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When you come to study at Birkbeck, you will encounter me in undergraduate modules such as Memory and Media in which we look at how societies and groups choose to remember and connect to the past, how they not only secure and transmit but also form memories with the help of different media. The module investigates how collective memories are drawn upon in narratives that construct the histories and identities of ‘racial’, national and ethnic groups, which in turn underpin those groups’ ideological and political claims. We study the latest concepts of and approaches to cultural memory and apply them to case studies across a wide range of media forms such as cinema, TV, radio, digital archives, memorials and museums. These modules are seminar-based which means that I aim to engage you in class discussion and short group work. I also work with Moodle, our virtual learning environment, to provide you with texts, handouts, presentations and images used in class so that you do not have to spend your time during seminars or lectures taking notes from the whiteboard.

At graduate level, I teach across various MA programmes such as the MA Journalism, MA Film, Television and Screen Media and the MA Museum Cultures. A module which I teach regularly is ‘Cultural Memory – Memory Cultures’ in which we look at a diverse range of films and screen media which engage with violent or difficult histories that led to mass suffering such as war, dictatorship, annihilation and displacement.

I welcome PhD/MPhil/MA/MRes proposals relating to memorials and memorial museums, cultural memory, dissonant and difficult heritage, memory politics and practices of remembrance, as well as transmedial storytelling.

Current PhD students

  • Mark Callaghan ‘The Art That Never Was: Rejected Proposals for the Berlin Holocaust Memorial Competition’ (full-time, year 5, will complete Summer 2016)
  • Elizabeth Burden ‘Integrating the Past, Troubles with Narrative: Representing the Troubles at the Ulster Museum’ (part-time, year 4, Arts Research Studentship)
  • Bruce Eadie ‘The Role of Affect and Representation in Documentary Film’ (year 3, Anniversary Scholarship)
  • Leila Nassereldein ‘Collecting “Images”: Temporality and Aesthetic Form in the Materialist Historiographies of Humphrey Jennings and Walter Benjamin’ (full-time, year 2)
  • Clare Havell ‘Identity, Anonymity and the Stigmatised Subject(part-time, year 2)