We undertake a wide range of funded research projects , and support many more led by other member centres within the university’s Research Priority Area in Rights and Justice.
We also work with postgraduate students and welcome enquiries from potential Masters and Doctoral applicants, including through the Midlands3Cities-AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership
C3R PhD students currently work on such topics as Puerto Rican community activism, African American segregated travel, the use of media by white supremacists, the Black Panther Party, and black women’s prison writing. We host a monthly reading group on Race and Rights for postgraduate and early-career scholars.
Current research projects
The Civil Rights Movement: A Literary History (2017-2020)
This three year Leverhulme Trust-funded project will support the writing of an archival and interdisciplinary study that will extend civil rights historiography and include the recovery of neglected activists, activist-writers and texts.
The Civil Rights Movement: A Literary History will be the first extended study to analyse the relationship between cultural creation and political and social change in the US civil rights movement by examining the imaginative writing of activists and organisations. It pays attention to writing by overlooked, neglected and renowned American writers, including those who resisted racial change and others who depicted white supremacists and racial moderates in order to explore the fear of social change. It uncovers the significance of literary activism from the post-Civil War Reconstruction era to the present. It will extend civil rights historiography. The movement’s literary culture is uncharted, as is the role that literary activism played in organisations. It will fill a gap in civil rights history as well as literary history, recovering neglected writers, activists and texts for posterity.
The Antislavery Usable Past (2014-19)
A large AHRC-funded project (total value £1.84m), this will unearth, theorise and apply a usable past of antislavery examples and methods in order to help end contemporary global slavery.
The grant for the Antislavery Usable Past project
is one of three awards announced by the AHRC under their ‘Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past’ theme, which aims to generate new understandings of the relationship between the past and the future. The five year project brings together a team of four professors from the University of Nottingham, the University of Hull and Queens University Belfast, and has three PhD students and two postdoctoral fellows, as well as a number of international partner organisations including Walk Free, the International Slavery Museum and Yale University. It will unearth the details of past antislavery strategies and translate their important lessons into tools for policy makers and civil society.
Modern Slavery: Meaning and Measurement (2016-18)
This Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (ESRC/AHRC), Trans-National Organised Crime Cross-disciplinary Innovation Grant is a study and analysis of contemporary global slavery’s meaning and measurement.
It examines how slavery is defined by different 'user groups', with the intention of bringing usability and clarity to the different needed types of definitions - specifically legal, operational, and popular definitions. This study also will bring the perspective of the antislavery usable past by asking how formerly enslaved people who became antislavery leaders during past abolitionist movements (18th, 19th and 20th century) understood and used definitions (and measurements) of slavery. Does the definitional debate, especially with regard to contributions by survivors of slavery, have a usable past? The second key activity of this project addresses the measurement of modern slavery. It is a further test of the application of Multiple Systems Estimation techniques to the hidden population of slavery and trafficking victims.
Journey to Justice (2016-17)
This project will bring a touring exhibition of international, national, and local activism to Nottingham in spring 2017.
Journey to Justice: Nottingham is a partnership between C3R, the national not-for-profit organisation Journey to Justice, The Galleries of Justice (re-opening as The National Justice Museum in 2017), and the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, collaborating with Nottingham city, arts and heritage organisations. It is focused on public engagement around civil rights, social justice, and human rights and includes an exhibition open to the public from February to June 2017 . It builds on Journey to Justice’s ethos “to inspire people through learning from past and present human rights struggles to take action for social justice.”
The New Nottingham Project (2016-17)
This two-year Cascade Grant-funded public engagement project connects communities in New York City and Nottingham to draw parallels between both cities and their rich history of community activism and social justice. Through this collaboration with New York, participants will participate in the creation of a New Nottingham.
From January to November 2016, the project focuses on the Loisaida (Lower East Side) venue with an exhibition on Loisaida community activism from the 1960s to 2001. It will run from October to November at the primary community cultural centre called Loisaida Center
and feature many events such as theatre performances, scholarly and activist panels, gallery tours, and mural paintings. After its conclusion, the same organisers will start work on an exhibition in Nottingham called Journey to Justice
, which is currently travelling through the UK to bring stories and lessons of past and present human rights and social justice movements to local communities in UK cities. New
Nottingham is funded by a generous Cascade Grant
from The Nottingham Campaign and a arts grant from the New York City Council.
Representing Slavery: Making a Public Usable Past (2016-17)
This year-long British Academy-funded engagement project will build a network of slavery scholars interested in public engagement through the arts, with early career researchers and knowledge exchange partners at its centre.
The project includes a major conference in Nottingham, and workshops on visual culture, public history and education in London, Liverpool and Hull that develop best practice for working with diverse communities, creative practitioners, museums, archives and galleries, and schools and young people.
Project funders include