Dr Vicky Crewe

Dr Vicky Crewe

Lecturer in Archaeology

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Email:
crewev@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2037 5646
Location:
5.29, John Percival Building

Research interests

  • The archaeology of domesticity and family life in the historical period.
  • Archaeology of 18th- and 19th-century Britain, especially the didactic role of material culture in the home.
  • Children and childhood in the past, child labour and the material culture of childhood.
  • Attitudes and reactions to the past in the past.
  • Cultural heritage, community heritage and museum studies.
  • Performance and heritage.
  • The intersections of literature, autobiography, visual culture and material culture.

Research projects

  • The Family Archive: Exploring Family Identities, Memories and Stories Through Curated Personal Possessions (PI)
  • Agents of Future Promise: the Ideological Use of Children in Culture and Politics (Britain and France, c.1850-1950) (Co-I)
  • Steel City Lives (Co-I)
  • Performing the Past: Exploring the Heritage of Working-Class Communities in Yorkshire (PI)

Additional information

In the 2014/15 academic year I will be module co-ordinator for:

  • HS2380 Viking-Age Scandinavia (10 credits)
  • HST927 The Archaeology of Death and Commemoration (40 credits)

Impact and engagement

Current knowledge exchange and engagement includes:

The Family Archive: Exploring Family Identities, Memories and Stories Through Curated Personal Possessions features collaboration with non-HEI partner organisations, knowledge exchange and public engagement.

Agents of Future Promise: the Ideological Use of Children in Culture and Politics (Britain and France, c.1850-1950) engages with NGOs and charitable organisations, as well as History and Policy, to influence current thinking and policy.

Related links

Performing the Past

Researching Community Heritage

Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology

Education and qualifications

  • 2010 PhD, University of Sheffield Buildings and Barrows, Ditches and Dwellings: The Appropriation of Prehistoric Monuments in Early to Middle Anglo-Saxon Settlements
  • 2010 Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Sheffield
  • 2007 MA European Historical Archaeology, University of Sheffield
  • 2006 BA (Hons) Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield

Career overview

  • 2014 Lecturer in Archaeology, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University
  • 2013 Programme Director (Archaeology and Natural Sciences), The Institute for Lifelong Learning, University of Sheffield
  • 2010-2014 Research Assistant and Associate University Teacher, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Professional memberships

Membership and external activity

  • Newsletter Editor and Council member, Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology
  • Peer reviewer for journals including Post-Medieval Archaeology and Early Medieval Europe
  • Associate of the Higher Education Academy

Speaking engagements

Selected presentations include:

2014: An Archaeological Perspective on (Self) Improvement: Children, Morality and Material Culture. Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies workshop, University of Sheffield.

2014: Museums, Communities and Monkey Men: Reflections on External Engagement in Archaeology and Heritage, External Engagement in the Arts and Humanities (British Academy supported workshop), University of York.

2013: Heritage and creative practice: reflections on connecting communities through photography, film-making and performance, Connected Communities Heritage Network Symposium, De Montfort University (with K. Marwood).

2013: 'Where do we start?' Cataloguing, researching and displaying Barnsley's 'repatriated' archaeology, Society of Museum Archaeologists, by invitation, Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth.

2012: 'Uncle Tom was there, in crockery': objects, literacy and Victorian working-class households, British Association for Victorian Studies, University of Sheffield (with D. Hadley).

2011: Life among the ruins: a 19th-century childhood at Manor Lodge, Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past, University of Cambridge (with D. Hadley).

2010: Barrows and buildings, ditches and dwellings: the appropriation of prehistoric monuments in Anglo-Saxon settlements, Medieval Archaeology Seminar Series, Durham University.

Teaching profile

In the 2014/15 academic year I will be module co-ordinator for:

  • HS2380 Viking-Age Scandinavia (10 credits)
  • HST927 The Archaeology of Death and Commemoration (40 credits)

I will also be teaching on other modules, such as the part 1 module Discovering Archaeology.

The Family Archive: Exploring Family Identities, Memories and Stories Through Curated Personal Possessions

This project investigates the concept of the family archive through time, drawing its evidence and methods from history, archaeology, Classics and heritage studies. I act as principal investigator, with three co-investigators: Dr Laura King (University of Leeds), Dr Anna Woodham (University of Birmingham) and Dr Liz Gloyn (Royal Holloway). We are collaborating with staff from The National Archives, Barnsley Archives and Museum Service, Your Back Yard (Leeds) and Sampad (Birmingham).

Project Aims  Many families possess a 'family archive'; documents, photographs, heirlooms, scrapbooks, recipes and a whole range of other items that reveal insights into past generations and preserve family stories for future ones. They may never have thought of their collections as 'archives', but by retaining and preserving possessions kept in shoeboxes, under beds, on top of wardrobes and in garages, people use these items to mould a sense of family identity.

This project explores the concept of the family archive through time, considering what, how and why families have archived personal items for private purposes. Making use of both historical case studies and contemporary focus groups, the project team will investigate how the family unit makes conscious use of curated possessions - including documents, images, objects and other materials - in order to develop a familial identity based on past and present generations, and how this is transmitted to future family members.

The project will ask: what stories and memories do older family members pass to future generations through family possessions? How has this changed over time? How does this impact upon a family's collective identity? And how do families relate their own histories and memories to wider national and international historical events? In addressing these questions, we will explore the past, present and future of the 'family archive'.

Funder:         AHRC

Project Value:  £53,767

Duration:          October 2014-present

Agents of Future Promise: the Ideological Use of Children in Culture and Politics (Britain and France, c.1850-1950)

This project uses case studies to explore the instrumentalisation of children at specific points in 19th- and 20th-century history, through historical documents and material culture. I am a co-investigator, alongside Dr Lindsey Dodd (University of Huddersfield) and the PI Dr Laura King (University of Leeds).

Project Aims   How active are children in politics? They don't vote. They rarely support political parties. They seem untainted by political mudslinging, unsullied by the warmongers' guilt. Rather, they appear innocent, vulnerable and passive. Yet they are political. They carry upon their shoulders the hopes of nation, region, religion, society, family. In this latent potentiality, they sit at the heart of adults' projections of new futures, whether at moments of violence and revolution or within the quest for peace and stability.

Since childhood was 'invented', in Britain, Europe and beyond, adults have made use of children at an individual and collective level to promote their own notions of the future. Children bear the burden of social expectations: they are 'agents of future promise'.

While this project seeks to examine children and ideology in the Western past, it also begins to think about how children are still being ideologically used in the contemporary world. It uses three case studies, comparing societies, time and place, and using historical and archaeological (material culture) methodologies.

The project contributes to the burgeoning historical debate on childhood and youth in the past. It also seeks to raise awareness within policymaking of the ideological use of children (gendered, political, religious, commercial). By establishing ways in which we can work better with practitioners who can make good use of our insights from the past, the research will have benefits for children's wellbeing in the future.

Funder:              AHRC

Project Value:    £50,819

Duration:    October 2014-present

Steel City Lives

I am a co-investigator on this project, which is based at the University of Sheffield and led by Prof. Dawn Hadley. We work alongside Point Blank Theatre Company to develop performances based on archaeological and historical research, focusing particularly on 19th- and 20th-century events, people and issues with contemporary relevance. The collaboration has produced two plays so far: All Sorts of Wickedness (about the 19th-century mining community at Sheffield Manor Lodge) and Harvey Teasdale: The Sheffield Man-Monkey (based on the life of a Victorian actor, theatre manager, clown, man-monkey and preacher).

Funder:    HEIF; Arts Council; University of Sheffield

Project Value:  £25,000

Duration:          2012-present

Performing the Past: Exploring the Heritage of Working-Class Communities in Yorkshire

Performing the Past is a collaborative network set up to develop innovative multi-disciplinary methods for investigating and disseminating the heritage of working-class and industrial communities in Yorkshire. Its historical remit is c.1800-1930, although the project team are actively researching and drawing inspiration from studies of earlier and later time periods too (e.g. Shakespearean theatre and social realism in late 20th- and 21st-century film).

Project Aims

This networking and development project united academics, doctoral students and professionals from Yorkshire's cultural and heritage industries, in order to generate new models for telling stories about the past.

Three one-day workshops between September 2012 and May 2013 explored themes such as:

  • The power of performance for telling stories about the past 'voiceless' communities from c.1800-1930
  • Narrative traditions of working class communities
  • Space and place as cross-disciplinary strands of investigation
  • Objects as media for storytelling
  • Long-term and digital documentation of performance

Funder: White Rose Collaboration Fund

Project Value: £9825

Duration: Sept 2012-Sept 2013