Department of History

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Michael Noble

, Faculty of Arts


Expertise Summary

Public engagement and project management

I have expertise in university-public engagement, including the brokering and management of productive working relationships between researchers and non-university partners; the planning and delivery of outreach and engagement events, both on and off campus; development and administration of co-production research projects and research project management.

I am responsible for project management and community liaison for the Centre for Hidden Histories, an AHRC-funded First World War Engagement Centre. In this role I have administered over 25 co-production research projects, organised and delivered public outreach events across the UK and established a nationwide network of academic researchers and community leaders. I regularly run history education sessions for primary and secondary school pupils. In 2016 I organised Beyond the Western Front: The Global First World War, a two-day conference that blended academic papers with a showcase of community group projects. I provide advice and consultation for academics and non-university partners interesting in collaboration and co-production.

Membership of academic and professional networks

I serve on the Committee of the First World War Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Network

Member of the University of Nottingham Public Engagement Network Executive

Member of the AHRC Connected Communities Professional Services Working Group

Research Summary

I am interested in urban organisations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and how they reflect their social, cultural, political and economic environment and adapt to external and internal… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

I am interested in urban organisations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and how they reflect their social, cultural, political and economic environment and adapt to external and internal pressures. My doctoral research explores how University College Nottingham responded to the crisis of the First World War.

The project examines two strands:

1. The effect of wartime conditions on the College. This strand includes assessments of the absence of male students and staff of military age, the financial implications of these absences and restructuring of the organisation in response.

2. The contribution made by the College to the national war effort. This includes the provision of specialised training courses for military recruits and munitions workers, the use of College buildings and equipment for war work and the contribution of the College's specialist technical expertise to the war economy.

I set these effects and contributions in the context not only of the College's trajectory of development but also of the wider changes in higher education and research in early twentieth century Britain. Project themes include the history of organisations, state-organised research, the history of education, the First World War, urban networks, technology and innovation

I am grateful to Manuscripts and Special Collections for funding this research.

Past Research

My Masters dissertation was entitled A Place of Our Own: Civic Growth and the Leicester Secular Society, 1840-1881. I applied techniques of organisational analysis to explore links between the growth of the town and the capacity of a private urban institution to undergo organisational formalisation and establish a permanent presence in a industrialising provincial town.

Conference papers

'I was not staunchly anything: Here Lies Eric Ambler and the Autobiography as Historical Witness Statement', Biography and Public History: Constructing Historical Narratives through Life Writing, University of Nottingham, June 2018

'The Mobilisation of Expertise: The First World War and the Formalisation of State-Funded University Research', The First World War: Past, Present, Future, Edinburgh Napier University, June 2019

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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