently being rearticulated. The Reparative Histories conference held inaugurated a series of publications and events that have continued to shape and define the contours of our thinking on ‘race’ and radical history. A selection of the papers were edited for a special issue of the journal Race and Class (January 2016) by Dr Cathy Bergin and Dr Anita Rupprecht, who have become members of CMNH.
In the context of this publication, a series of talks and events supplemented and build upon the important links that were established at the conference and in the publication. In November of 2015 Cathy Bergin and Anita Rupprecht presented a joint paper on Reparative Histories at the Repairing the Past, Imagining the Future: Reparations and Beyond conference at the University of Edinburgh. In February 2015 the Institute of Race Relations held a launch of the special issue in London which was attended by a variety of academics and community activists. The journal was also launched at the University of Brighton in March 2016 to open up a series of questions about the contemporary moment in relation to what a ‘Reparative History’ might mean. Colin Prescod’s article ‘Archives, race, class and rage’ in the April 2017 issue of Race and Class both acknowledged the importance of the concept of Reparative Histories and challenged and extended the concept in relation to radical black history in the UK.
The second Reparative Histories conference Reparative Histories 2: The Making, Re-Making and Un-Making of 'Race', 6th - 7th April, 2017 at the University of Brighton emerged out of a culmination of the rich discussions and interventions which the first conference initiated. A whole new set of questions in relation to the resurgence of racism in both Europe and the US have provoked a variety of questions about radical histories of ‘race’ in relation to the present moment. In the spring of 2018 Anita Rupprecht will be the Visiting Research Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Centre for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition (Yale University). She will be working on her project, ‘Liberated Africans’, Indenture and Resistance in the British Caribbean 1807-1828'’.
Dr Eugene Michail leads the Centre’s work in connection with the refugee crisis. One of the founding members of MARS (Migrant and Refugee Solidarity), Dr Michail works to bring together networks of refugees, migrants, activists and academics. Activities here have included: : with CUPP and the Conflict Cluster, an exhibition, workshop and performance on Art, Refuge and Resistance with artists and activists in October 2015, an event with Freedom From Torture on ‘Proving Torture and the Asylum Maze (April 2017), The Refugee Film Festival, part of the Brighton Fringe Festival in 2017, ‘Refuge Crisis’, an evening of discussion and activism, hosted by the University of Brighton (October 2016), and a series of 8 events marking Refugee Month across the University in May 2016. MRAS convene a regular meeting for Brighton activist groups working with and for refugees and migrants, providing them with an opportunity to exchange ideas and information. This work is underpinned by Dr Michail’s academic work on the refugees, crisis and conflict in the Balkans.
This is a transnational network supported by the European Commission which develops interdisciplinary research on the construction of public memory in Europe, contributes to the analysis and management of the politics of memory, and promotes the right of citizens to use and interpret the memorial heritage. Based at the University of Barcelona’s Solidarity Foundation, it brings together a transnational network of research institutions and other organisations, to analyse and understand the different historical and memorial processes of our recent past in Europe. The European Observatory on Memories >works to promote interdisciplinary research and academic activities related to the construction of public memory in Europe, to contribute to the analysis and management of the politics of memory, and to influence in the right of citizens to use and interpret the memorial heritage. It is a research project but it also deals with the management and dissemination of memorial policies related to conflicts of the twentieth century and other historic periods that have a public influence in the twenty-first century. The EUROM network is supported for five years by EACEA (the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission) through the Europe for Citizens Program.
In 2015, the University of Brighton endorsed a formal partnership agreement between CMNH and EUROM. This will enable the Centre to work in collaboration with a range of prestigious institutions and research groups from Europe and North America, including: the International Committee of Memorial Museums for Remembrance (IC MEMO); the Museum of Free Derry; the Maison d’Izieu Association; the Finnish-Russian Citizens’ Forum; the National Institute for the History of the Liberation Movement in Italy; the Topography of Terror Documentation Center; the Mauthausen Memorial; the Museum of Occupations; the Wewelsburg 1933-1945 Memorial Museum, and the Centre for Memory and Testimony Studies of Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada), among others.
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Led by Professor Deborah Philips, CMNH plans to establish a new project area on Heritage in the Twenty-First Century. Stimulated by the emergence of a new Heritage research group based in the Language, Literature and Media academic programme in the School of Humanities at Falmer, which organised the CMNH Annual Symposium 2014-15, this has the potential to become a focal point bringing together a number of parallel initiatives on heritage currently taking place within the University, and creating a framework for their cross-fertilisation.
One such initiative is the Heritage Forum at the University of Brighton at Hastings, which organised a half-day forum in October 2014 on ‘Cultural Regeneration through Heritage: Hastings, Heritage and Local History’. to explore the role of heritage and local history in recent government policy on sustainable ‘self-renewal’; the contribution heritage has made to the project of economic, social and cultural ‘regeneration’ in Hastings, in terms of the town’s economy, cultural tourism, and community ‘belonging’; and critical debates about the politics of heritage status, representation and consumption. Another is the long-established research area on Information and Communications Technologies for Cultural Heritage, exploring the role of digital technologies in heritage preservation, documentation and use, developed by the Cultural Informatics Group in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. Further, well-established areas of research on heritage are those exploring its role in cultural tourism, in the Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies in the School of Sport and Service Management; and its relation to museums, in the History of Art and Design academic programme in the School of Humanities at Grand Parade.
In 2015-16 Heritage was the dedicated theme of the CMNH Annual Seminar Series. This explored the diversity of current work under the rubric of ‘heritage’, developing these debates on heritage practices and texts in literature, film and TV and drawing in grassroots heritage practitioners including active members of the Sussex Bonfire Societies and Sussex Traditions. Founded in 2015 to collect, document, disseminate and encourage traditional lore, beliefs and activities including customs and crafts, songs and stories from across East and West Sussex, Sussex Traditions was supported by CMNH in securing a start-up grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund; and in 2016 members of the group delivered a workshop in the Seminar Series. Further collaboration is planned. Much of the Centre’s work in local and community history (see above) involves support for funding applications to the HLF, and these activities will also feed into the ongoing development of our research in this area.
Led by Dr Rebecca Bramall, formerly Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in the Faculty of Arts, with research interests in cultural theory, popular culture, and twentieth-century history. This research project examined discourses of austerity, drawing on debates about history, heritage and memory, and emergent work on ethical consumption and the environment.
Following the Centre's successful funding bid to the CUPP 'On our Doorsteps' scheme in June 2010, which secured £5,000 seed funding from July 2010–January 2011, we established a skills and knowledge exchange pilot project with Brighton and Hove Black History (BHBH) community group (also involving staff and financial support from the School of Humanities) on the theme of 'Black History and Cultural Memory in Brighton: the India Gateway Commemoration Project'. Focused on BHBH's activities to commemorate the 69th and 70th anniversaries of the unveiling of the India Gateway to the Royal Pavilion, in October 2010 and 2011, this pilot project – the first-ever CUPP funding, and first ever-skills and knowledge exchange, in the humanities area at Brighton – was designed to contribute towards building a longer-term, sustainable relationship. The project involved meetings between the university and community partners to discuss our differences in ethos, purpose, skills and knowledge, modes of working, and outcomes, and to plan our work together; the setting up and supporting (in liaison with the University's Active Student unit) of two student placements with BHBH, offered to postgraduates studying on the MA Cultural History, Memory and Identity, who engaged in research to support BHBH activities; innovative arrangements with Media Services to secure technical support and workshop training in digital recording and editing for both BHBH volunteers and the placement students; a short film record of the commemorative events in 2010 made by the students; and discussion about how to support future work together.
BHBH’s Commemorative event to mark the 69th anniversary of the unveiling of the India Gateway was held on 16 October 2010 as part of Black History Month, and included an exhibition, a guided walk, and a public debate with invited speakers – co-organised with CMNH – held in Brighton Museum on the theme of the exclusion of local Black, ethnic and minority communities from Brighton and Hove's public buildings.
The project was successful in establishing a productive and mutually beneficial academic–community partnership and trusting personal relationships with BHBH, grounded on egalitarian principles, and in piloting the various practical activities; thereby laying the basis for potential continuing collaboration. Evaluations of the project by participants reflected on its limitations as well as positive outcomes.