History and heritage
This transdisciplinary theme brings together researchers who critically examine the past and its legacies.
We investigate how the past is represented and work with partners in the heritage and cultural sectors to help shape its portrayal in the present. The work is underpinned by our multilingual and multicultural expertise, which reinforces our transnational approach to history and heritage.
Our in-house expertise on heritage and cultural industries has been marshalled to create our MA Global Cultures programme in which students can study evolution of cultural industries in a global context.
We aim to
- Create opportunities for dialogue and collaboration within the School, the wider academic community at Cardiff University and beyond.
- Proactively engage with heritage and cultural industries in Wales and internationally.
- Promote historical research within the School by providing a collegiate environment where researchers at all stages of their career can share and develop work-in-progress, and reflect and discuss disciplinary developments.
- Advocate for the importance of language training for historical scholarship.
What we do
This theme is marked by language-driven scholarship of history and heritage in a global context. Its members work across various national and transnational contexts in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Our members’ areas of expertise include war memory, slavery, disaster, revolution, and translation and they frequently provide expert commentary in national and international media. Our work encompasses various methodologies and media sources, including photography, film, radio, as well as both literature and graphic novels. Members also investigate processes of musealization and memorialization, and the politics of memory.
We seek to reflect on our own and other practitioners’ practices of historical production, and to examine how and to what purposes the past is mobilised in the present. We also work with partners in heritage and cultural industries to shape contemporary understanding of the past.
Our research impact
We are home to projects and networks that bring historical scholarship to bear on issues of contemporary urgency. Examples include:
The Antislavery Arts and Heritage Network
This network addresses the ongoing legacies of colonial slavery and its connections to modern forms of labour exploitation.
Post Conflict Exhibition Cultures and the Promotion of Peace
Our researchers play a leading role in this network which works across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Museum of Liberation
Our researchers are involved in an ongoing collaboration with the Museum of Liberation in Paris. This Second World War museum traces the individual life trajectories of French resistors including Jean Moulin and General Leclerc and shows how the resistance movement culminated in the Liberation of Paris.
We provide a supportive and stimulating environment for postgraduate research. We are part of the AHRC South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Programme, and regularly offer opportunities for doctoral study where research is conducted in collaboration with cultural and heritage institutions.
If your research corresponds with the description and goals of this theme and you would like to pursue your MPhil or PhD studies with us, please see the profiles of our expert staff members and contact our postgraduate research administrator.
Postgraduate research administrator
Our PhD supervisors
Dr Tilmann Altenberg offers supervision in the areas of cultural and literary history involving the Spanish-speaking world, and the heritage of war and revolution.
Professor David Clarke offers supervision on a wide range of themes around the politics and culture of memory and heritage, including memories of victimhood, memory of communism, memory of war and conflict and issues in museum studies.
Professor Hanna Diamond welcomes applications from PhD students interested in all aspects of French twentieth century history and politics particularly in relation to gender and oral history.
Dr Heiko Feldner welcomes inquiries on topics related to the history and concept of capitalism, the critique of contemporary ideologies, the German school of value-criticism (Wertkritik), and the contemporary relevance of Marx, Foucault and Žižek.
Professor Claire Gorrara can supervise in areas around histories and memories of the Second World War in France; popular culture and memory politics; graphic novels and history writing.
Professor Kate Griffiths supervises on adaptation and translation from any era of history in French and global contexts. She is happy to work on different media (radio, film, television, theatre, literature) and different nations.
Dr Charlotte Hammond focusses on the history and legacies of colonial slavery in the Caribbean; gender performance, textiles and dress as anticolonial resistance; modern forms of slavery in garment supply chains.
Dr Alastair Hemmens welcomes applications for supervision on all areas of modern French cultural and intellectual history. His research interests focus in particular on Marxian theory and practice, anti-capitalism and the French avant-garde in the twentieth century.
Dr Christopher Hood offers supervision on a wide range of subjects related to Japan, including the aspects of memorialisation and dark tourism.
Dr Nick Hodgin is a cultural historian with particular interest in twentieth century and contemporary cultural studies, as well as film studies, memory studies and trauma studies. He has particular research interests in German culture, especially visual culture.
Dr Abdel-Wahab Khalifa offers supervision in Arabic literature (in translation), translating the sacred, interpreting in conflict zones and post-conflict situations, child language brokering, and the cultural Cold War in the Middle East.
Dr Cristina Marinetti can supervise research on translation theory, particularly on cultural and sociological approaches to translation, theatre history and theatre translation and the representation of multilingualism in contemporary Italy.
Dr Ruselle Meade can supervise on topics related to the history of translation, particularly in East Asian contexts; modern Japanese history; and war memory.
Dr Jenny Nelson welcomes applications for supervision on nineteenth century Brazilian history, comparative Latin American history, the Lusophone Atlantic, African Diaspora, slavery and its legacies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Professor Stephen Parker's research activity centres on history and culture relating to the German-speaking world in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly through the lens of biography and the publication of related archival materials.
We hold seminars with invited speakers from academia and heritage sectors, as well as workshops, mini-conferences, roundtables, and writing retreats.
Should you wish to speak at one of our events or enquire about our research please contact Dr Ruselle Meade.