I am a historical archaeologist who focuses on the themes of resistance, radicalism, and revolution. My MA dissertation examined the radical landscapes of the Peterloo massacre, winning the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology’s Postgraduate Dissertation Prize. I recently completed a PhD - here in the department - which explored the identities and representations of radicals between 1815-1822. The thesis examined mass platform meetings, the emergence of female reform societies, and the punishment of radicals. I held a Doctoral Fellowship from the Humanities Research Centre in 2019. Outside of research, I am the chair for the LGBTQ network in the department and am interested in how queer theory can be utilised in archaeology. Throughout my PhD, I taught on a wide variety of modules, ranging from Archaeological Theory to Post-excavation to Empires of Improvement.
I am interested in how people harnessed material culture, spaces, and landscapes to protest, resist, and revolt. So far, this work has largely focused on late eighteenth and early nineteenth century political radicalism in Britain. It has explored important events such as the Peterloo Massacre, the Cato Street Conspiracy, and the Spa Field Riots. As well as examining resistance and radicalism in Britain, my research interests examine how enslaved people rebelled against colonial structures, slavery, and plantations. This includes noteworthy events like the Maroon Wars in Jamaica and the Haitian Revolution.
Alongside these areas, I also investigate how we - as historical archaeologists - can utilise visual culture as an important and vibrant type of materiality. These can range from ethnographic depictions of colonialism landscapes to bawdy caricature and satirical cartoons. My methodological pursuits aim to enable historical archaeology to engage with textual and visual sources in new and exciting ways.
MA Historical Archaeology:
“They’ll Not Peterloo Us Again this Time”: The Historical Archaeology of Peterloo. 1st April 2017, Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, Hull.
“With Henry Hunt we’ll go my boys”: The Creation of Henry Hunt, the Radical Celebrity, 23rd July 2017, Second International John Thelwall Conference, University of Derby.
“See the Conquering Hero Comes”: The Radical Landscapes of Henry Hunt and Improvement, 28th July 2017, British Association for Romantic Studies, University of York.
“Of course we’re safe, there’s a little shop”: Collecting and Curating Pop Culture. 19th December 2017, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Cardiff.
Material Voices: The Historical Archaeology of Peterloo. 6th June 2018. The Will of the People, Bath Spa University.
“I intend to quit this pestilential atmosphere of this Bastille”: The Historical Archaeology of Post-Peterloo Prisoners. 19th June 2018. CECS Postgraduate Research Forum, University of York.
“Rise, Britons, and assert your rights”: Radical Landscapes of the Late Regency Period. 10th November 2018.The Politics of Sedition in Long Nineteenth Century Britain: A Social and Cultural Discourse, University of Warwick.
“Will you, kind Sir, accept this token of our respect?”: The archaeology of female reformers and radical gender’. 16th March 2019. Protest, Politics, and Poetry: Peterloo at 200, University of York.
Sisters of the Earth: The Identities and Performances of Female Reformers in 1819. 19th July 2019. International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies/ISECS, University of Edinburgh.
Martyrs for the Cause: A radical archaeology built on historical radicalism. 16th December 2019. TAG/Theoretical Archaeology Group, UCL.
Using breakout rooms with students. 17th March 2021. Learning and teaching@York in the Coronavirus Pandemic: Continuing the conversation, University of York. Collaborative presentation with Taryn Bell.
Where Worlds Meet: Polity, Ethics, and Archaeology. 17th January 2017, Yorkshire Student Research Archaeological Forum, York. Chair and organiser.
Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey… Stuff. 19th December 2017, Theoretical Archaeology Group, Cardiff. Chair and session organiser.
Turn to the self: How autoethnography could help teaching practice and student participation. 22nd June 2018. University of York Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, University of York. Workshop organiser and leader.
The Mayday Dance: Imagining and Watching the Execution of the Cato Street Conspirators’. 2nd August 2019. International Conference on Romanticism, University of Manchester. Session organiser.
Curriculum Wars: Edutainment, Employability, Critical Thinking? New Archaeological Pedagogies of Power, Knowledge and Accessibility. TAG/Theoretical Archaeology Group, UCL. 18th December 2019. Session organiser and speaker.
Same tripe, different day: Has archaeological theory stagnated? TAG/Theoretical Archaeology Group, Leicester. Postponed to 2021.
York and Peterloo: Radical Landscapes, Radical Heritage. 18th January 2017, Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeology Society, York.
Yorkshire’s Radical Past. 21st March 2017. North Duffield Archaeological Society, North Duffield.
“We Mourn for our Murdered Countrymen”: Historical Archaeology of Peterloo. 11th May 2017. Newcastle University Archaeology Society, Newcastle.
Equal Representation of Death: Creating Political Material Culture. 13th June 2017. Research Bites, University of York.
Seditious Gender: Queering Nineteenth Century Female Reformers. 4th February 2019. LGBT History Month, York.
‘The Mania of Amending the Constitution’: Female Reformers in 1819. 30th March 2019. Women’s Studies Groups 1558-1837, Foundling Museum.
Research Spotlight: Caitlin Kitchener. 1st July 2019. CECS Coffee House, University of York. Available at: https://cecscoffeehouse.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/research-spotlight-caitlin-kitchener/
“The Most Depraved of their Sex”: Studying the Radical Gender of Female Reformers. 21st January 2020. Pints and Postholes (Archaeology Society), University of York.
Kitchener, C. (2018). Back to the future: Autoethnography as a reflexive model for enhancing practice. Forum. Autumn 2018, 20-21.
Kitchener, C. (2020). The Trial of Henry Hunt. London: Mango Books.
Kitchener, C. (Accepted). Sisters of the Earth: The Landscapes, Radical Identities, and Performances of Female Reformers in 1819. Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies. [Intended publish date 2022]
Kitchener, C (Accepted). ‘Cato Street Conspiracy and Consuming Crime: How radical politics fed into public passion for media coverage on violence. Parliamentary History (special edition on Passion). [Intended publish date 2023]