Imperial War Museum (with permission of the Imperial War Museum)

Imperial War Museum (with permission of the Imperial War Museum).

Remembrance, Commemoration and Memory

James Wallis, David Harvey and Nicola Thomas of the Geography Department have been recently been awarded an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with the Imperial War Museum (IWM).

Entitled Remembrance, Commemoration and Memory: Negotiating the Politics of Display in the Imperial War Museum, 1960 – 2014, the project will be undertaken by James Wallis, as the named student, who completed both his undergraduate and Masters degrees at Exeter. Based within the IWM’s archive, the project will contextually analyse the museum’s presentation of First World War exhibited material from the 1960s through to 2014. Working alongside the IWM’s Centenary Redevelopment Team, this project will provide both a referential base for the creation of new exhibitions for the War’s centenaries, as well as documenting the changing practices of commemoration within a fifty four year timeframe.

James, who will begin this project in the autumn, said that “this is a wonderful opportunity to work alongside one of the country’s leading museums, and to explore the continuing meaning and significance of this most crucial moment in the history of commemoration”. His supervisors, Dr David Harvey and Dr Nicola Thomas are especially pleased that this project has been forged and developed over the course of James’ time at Exeter, through an initial contact made during his undergraduate dissertation research. The Imperial War Museum stated “we are delighted that James Wallis will be working with us as we embark on the most significant redevelopment project in the Museum’s history. His work will provide real insight for us as we endeavour to interpret for our visitors a conflict that is surrounded by more mythology than any other”. The project will ensure that Exeter University will be centrally involved with the national commemorations of the First World War’s one hundred year anniversary.

Date: 17 May 2011

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