School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Sophie Campbell

PhD in American Studies and History,


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Before and Beyond Abolition: Remembering the 'business of slavery' at heritage sites in England and New England.

Research Summary

My research is broadly concerned with critical heritage studies and public memory and looks to contribute to discussions about the nature and uses of heritage. It is exploring this through the lens of remembrance of Transatlantic Slavery, specifically the positive economic impact of the trade and practice on England and New England. Despite their geographic distance from the plantations, these two regions were heavily involved in the 'business of slavery', to use Clark-Pujara's term, however today the explicit remnants of slavery are limited or invisible.

My work highlights where and how the 'business of slavery' is remembered. Case studies include interventions onto the cityscapes, museums and art galleries, historic houses and historic cotton industry sites. The majority of my case studies have developed their coverage of this topic in the twenty-first century. As well as reflecting on these developments' implications for 'heritage', I am analysing transnational similarities and differences between England and New England.

Research Interests

Transatlantic African Chattel Slavery, 'Business of slavery', Commemoration, Museums, Heritage.

Research Supervisors

Dr Susanne Seymour (Geography)

Dr Sheryllynne Haggerty (History)

Professor Zoe Trodd

Primary Funding Source/s

AHRC Midlands3Cities (M3C) PhD Studentship, 2017-2020

Research Institutes, Centres and/or Research Clusters Memberships

Centre for Research in Race and Rights at the University of Nottingham

British Association for American Studies

Association of Critical Heritage Studies

Museums Association

Conference Papers & Presentations

'Nelson, Slavery and Heritage', paper delivered at After Empire?: The Contested History of Decolonisation, Migration and Race in Modern Britain (University of Leeds, 13-14 December 2018).

'Remembering and labeling the millions involved in Britain's Transatlantic Slavery', paper delivered at Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders and Collaborators as historical concepts: Redundant labels, useful categorisations or somewhere in between? (University of Kent, 19 June 2018).

'Is slavery still on the margins?', poster session presented at Memories at the Margin: Exploring the voices and memories of the suppressed, marginalised, and silenced (University of Bristol, 7-8 June 2018).

'Sites of Memory as Palimpsests?: Bristol's Statue of Edward Colston', paper delivered at Orientations: A Conference of Narrative and Place (University of Nottingham, 30-31 May 2018).

'Why visit the sites?', poster session on methodological justification presented at the annual M3C Research Festival (University of Birmingham, 24 May 2018).

'Greatest statesmen or worst villains? Public commemorations of defenders of enslavement', paper delivered at Moving Monuments: History, Memory and the Politics of Public Sculpture (Manchester Metropolitan University, 20-21 April 2018).

Additional Information

Teaching Experience: Teaching Affiliate on 'Approaches to American Culture 1' in American and Canadian Studies at UoN (Oct-Dec 2018). Seminar Leader for 'Wilberforce and Wilberfest' session, as part of 'The British Slave Trade and Abolition' in the History department at UoN (Mar 2019).

Completed Associate Teachers' Programme for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2018-2019).

Outreach Work: GCSE-level guest talk on African Americans and the American Civil War (Jun 2018). Planning and delivering part of American Studies Discovery Day for Primary schools (Nov 2018).

Previous Education: First Class BA (Hons) in History from Lancaster University (2012-2015). Distinction in MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Leeds (2015-2016).

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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