I joined the Open University in September 2013, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in English Literature. I work across two collaborative public engagement projects in the English department, At the Heart of the Nation: India in Britain, a follow on from Beyond the Frame: Indian-British Connections 1850-1950, and the AHRC-funded project Reading Communities: Connecting the Past and the Present. I completed my doctorate in 2013 at the University of Leeds, within the School of English. As well as my Ph.D, I studied a BA in English Studies and an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies with the University of Leeds.
I am currently a Module Team member for A300 (20th century literature: texts and debates), as well as a lecturer for AA100 (The arts past and present) day schools in Leeds.
I have a strong interest in public engagement and widening participation research activities. Extending from my doctorate, I spearheaded the community engagement project Expulsion: 40 Years On, which secured circa £19,000 of in-kind and monetary support from, amongst others, Arts Council England (Grant for Arts), University of Leeds (HEIF, Arts Engaged and Leeds for Life) and Leeds City Museum. Working collaboratively with external partners, schools and artists the project aimed to mark the 40th anniversary, in August 2012, of the expulsion of the South Asian population from Uganda. Expulsion: 40 Years On involved a community day event in Leeds City Museum and local primary school workshops. The project received broad media coverage, and led to my nominated as Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2012/13 for the Faculty of Arts, University of Leeds.
A new phase of ‘Beyond the Frame’, entitled ‘At the heart of the Nation: India in Britain’, partners with the UK Indian High Commission, Nehru Centre, and University of Exeter to mark the 2017 70th anniversary of Indian independence. This extension to the current project will, from summer 2017 onwards, tour a photographic exhibition around three major cities in the UK, launch an accompanying digital component, as well as host a series of launches, talks and panel discussions. The project will document the long continuum of Indian-British history, showcasing striking visual photographs to broad, public audiences around the UK.
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Other-collaborator||01/Dec/2015||30/Nov/2016||AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council)|
‘Reading Communities: Connecting the Past and Present’ addresses the AHRC 10th-Anniversary Follow-On Scheme Highlight Notice, which invites proposals that will ‘enhance engagement with, and impact from, research funded by the AHRC during the first two years after its establishment in 2005’. This project is intended as a follow on from the ‘Reading Experience Database 1800–1945’ (2006–2009), which was funded by a £292,108 Resource Enhancement grant awarded by the AHRC in 2006. This one-year project builds on the success of the Reading Experience Database (RED) to create a series of city-focused reading outreach events. These will include lectures, oral history interviews and community workshops focused on crowdsourcing from participants' diaries or other documents. Activities will take place in Belfast, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London.