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Ayshka joined the Department of Sociology in March 2021 as a Research Associate on the ‘Archiving the Inner City Project: Race and the Politics of Urban Memory’ (directed by Gareth Millington and funded by the Leverhulme Trust). The project explores the contested ways that the times and spaces of the twentieth century ‘inner city’ are made legible in the present, focusing on sites in London, Paris and Philadelphia.
Ayshka studied Modern Languages at the University of Bath and Cardiff University where she received her PhD in 2018. Her doctoral research on the history and memory of British women interned in Occupied France was funded by the AHRC. Ayshka previously worked as a Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University and a Research Associate on the EU-funded H2020 project, 'Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe' (UNREST) at the University of Bath. Ayshka was also an Archival Researcher on the Discovery Channel documentary, 'World War II: Witness to War' in 2018.
Ayshka’s doctoral research focused on the experiences of British women interned in Besançon and Vittel, two Nazi camps in Eastern France during the Second World War. It mobilised archival material in Britain and France, oral history interviews, memoirs, letters and interviews undertaken at various points since the war. Her work highlights the importance of 'Britishness' in internees' negotiation of the Occupation and how national identity has shaped the inclusion of their experiences in cultural memories of the war in Britain and France.
Ayshka also specialises in the creation of online learning materials; she has produced a podcast on disease, contagion and confinement in France’s overseas penal colonies (‘Podcasts from the bagne’) and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the memory of conflict and violence in 20th-century Europe.
Ayshka’s research interests include:
Ayshka’s research engages with Francophone and Memory studies. Her work focuses on the history and memory of British women interned in France during the Second World War, in particular the intergenerational transmission of memory and the intersection of these familial accounts with national memories and myths in popular culture.
Her research also questions how national identity shaped these women’s lives and whether their experiences have been remembered in France and Britain. Ayshka is keen to explore how contested memories are represented by museums and heritage organisations in France.