An UnBritish War Crime? Emotional heritage, disassociation and shame in museum audiences’ perceptions of conflict-related sexual violence
Overview of PhD
Using concepts of emotional heritage, disassociation and shame, my research examines the complex intersect between museum studies and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). Using the ‘Emotion Networking’ method (Reinwardt Academy) to analyse audiences’ behaviours and emotional responses to narratives of CRSV in facilitated museum encounters, I will seek to understand how notions of patriotism and nationalism project stereotypes onto survivors, perpetrators and specific conflicts.
The ongoing debates about definitions, causes and effects of CRSV within the IR, human rights and humanitarianism spheres, will inform my analysis of museum audiences’ perceptions and responses. Further positioned within museological scholarship on human rights activism, I will examine the role of the museum in presenting narratives of CRSV, and whether museums contribute to problematic, colonialist and gendered stereotypes of CRSV.
I have a BA in History from the University of Reading and an MA in War, Culture and History from the University of Manchester.
I have worked in the cultural sector for 12 years including at the REME Museum of Technology, Imperial War Museum North, The Wiener Holocaust Library, National Army Museum and the British Library. I specialise in developing learning and participatory programmes for adults.
I am particularly interested in examining how cultural audiences engage with and understand narratives of violence and oppression, and the subsequent impact on their sense of national identity. I’m also interested in how museums operate in the human rights space, and their potential for activism.
I am undertaking my PhD research part-time.