Railways and Commemoration: Anniversaries, Commemorative Cultures, and the Making of Railway History
Supervisor: Dr Geoffrey Cubitt
My thesis examines the commemoratives cultures of the British Railway industry from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This project researches the forms of commemoration connected to the industry and how these practices influence popular narratives about its history by examining large-scale public celebrations, the internal commemorative cultures of companies and unions, and the use of commemoration in developing heroic identities of engineers. This project is a collaborative doctoral award funded by the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities, and co-supervised by the University of York and the National Railway Museum.
My wider research interests include: commemoration, railway history, technological history, memory, identity, community identity, the use of the past for advertising, heroes, social history, cultural history, physical historical traces, the built environment, memorials, public history, public engagement with the past, television history, ethics of television history, authenticity and accuracy of public history, museums, exhibition design, archival and museum collections acquisitions/management, digital humanities.
Alongside my research, I co-chair of the IPUP Postgraduate Forum and collaboratively work on events with the archaeology department. I regularly assist with and organise events that the public are invited to engage with, such as talks and workshops through IPUP and the National Railway Museum. I am also working as a researcher for Hidden Histories, which aims to use interesting and engaging digital content to encourage the public to connect with their past as a way of understanding the present and protecting their future.