Dr James Mansell is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the Department of Cultural, Media and Visual Studies. He holds BA (Hons), MA, and PhD degrees in History from the University of Manchester. Prior to joining the University of Nottingham in 2010 he was Research Associate for a Leverhulme Trust international research network at the University of Manchester on spatial identities in modern European history. His research is on auditory cultures in modern history and on the collecting and presentation of auditory pasts in museums. He is currently Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded project Sonic Futures: Collecting, Curating and Engaging with Sound at the National Science and Media Museum. He has held visiting fellowships at the National Science and Media Museum and the Science Museum. He is Book Reviews Editor of the journal The Senses and Society and a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
James's research and teaching expertise are in sound studies. His research has focused on the cultural history of sound and hearing, sound media, and on histories of sonic modernity and modernism. In addition to research on the history of noise and everyday hearing he has worked on histories of 'occult' sound in relation to 'enchanted' modernist arts practices. He is currently working, among other things, on sound, museums and heritage. You can read about some of his work with the Science Museum in this blog and his work with the National Science and Media Museum in this blog.
The Age of Noise in Britain: Hearing Modernity (University of Illinois Press, 2017). You can listen to a feature about the book on BBC Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed' and a full author interview on the New Books in Sound Studies podcast.
Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, the Arts and the American West, co-edited with Christopher Scheer and Sarah Victoria Turner (Fulgur, 2019).
The Projection of Britain: A History of the GPO Film Unit, co-edited with Scott Anthony (BFI Books, 2011).
Enchanted Modernities: Mysticism, Landscape and the American West, an exhibition at Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah, USA, 2014, with Christopher Scheer and Sarah Victoria Turner. Read a review here. You can also listen to a radio feature about the exhibition.
Pioneering Spirit: Maud MacCarthy - Music, Mysticism and Modernity, an exhibition at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York, UK, 2014, with Rachel Cowgill, Christopher Scheer and Sarah Victoria Turner.
Funded Research Projects
Sonic Futures: Collecting, Curating and Engaging with Sound at the National Science and Media Museum, AHRC Follow On Funding for Engagement and Impact
Sensory Engagement: Arts, Museum and Research Collaboration for Sound Practice, University of Nottingham and Nottincham City Museums and Galleries, 2016-17
Acoustics on Display: Collecting and Curating Sound at the Science Museum, AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund, 2016
Music, Noise and Silence: Building Engagement in the Culture of Music and Science, AHRC Network, 2014-15
Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts, 1875-1960, Leverhulme International Network, 2012-15
MANSELL, J. G., 2020. Noise. In: SNAITH, A., ed., Sound and Literature. Cambridge University Press. 154-169
CLIFFE, L., MANSELL, J. G., GREENHALGH, C. and HAZZARD. A., 2020. Materialising contexts: virtual soundscapes for real-world exploration Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.
James has supervised seven PhD theses and one MRes thesis to date on topics ranging from the history of TV in Britain to the commemoration of war dead in contemporary Britain to the use of amateur film in public history. He welcomes enquires from potential postgraduate research students working in any area of media and cultural studies, especially media and cultural history, sensory studies and sound studies.