Academic Interests

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      About

      Dr Ross Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in the History department at the University of Chichester. He holds a BA (Hons) in Archaeology, an MA by Research in Archaeology and History (York, 2004) and a PhD in Archaeology and History (York, 2008). His doctoral thesis examined the experience of British soldiers on the Western Front and the representation of this experience within contemporary politics, media and culture.

      My research background is varied, taking approaches from archaeology, anthropology, literature and sociology to examine aspects of modern history and its representation in the present. I have research interests in modern British history and the history of the United States and I have written widely on issues of conflict, consumerism, identity, enslavement, literature, museums, heritage, urbanism, landscapes and material culture.

      In 2012, Routledge published my first book, Landscapes of the Western Front: Materiality during the Great War, which provided an anthropologically-informed examination of the British soldiers on the battlefields of France and Flanders during the First World War.

      This work then developed into an assessment of how the Great War (1914-1918) is valued and used across contemporary British society. This analysis of cultural history and heritage assesses how individuals and communities use the memory of the conflict to understand current political and social contexts. This work, Cultural Heritage of the Great War in Britain, was published by Routledge in July 2013.

      I continued my examination of the experience of the First World War with the 2014 publication with Routledge, New York and the First World War: shaping an American city. This work examined how the conflict of 1914-1918 had a dramatic effect on the citizens of New York, ensuring that a city of immigrants, which was perceived as a potential threat within the wider United States, was reformed during the war as a metropolis which was dedicated to the principles of the nation.

      In 2016, I published The Language of the Past with Bloomsbury. This study examined how we use references to the past to establish ideas and values in the present. From dinosaurs, cavemen, Egyptian pharaohs, Roman Emperors, medieval feudalism, Victorian culture and the Wild West, we incorporate the past as a metaphor, allusion or simile to guide us towards the future within contemporary society.

      I have developed my work within heritage studies and modern history with a book with Routledge in 2017, Natural History: heritage, place and politics. This assessed how the representation of natural history in museums, heritage sites, the media and within popular discourse, can be used to address how we relate to and understand our environment.

      In conjunction with this research, I have also been involved with the 1807 Commemorated project at the University of York which provided one of the major assessments of the marking of the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in British museums in 2007. This work was published by Routledge in 2011 as Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums: Ambiguous Engagements.

      My current research examines the history and heritage of health and safety, the media representation and memory of the First World War, the history of New York, the role of ‘natural heritage’, digital heritage, memory studies and the role of museums and heritage sites as a mode of social and political reform.

      Education

      BA (Hons) – University of York, 2002

      MA by Research – University of York, 2004

      PhD – University of York, 2008

      Publications

      Books

      2011 L. Smith, G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki (eds.), Representing enslavement and abolition in museums: ambiguous engagements, London and New York: Routledge.

      2012 Landscapes of the Western Front: the materiality of the Great War, London and New York: Routledge.

      2013 Cultural Heritage of the Great War in Britain, London and New York: Routledge.

      2014 New York and the Great War: Shaping an American City, London and New York: Routledge.

      2016 The Language of the Past, London: Bloomsbury.

      2017 (forthcoming) Natural History: heritage, place and identity, London and New York: Routledge.

      2018 (forthcoming) R. Wilson and W. Grahn (eds.) Gender and Heritage, London and New York: Routledge.

       

      Articles and chapters

      2007 ‘Archaeology on the Western Front: The Archaeology of Popular Myths’, Public Archaeology 6(4) (227-241).

      2008a ‘Strange Hells: A new approach on the Western Front’, Historical Research 80(211) (150-166).

      2008b ‘Representing the Diaspora: Performances of Origin and Becoming in Museums’, African Diaspora Archaeological Newsletter, March 2008. http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/news 0308/news0308.html#8.

      2008c ‘The Trenches in British Popular Memory’, InterCulture 5(2) (109-118).

      2008d ‘The BBC Abolition Season and the media memory of the transatlantic slave trade’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 28(3) (391-403).

      2008e ‘The mystical character of commodities: the consumer society in eighteenth century England’, Post-Medieval Archaeology 42(1) (144-156).

      2008f ‘British soldiers and “the monster” on the Western Front’, in S. Ni Fhlainn (ed.) Dark Reflections, Monstrous Reflections: Essays on the Monster in Culture. Oxford: The Interdisciplinary Press, pp. 285-298.

      2009a E. Waterton and R. Wilson, ‘Talking the talk: responses to the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in government documents, media responses and public forums’, Discourse and Society 20(2) (381-399).

      2009b ‘Memory and Trauma: Narrating the Western Front, 1914-1918’, Rethinking History 13(2) (251-268).

      2009c ‘Writing the Bicentenary – Reconciling in the Museum through the Written Word’, in S. Bojković and Ana Stolić (eds.) Museums as places of reconciliation: Proceedings of the 8th Colloquium of the International Association of Museums of History. Belgrade: Historical Museum of Serbia, pp. 150-163.

      2009d ‘Archaeology Quiet on the Western Front’, in L. Smith and E. Waterton (eds.) Taking Archaeology out of Heritage. Cambridge: The Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 72-90.

      2009e ‘Review: History, memory and heritage’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 15(4) (374-378).

      2010a ‘The Popular Memory of the Western Front: Archaeology and European Heritage’, in E. Waterton and S. Watson (eds.) Cultural Heritage and Representation: Perspectives on visuality and the past. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 75-90.

      2010b ‘Cultivating the City: York’s allotment gardens 1905-1914’, York Historian 26 (65-78).

      2010c E. Waterton, L. Smith, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, ‘Forgetting to Heal: remembering the abolition act of 1807’, The European Journal of English Studies 14(1) (23-36).

      2010d ‘Cultivating the City and its Citizens: The Creation of Corporation Allotments in York’, The International Journal of Regional and Local Studies 6(1) (38-57)

      2010e ‘Rethinking 1807: governmentality and the bicentenary’, Museum and Society 8(3) (165-179).

      2011a L. Smith, G. Cubitt and R. Wilson ‘Introduction: anxiety and ambiguity in the representation of dissonant history’, in L. Smith, G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki (eds.) Representing enslavement and abolition in museums, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 1-19.

      2011b ‘The Curatorial Complex: marking the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade’, in L. Smith, G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki (eds.) Representing enslavement and abolition in museums, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 131-146.

      2011c ‘Landscapes of Violence on the Western Front’, Assemblage 11 (1-14).

      2011d ‘Behind the Scenes of the Museum Website’, Museum Management and Curatorship 26(4) (373-389).

      2011e ‘Tommifying the Western Front’, Historical Geography 37(3) (338-347).

      2011f ‘Remembering and Forgetting Sites of Terrorism in New York, 1900-2001’, Journal of Conflict Archaeology 6(3) (200-221).

      2012a ‘Social and Political Reform in York’s Allotment Gardens’, Journal of Urban History 38(4) (731-752).

      2012b ‘Death and Burial in the British Army on the Western Front’, War & Society 31(1) (22-41)

      2012c ‘Remembering and Forgetting the Great War in New York City’, Journal of First World War Studies 3(1) (87-106).

      2013 ‘Volunteering for Service: Digital Co-Curation and the First World War’, International Journal of Digital Heritage Studies 1(4) (519-534).

      2014a ‘Seeing and Witnessing: Women and the Great War in Britain’, in G. Clarke (ed.) From Fields to Factories: Women’s Work on the Home Front in the First World War. Chichester: University of Chichester, pp.7-18.

      2014b ‘It still goes on: football and the heritage of the Great War in Britain’, Journal of Heritage Tourism 9(3) (197-211).

      2014c ‘It still goes on: trauma and the memory of the First World War ’, in M. Sokolowska-Paryz and M. Löeschnigg (eds.) Great War in Post-Memory Literature, Drama and Film. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, pp.43-58.

      2014d ‘Framing the Great War in Britain: Modern mediated memories’, in B. Ziino (ed.) Remembering the First World War. London: Routledge, pp.59-73.

      2014e ‘Sad shires and no man’s land: First World War frames of reference in the British media representation of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars’, Media, War and Conflict 7(3) (291-308).

      2015a ‘It still goes on: football and the heritage of the Great War in Britain’, in G.Ramshaw (ed.) Sport Heritage. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 10-25.

      2015b ‘Playful Heritage: excavating Ancient Greece in New York City’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 21(5) (476-492).

      2015c ‘Remembering and Forgetting Sites of Reform in New York’, International Journal of Heritage Studies 21(6) (545-560).

      2015d ‘Surveying New Sites: Landscapes and Archaeologies of the internet’, Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 2(1) (72-78).

      2015e ‘Still fighting in the trenches: ‘war discourse’ and the memory of the First World War in Britain’, Memory Studies 8(4) (454-469).

      2015f ‘The past and present war: contemporary political cartoons and the memory of the First World War in Britain’, European Journal of Comic Art 8(3) (83-102).

      2016a ‘War Discourse: still talking about the First World War in Britain, 1914-2014’, in J. Walker and C. Declercq (eds.) Language and the First World War: Volume 2, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.237-248.

      2016b ‘Witnessing and affect: making new spaces to remember the Great War in Britain’, in D. Drozdzewski, S. De Nardi and Emma Waterton (eds.) Memory, Place and Identity: commemoration and remembrance of war and conflict, London: Routledge, pp.221-235.

      2017 (forthcoming) ‘Witnessing the Great War in Britain’, in D. Harvey and J. Wallis (eds.) Commemorating and Remembering the First World War at its Centenary, London: Routledge.

      2017 (forthcoming) ‘The Museum of Safety: responsibility, awareness and modernity in New York, 1908-1923’, Journal of American Studies.

      Ross Wilson

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