The Centre for History Culture and Memory (CHICAM) is dedicated to providing relevant research to help support new partnerships and public engagement that explores the role of history, culture and memory within our society. Over the last few years, we have enhanced and extended public engagement and partnerships through the co-production of content with heritage and community partners on a local, national and international scale. A few highlights include:

  • Bastow’s Defending the Faith project, which engaged local churches, Wakefield Council and Pontefract Castle to explore the enduring significance of John Jewel, the Bishop of Salisbury from 1560 to 1571.
  • Ellis’s AHRC-funded project Animating Heritage and Stigmawhich has allowed for international collaboration with Osaka City University, Japan and mental health providers in the USA.
  • Thornton’s research on the royal charters of liberties governing the distinctive autonomous status of the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey became the subject of a significant impact case study within this REF period.  Thornton’s publications, including his monograph on The Channel Islands 1370-1640 and text on The Charters of Guernsey are part of a body of work that has been cited in rulings by both the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.  In the period of uncertainty preceding Britain’s Exit from the European Union (2016 to 2020), Thornton’s work was consulted by senior legal figures in the administrations of both bailiwicks, particularly in relation to customs controls and cross-border trade.  His work is also used extensively in the professional education of lawyers. 

Our projects, partnerships and events have seen us regularly participate in national radio, television, news features and coverage, including museum curatorship and heritage promotion. Dr Katherine Lewis regularly contributes to BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’, while Prof Christine Hallett has been a historical advisor to the BBC, the Royal College of Nursing, the Florence Nightingale Museum and the National Trust. Prof Barry Doyle’s co-authored article (with Rosemary Cresswell) on healthcare before the NHS was published by The Conversation to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the health service. It has been accessed more than 35,000 times and led to interviews on Radio Scotland and other BBC stations.

Although we value invitations from mass media and broadcasting companies the philosophy behind our work is one, essentially, of public history: the co-creation of historical knowledge.  For this reason, we particularly value projects in which we have collaborated directly with community-based partners in the development of ideas.  Examples of such close collaborations include our work with the New Vic Theatre Company, UK, the Royal College of Nursing, UK and El Dorado Films, San Francisco, USA.