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Fran Allfrey
Postdoctoral Research Associate



I joined the Department of Archaeology in 2022 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the AHRC-funded Avebury Papers project with PI Professor Mark Gillings at Bournemouth and CO-I Dr Colleen Morgan at York. I’m responsible for coordinating the digitisation process of the multimedia Avebury archive, building narrative pathways into the digital collection, and facilitating the creative reuse of archival materials.

Before joining York, I taught medieval literature at the University of Reading, Queen Mary University, and King’s College London, facilitated family learning workshops at museums and art galleries around London, and was the Digital Media volunteer coordinator at the Courtauld. 

I completed my AHRC-funded PhD at King’s, writing on how newspapers, television documentaries, and museum staff and volunteers bring together early medieval literature and the Sutton Hoo Mound 1 ship burial to create narratives about past and present social and political identity. Out of this work, I have published an article on ethnonationalism and medievalism in 20th and 21st century print media for postmedieval (2021), and on Old English poetry in archaeological museum displays for the Old English Medievalism edited volume (Boydell, 2022). I’m now adapting and adding to my thesis research, incorporating new work on cinema and contemporary poetry, for a monograph The Making of Sutton Hoo.

Read more about Fran on her ORCID profile



Key research interests

  • How premodern heritage narratives are crafted between institutions, mass media, and users, visitors, and participants
  • Intersections of literature, archaeology, and visual arts in heritage
  • The use of premodern historical remains and myths in local and national identity-making practices
  • Histories of public archaeology
  • Policies, theories, and practices in museum education across the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Translation, creative reuse, adaptation, and revoicing of premodern texts, objects, and events

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Contact details

Dr Fran Allfrey
Department of Archaeology
University of York
King's Manor
Exhibition Square