My research interests range widely across archaeology, anthropology, history, heritage and memory studies. My three main areas of research (outlined in more detail below) are: 1. Archaeology and heritage of twentieth-century conflict 2. History of archaeology 3. Public archaeology
I research, publish, teach, and supervise MA and PhD dissertations across these three fields.
1. Archaeology and heritage of twentieth-century conflict
My AHRC-funded PhD focused on traces of the civilian experience of the Second World War in Britain, including archaeological remains, memorial sites and landscapes, oral histories, and material culture.
Recently I have begun to research the archaeological heritage of the British-run detention camps from the Mau Mau rebellion in colonial-era Kenya.
I have also worked on Second World War-era sites in Finland and Poland, Civil War sites in Spain, and First and Second World War sites across the UK.
2. History of archaeology My Leverhulme-funded postdoctoral research looked at the history of public performances in the history of archaeology, from staged excavations to public unrollings of Egyptian mummies. I have also studied the history of archaeological chemistry, the development of early antiquarian institutions, the evolution of pseudo-archaeological myths, and the history of London archaeology. I am currently writing a biography of the nineteenth-century surgeon/antiquarian Thomas Pettigrew.
3. Public archaeology Public archaeology is a broad field that encompasses the archaeological equivalents of both science communication (focused on public understanding) and science studies (focused on social, political, economic, and cultural contexts). Several strands of my research focus on questions of power, ownership and control of cultural heritage, particularly the contested heritage of violent conflicts. I have years of experience in running public engagement and community archaeology activities, in collaboration with museums, heritage organizations and community partners. I am interested in cultural representations of antiquarianism and archaeology: I have conducted research into these themes in works of Rudyard Kipling, M.R. James, and other authors of early twentieth-century supernatural fiction.