Dr Sarah Feinstein

Present-ing the Past: Heritage Management and Cultural Production at Maze Long Kesh Prison and Ebrington Barracks, 2000-2015


  • Abigail Gilmore (Arts and Cultural Management)
  • Roger Mac Ginty (Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute)
  • Allison Jeffers (Drama)

Overview of PhD

Nancy Fraser (1995) posits that social justice is achieved irreducibly through dual mechanisms: equal distribution and access to resources and cultural recognition and representation, which requires a parity of participation in structural and symbolic systems. Scholars such as Paul Connerton (2008) and Adrian Forty (1999) argue for an analysis of the complex and often-contradictory dynamics of remembrance and forgetting at work in presenting (and representing) the social history that is contained and exposed through the human agency within the heritage landscape. The conceptualisation and manifestation of heritage management must, therefore, contend with the political and social history embedded in a site. In societies transitioning from conflict, what are the barriers and assets to heritage management of sites connected to political violence? What are the dynamics of recognition, as defined by the dual mechanisms of participation and representation, that cultural projects engage with at such sites in Northern Ireland? To unpack these questions, my thesis focuses on the cultural production post-closure of two former security sites: Maze and Long Kesh Prison (Lisburn) and Ebrington Barracks (Derry/Londonderry). The research is structured around case studies, and uses grounded theory supplemented through a mix of qualitative methods, such as semi-structured expert interviews and ethnography.


I have worked in the cultural sector for over seventeen years, acquiring skills in collections management and arts administration. I worked as a museum technician at the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), and as research assistant for the Repatriation Office at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.). Most recently, I worked as a researcher at the Pankhurst Center Heritage Museum (Manchester) and the Prisons Memory Archive (Belfast). I hold a BA in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College, a MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a MA in Creative and Critical Analysis from Goldsmiths University London. I have a keen interest in cultural studies, social research methodology, feminism, archives, and the relationship between cultural production and social movements.

PhD-related publications, presentations and other outputs

Book chapter

  • Feinstein, S. (2015). 'Turning the Tables: Repertoires of Agency and Resistance in Manchester’s Feminist Music Production and Distribution'. In Camilla Mørk Røstvik and Louise Sutherland (eds.), Suffragette Legacy: How Does the History of Feminism Inspire Current Thinking in Manchester. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, pp. 17-43.

Guest lectures

  • Anthropology Department, Statue University of New York – Plattsburgh (November 2015)
  • European Urban Cultures, Manchester Metropolitan University (February 2014)
  • 'The Politics of Space: The Symbolic Landscape of Northern Ireland' for the MA in European Urban Cultures at Manchester Metropolitan University (26 February 2014)

Conference and public presentations

  • 'Seizing the Means of Production: The Cultural Legacy of the Suffragettes.' Presented at The Suffragettes -100 Years On as part of the Imagine Festival of Ideas and Politics, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. (March 2016)
  • '”This Place is a Dragon”: Prisons, Feminism, and the Politics of Representation in the Archival Practice of Northern Ireland.' Presented at the 2016 Annual Conference of the College Art Association held in Washington, D.C. (February 2016)
  • 'The Material Culture of Political Violence: Her Majesty’s Prison Maze/Long Kesh.' Presented at the Mnemonics Network for Memory Studies Annual International Conference Memories and Materialsm held at the University of Westminster and King’s College London (September 2015)
  • 'Marking Out a Future: Strategies for Re-Imaging the Symbolic Landscape in Northern Ireland.' Presented at (Re)Visioning the Urban Imagination: The Art and Politics of Redevelopment held at Richmond, The American International University in London (November 2014)
  • 'An Archive of Our Own: Destabilizing Centres of Patriarchy' with Althea Greenan of the Women's Art Library, Goldsmiths at the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association Conference 'Smashing the Patriarchy' at University of Dundee (13 January 2014)
  • 'Politics of Space: Cultural Policy, Peacebuilding and Northern Ireland' at the Institute for Cultural Practices Annual Doctoral Forum at the University of Manchester (21 January 2014)
  • 'Manchester's Radical Feminist Music Distribution: Women's Revolution per Minute (1977-2005)' at the Wonder Women Suffragette Legacy Conference at the People's History Museum in Manchester (8 March 2014)
  • 'Deeds, Not Words': A Front of House Volunteer Programme for the Pankhurst Centre Heritage Museum' at the Researcher in Residence Showcase at the Manchester Museum (16 June 2014)

Contact details