School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Sophie Campbell

PhD in American Studies, Faculty of Arts


Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic

Beyond the Bicentenary: Contemporary 'collective remembrance' of Transatlantic Slavery in Britain, the Caribbean and the United States.

Research Summary

My thesis is broadly concerned with critical heritage studies and public memory, through the specific lens of Transatlantic Slavery commemoration. Rather than collective memory however, it uses Jay Winter's term 'collective remembrance' - which he describes as an ongoing process of contestation and negotiation between several groups.

My research looks beyond the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain, through the lens of criticisms of those events. This period has seen political turmoil on both sides of the Atlantic and the growth of international movements such as Rhodes Must Fall and Black Lives Matter. My research will analyse current heritage activity in the UK, within this climate, and where weaknesses persist, or regressions have occurred, I will investigate whether lessons of 'best practice' could be learnt from recent activity in Britain's former colonies in the Caribbean and the Eastern United States.

This research will critique several concepts, including assessing the viability of 'transnational' heritage and remembrance, and considering whether the official heritage sector is equipped to deal with the complexity of this shared difficult history. Through this it will contribute to the growing discussion around the nature of heritage itself. It will also explore issues of nationalism, identity and race that intersect with collective remembrance of Transatlantic Slavery.

Research Interests

Slavery, Commemoration, Museums, Heritage, Public Memory, Collective Remembrance.

Research Supervisors

Professor Zoe Trodd

Dr Susanne Seymour

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

Additional Information

MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Leeds.

BA (Hons) in History from Lancaster University.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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