Centre for Public History Committee
Dr Sian Barber is a Lecturer in Film Studies with specialist interests in British cinema, film censorship and the British Board of Film Classification. Her ongoing work on local film censorship draws on archival records to explore the complex ways in which cinema and film is regulated at local level through systems of council and authority control. Other work includes exploring RTE Archives to examine early film debates on television, and investigating how teen cinema can be used to explore issues for teen audiences.
Dominic Bryan is a Professor in Anthropology at Queen’s University Belfast. From 2002-2014 he was Director of the Institute of Irish Studies and is a Fellow of the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Research interests include political rituals, symbols, commemoration, public space and identity in Northern Ireland. Dominic specialises in the contemporary history of Belfast and particularly the impact the peace process has had on the city. He works on issues of cultural identity such as flags, parades, bonfires and murals. He is author of Orange Parades: The Politics of Ritual Tradition and Control (Pluto 2000) and co-author of Civic Identity and Public Space: Belfast since 1780 (MUP 2019). In 2014 he was co-author of The Flag Dispute: Anatomy of a Protest and recently was co-author of Flags: Towards a New Understanding. Dominic is also the Chair of Diversity Challenges and co-Chair of the Commission on Flags Identity, Culture and Tradition.
Dr Garrett Carr is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in Queen's Seamus Heaney Centre. Apart from fiction, his research interests include writing about place, history and memoir. He is also a map-maker, with maps in government and university collections, and publishes academically on the topic of cartography. Garrett is a frequent contributor to television and radio, for networks such as the BBC, and newspapers such as the Guardian.
Dr Kieran Connell is Lecturer in Contemporary British History at QUB and has particular interests in race, immigration and sexuality. He has curated various exhibitions of artwork and photography, and his research has been covered widely by television, radio and the national press. Kieran is also a board member of Source photography magazine.
Dr Jack Crangle recently completed his PhD at Queen's University Belfast. His research examined the experience and reception of migrant communities in twentieth century Northern Ireland. His first article, entitled ‘Left to Fend for Themselves’: Immigration, Race Relations and the State in Twentieth Century Northern Ireland', was published in Immigrants and Minorities in 2018. He has delivered his research to numerous public audiences, including a session at the Imagine! Belfast festival and an event commemorating Belfast's Italian community. During his PhD he worked with ArtsEkta in Belfast and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education in the USA.
Dr Niamh Cullen specialises in the social history of twentieth-century Western Europe, and especially of post-1945 Italy. Her research draws on the history of the emotions, gender and sexuality, popular culture and personal testimony. In 2015 she organised an exhibition, “Love, Italian Style’, drawing on popular depictions of romance in 1950s and 1960s Italian film and magazines, in the Italian Cultural Institute, Dublin. Niamh is currently developing a new project on the history of motherhood and infant feeding in twentieth-century Europe. She has written for the Dublin Review of Books and for History Today and her work has featured in The Local (Italy).
Dr John Cunningham is a Lecturer in Early Modern Irish and British History at QUB. He has previously published on subjects including Oliver Cromwell and Ireland, the history and historiography of the seventeenth-century land settlements, and the 1641 Rebellion. His ongoing research relates to uses of the past in early modern Ireland and the history of medicine in Ireland, 1500-1800. Amongst other activities, he recently contributed to 'Was Oliver Cromwell Really all that bad?', a BBC Radio Ulster programme.
Dr John Curran's interests include the religious history of the ancient Mediterranean world and in particular in the origins of Christian ideas, their relationship to Judaism and their development in the polytheistic context of the Roman empire. More broadly, and in partnership with The Classical Association in Northern Ireland, he helps stage a programme of events for QUB students and the Queen’s scholarly community, local schools, and the general public including public readings of Classical texts, a summer language school in Greek and Latin and film-nights featuring influential cinematic depictions of antiquity, from The Life of Brian to Gladiator.
Savannah Dodd is a PhD candidate in anthropology. Her research aims to understand the processes of constructing photography archives in Northern Ireland, focusing particularly on the employment of ethical regimes when decisions are made in the archival process. Furthermore, by investigating the meaning of truth in photography and in archives, the evidentiary quality of photographs, the affective force of photographs, and the relationships between photographs, archives, and memory, her PhD research will look at the impact of photography archives on how Northern Irish society creates narratives about its history. She is the founder and Director of the Photography Ethics Centre, which seeks to raise awareness of photography ethics through educational training programmes.
Dr Elaine Farrell is a historian of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Irish social history, with a specialism in gender history (particularly women’s history) and crime and punishment. She has been involved in a number of public history projects, including museum exhibitions ‘Research in Translation’ (University of Leicester) and ‘Mad or Bad’ (Armagh County Museum). Working with Leanne McCormick (Ulster University), she is currently preparing an exhibition based on their AHRC-funded project ‘“Bad Bridget”: Criminal and Deviant Irish Women in North America, 1838-1918’. She has contributed to a number of television programmes for BBC, Channel 4, RTÉ, and TG4.
Professor Crawford Gribben is a cultural and literary historian of puritanism and evangelicalism, with a particular interest in contemporary manifestations of radical religion. He writes regularly for The Conversation, and The American Interest, as well as for knowledge exchange organisations such as the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Dr Sue-Ann Harding is a Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. Her main research interests are in social-narrative theory as a mode of inquiry into translations and translated events, with a particular interest in sites of conflict and narrative contestation. This has led to a diverse research profile that includes the Beslan hostage disaster in 2004 and its subsequent anniversary commemorations; Qatar’s efforts to cultivate a literary and culturally-engaged population; the translation of police interviews in South Africa; the Arabic and Russian translations of Frantz Fanon, and the resonances between narrative and complexity theory. She is currently writing a book exploring ways in which historical and contemporary narratives translate the natural and urban landscapes of Qatar.
Dr Pete Hodson passed his PhD in History at Queen's University Belfast in 2019. His thesis adopted a comparative approach to examine the economic, social and cultural legacies of deindustrialisation in the Belfast shipbuilding and Durham coal industries. He is an oral historian with a particular interest in deindustrial narratives and the politics of urban regeneration, and published on these themes in a recent contribution to History Workshop Journal. His public history experience includes work with BBC Northern Ireland, The Conversation, QUOTE (Queen’s University Oral History, Technology and Ethics), Titanic Foundation and the National Museum of Industrial History, USA.
Dr Derek Johnston teaches on the broadcast media, with a particular focus on genre studies and on the history of broadcasting. His research to date has tended to look at genres and their development as aspects of cultural change, as expressions of the historical shifts and continuities in popular culture. This focus has been on science fiction on British television, particularly in the period of the BBC monopoly from 1936-1955, and on the seasonal horror story. More broadly, he is interested in the uses of historical narratives, both factual and fictional and including history-made-fantastical, and the ways that they are used and form a part of personal and public history and so influence understanding and conceptualisation of history and its relation to the present.
Liam Kennedy is emeritus professor of economic history at Queen’s University Belfast and visiting professor of history at Ulster University. His research interests include the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, living standards in Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries, social change in rural Ireland, and the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’. With a view to garnering further popularity, his forthcoming book is entitled Who Was Responsible for the Troubles in Northern Ireland? (2018).
Keith Lilley is Professor of Historical Geography in the School of Natural & Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast. His particular research interests lie in the history of cartography, urban morphology, and landscape history, and in using maps and mappings to explore past landscapes and geographies as well as visualise how the past connects with the present. He has more than ten years' experience of directing spatial humanities research projects, all using digital 'geospatial technologies' (e.g. GIS) to engage wider public audiences. He is director of an AHRC-funded public engagement centre, "Living Legacies 1914-18: From Past Conflict to Shared Future", which connects academic and community researchers through WW1 heritage projects - including 'citizen history' and community mapping projects. He is also Chair of the Historic Towns Trust, a UK charity that oversees the production of the British Historic Towns Atlas programme.
Dr Sam Manning is a postdoctoral researcher on the AHRC funded European Cinema Audiences project. He was previously an AHRC research fellow at QUB researching the fifty-year history of Queen's Film Theatre. This project's outputs included a commemorative publication and a touring exhibition. He was recently published articles in Cultural and Social History and Media History. His forthcoming book, titled 'Cinemas and Cinema-Going in the United Kingdom: Decades of Decline 1945-65', will be published in the Royal Historical Society's New Historical Perspectives series. His public history experience includes work with BBC Northern Ireland, the McClay Library Special Collections and Archives, and QUOTE. He is currently chairperson of the Oral History Network of Ireland.
Professor Christopher Marsh is a historian of culture and society in England during the period 1500-1700. He has a particular interest in the history of popular music, and is currently preparing a website featuring images and recordings of 100 hit songs from seventeenth-century England. He has spoken at a series of public concerts in which some of these songs are performed by The Carnival Band as part of the project.
Emma McAlister is a PhD Candidate who's research is interdisciplinary with primary focus in Museum Studies, Public History and Material Culture Studies. Her research examines human responses to religious objects in distinct sites to understand how different spaces and modes of presentation impact on the experience of the object displayed. Her research relies on site specific case studies in spaces which display religious objects such as churches, museums and heritage sites. Emma has worked and volunteered in a number of museum and art galleries. She recently completed a Summer School in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam entitled 'The Object as Evidence' where she examined religious and colonial objects from their collection.
Fearghal McGarry is professor of modern Irish history at Queen’s University Belfast. He is interested in the theory and practice of public history, particularly in relation to commemoration and other forms of historical memory. Editor (with Jennie Carlsten) of Film, History and Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), he led two AHRC research projects exploring the relationship between history and film. He acted as historical consultant on several projects marking the centenary of the Easter Rising, including the GPO Witness History interpretive centre. His current AHRC-funded project, A Global History of the Irish Revolution, will involve collaborations with public history partners to mark the centenary of partition and independence. He is also working with the Ulster Museum to redevelop its Troubles gallery.
Rhianne Morgan is a PhD Candidate interested in memory, heritage and identity in post-1980s Britain. She is an oral historian with a particular interest in how childhood memory, class and sectarianism impact upon the current regeneration project of the Templemore Baths in East Belfast. Further, her thesis explores the role of an oral historian in community regeneration projects such as this one. Rhianne has spoken to public audiences on her master’s research, which explored the collective memory of the 1984-5 miners’ strike in Aberdare, given oral history training to a public audience and as part of her PhD project will undergo a six-month public history placement.
Dr Margaret O’Callaghan MA (NUI) PhD (Cambridge) is an historian and political analyst at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of numerous works on aspects of British high politics and the state apparatus in Ireland from the late nineteenth century to the revolution, on the fringe-fenian press, the careers of Richard Pigott and Tom Kettle. Her most recent publications are on Irish government policy on commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916 in the 1970s, and on Roger Casement and the First World War. She is currently working on Alice Stopford Green, Roger Casement and their circles.
Dr Neil Sadler is lecturer in Arabic Translation and Interpreting at the Centre for Translation and Interpreting at Queen’s University Belfast. His research centres on the uses and nature of multilingual narrative in digitally mediated contexts, particularly in the Arab world. He is currently writing a monograph on fragmented political storytelling in the contexts of the 2013 military intervention in Egypt, 2017 independence protests in Catalonia and Donald Trump’s Twitter use since becoming US president in 2017. This work explores the way in which narrative fragments can be used to imply detailed visions of the past and future, with frequently significant political implications.
Dr Hiroki Shin is a Vice-Chancellor’s Illuminate Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast and a research associate at the Research and Public History Department, Science Museum, London. He is interested in the social and cultural history of energy, transport and the environment from the nineteenth century to the present. In his work, he considers the impact of modern energy-intensive societies on culture, everyday life and the natural environment. His current project examines the role of cultural and heritage institutions – museums, science centres, archives and heritage sites – across the United Kingdom, Europe, America and Asia in response to the climate crisis. The project aims to foster an understanding and mobilisation of the cultural sector’s expertise and capacity to shape the public’s understanding of energy technology to address society’s need for a cultural adaptation to climate change.
Matthew Stanton is a PhD History candidate studying Early-Modern British History. His thesis is titled 'Charisma and Controversy: Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) and the Debate about Congregational Song.' His research focus is Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) concerning his works in the hymn-controversy of the late seventeenth-century. There is a lack of scholarship focused on the development of this controversy, particularly regarding the previous singing disputes found in baptistic congregations. By identifying this as a gap in scholarship, he is looking into the origins of Baptist song. He also considers Keach's hymns by surveying their content and effect later felt by key eighteenth-century English hymn-writers such as Isaac Watts (1674-1748). He is the creator of the Benjamin Keach Journal, an online database, which can be found here.
Emma Taylor is a History PhD candidate in QUB, and recipient of the John Beecher Memorial Prize for best overall academic performance in the History MA. Her research project is titled 'Vanished Veterans: The multifaceted reasons for minimal historical representation and public commemoration of disguised female American Civil War memorialization. This includes battlefield, monuments, films, noverls, and podcasts. Concurrently, it analyses their position within Civil War historiography. When contrasted, their historiographical absence, and/or negative representation, highlights a significant discriminatory trend within the discipline of history. That is, the exclusionary practive of selecting who/what is deserving of a place in academic and public knowledge.
Lucy Wray is a PhD Candidate at QUB. Her project entitled, ‘The Photographer and the City: the work of A.R. Hogg in recording social conditions in early twentieth-century Belfast’ works in collaboration with National Museum Northern Ireland. As well as photographic history, her research interests include poverty and welfare, civic space and culture and class.
Dr Ramona Wray is Reader in Renaissance Literature at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is the editor of the Arden Early Modern Drama edition of Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam(2012), the author of Women Writers in the Seventeenth Century(2004) and the co-author of Great Shakespeareans: Welles, Kurosawa, Kozintsev, Zeffirelli(2013). Ramona has recently completed an AHRC funded project on ‘Memory and Community in Early Modern Britain’, the findings of which are to be published in a special issue of Memory Studies (in press).