Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis and Cross-Case Synthesis of Oral Histories and History in Post-Conflict and Postco

Lead Research Organisation: Bath Spa University
Department Name: College of Liberal Arts


Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts proposes a cross-disciplinary analysis and cross-case synthesis of experience and memory in post-conflict and postcolonial contexts. Case-research, conducted from disciplinary bases in anthropology and history, will interrogate relationships between oral histories and amateur histories with more formal written archives and historiography in a series of disrupted settings (evictions in colonial and apartheid west Namibia; memories and historical interpretations of the Egyptian Jewish diaspora; war-time evacuation in Vichy, France; recent maritime exodus of migrants from Africa; and Portuguese migrant subjectivities in post-colonial Angola). This will be complemented by systematic cross-case engagement, synthesis, theorisation and communication of case-study research, conducted through regular meetings of our core research team, a larger research workshop, and presentation to the broader AHRC-LABEX Pasp network.

In the postconflict and colonial contexts of our cases, 'disruption' is present in three senses: as the productive ways in which multiple experiences retrieved through oral histories may refract and revise historical analysis; as the happening histories of objectively disruptive events break the flow of individual and collective experience; and as a strategy for cross-disciplinary research to disrupt and democratise conventional understanding by drawing attention to occluded experiences. 'Recovery' is also polysemic, invoking retrieval of past experiences, and the possibility for enhanced well-being, through voicing memories that may have been suppressed and attending to mismatches between public discourse about displaced groups and individual experience.

We will publish our findings in a bespoke collection (the Palgrave Studies in Oral History is a possible outlet) and in peer reviewed journals such as Oral History, and make our research available in English and French to wider publics at http://disruptedhistories.net.


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Description The starting point for the joint AHRC Care for the Future and French LABEX Past in the Present project 'Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts' is the methodological complexity infusing whose and what types of experience and knowledge are considered to be of value in formulating historical analysis and narrative. We understand debates and struggles over sources of information and memory to be at the heart of the presences of pasts as these are shaped into unfolding futures.

These concerns flow from a Foucauldian appreciation that whose pasts are able to contribute to the future and how is always saturated with power relations. In particular, and as argued by historians such as Michel de Certeau and Paul Ricoeur, 'memory' and 'history' can find themselves dissociated because of doubt surrounding the validity of oral testimonies. The past that becomes written as 'History', as well as the memories which become fashioned into more-or-less formalised national strategies of 'remembrance', thus are always caught within contingent discursive webs and institutional(ised) structures.

Simultaneously, however, this contingency of voice, as well as of the objects and subjects of knowledge conferred by particular 'regimes of truth', forms the ground of possibility for disruptive interventions that recover and recognise other(ed) voices, views, wills and presences. The past revealed, concealed and constructed through historiography is thereby encountered as explicitly heterogeneous, opening the way conceptually and methodologically for the telling of different and multiple stories - for 'the decomposition and recomposition of national [and public] myths' - through varied methods, registers and media.

This possibility of historical heterogeneity is perhaps particularly present in post-conflict and postcolonial contexts. In such settings, experience of objectively traumatic events, combined with strongly hierarchical structures that reinforce difference and politicise what it is possible to remember, make the retrieval and recognition of occluded experiences particularly potent. In a range of prior studies we have thus emphasised the patterning that can arise in such settings, as well as the methodological sensitivity required in both drawing to the fore experiences that may have been silenced, and in hearing silences themselves as perhaps articulations of the unspeakable. Such emphases are increasingly the focus of cross-disciplinary analyses in post-conflict and postcolonial contexts, including in geography, anthropology and sociology, as well as history.

For us, then, disruption in 'Disrupted Histories' can be understood in three senses:
- first, as the productive ways that multiple voices and experiences, retrieved through recording and analysis of oral and amateur histories, may refract and revise historical narratives based on written archives that become historical convention in the present;
- second, as the happening histories of objectively disruptive events in conflict and colonial settings, which interrupt the flow of individual and collective experience to produce 'strong breaks or intense political and social mutations';
- and third, as a strategy for cross-disciplinary research to disrupt conventional understanding by drawing attention to occluded and 'subjugated knowledges' as a nontrivial gesture towards the democratisation of knowledge production.

Children's histories (as explored in our case-studies), in particular, are latently disruptive because of the unique ways in which children experience events, their passivity in the face of political decision-making, and their lack of responsibility for past crimes. Nonetheless, their voices have been overlooked, or relegated to the status of anecdote or nostalgia. We instead follow work in childhood studies that recognises children's knowledge as different, not inferior, to adults', and affirms that recalled experiences, expressed retrospectively, can be mobilised so as to understand traumatic pasts only parts of which are publicly recognised.

'Recovery', in the sense of Recovered Pasts, thus is for us also polysemic. It refers to the retrieval of past experiences that may be masked by public discourse and historiography based on written archives alone, as well as to the possibility for enhanced well-being through voicing memories that may previously have been unheard.

In 'Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts' we are engaging with these possibilities for disruption and recovery through combining cross-disciplinary inflection (history and anthropology/ethnography) with the recording and analysis of oral and amateur histories, as well as analysis of written archives, in a range of post-conflict and postcolonial settings. These are contexts in which hierarchical linkages between power, knowledge production and axes of difference are particularly strong. Their selection has emerged through interaction between scholars in the AHRC Care for the Future-LABEX PasP network and associated colleagues. Through this interaction it has become apparent that there may be commonalities of concern and experience in conducting oral history research in these settings, as a means for regaining ownership of diverse pasts.

We seek to conduct and combine new research, enhanced by being embedded in sustained research trajectories, to pursue a range of empirical and methodological objectives, guided by the following questions:
- how might oral histories, testimonies and narratives speak to, with and as 'History' in selected contexts of objectively disruptive historical events including war, migration, colonisation, and eviction?
- how do oral histories, as well as amateur histories recorded through blogs and websites, refract and revise more formal history and historiography in these contexts?
- are there themes, patterns and theoretical modifications that might arise through sustained conversation, engagement and synthesis of experiences inscribed through multiple cases across similarly disrupted historical experiences? Might these permit the roles and values of oral and amateur history research to speak with more methodological strength to processes of knowledge production in historical research based on written archives?

Following Gayatry Spivak, then, we aim through oral and amateur history research to facilitate 'subject-restoration' and the recognition of heterogeneity in contexts of 'subject-deprivation', i.e. where disruptive experiences have acted to 'drain' individuals, groups and experiences 'of proper identity'. Our proposal is particularly relevant to three priority areas in the original AHRC-LABEX PasP Joint Funding Call, namely: 1. 'How societies remember and try to come to terms with the legacies of difficult and divisive pasts'; 2. 'Representations and uses of the past in the present'; and 3. 'Mediations of the past; cultural and social appropriations of the past' - including digital practices.
Our research programme combines two key activities, namely 1. a series of comparative case-studies, and 2. cross-case synthesis. We have established a project website at https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/ that includes information on seminars and events plus a research blog at https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/research-blog with two blogs posted so far based on different aspects of our research. We are developing a Disrupted Histories Working Paper series and our first working paper, based on our conceptual framework and original Case for Support, will shortly be available to download from our website.

Here we report on the current state of play for the three case-studies being carried out for the UK part of this research project, as well as including summaries of the two case-studies proposed by our French colleagues.

Case studies
The core primary research on which our project will be based is a series of five individually-led new empirical case-studies based on primary research that systematically interrogates relationships between oral histories and amateur histories with more formal written historical archives and historiography in each case. Our selected case studies are connected by the themes of:
1. attending to the disruptions that may be proposed by connecting oral and amateur histories with formal written historical reference;
and 2. their setting in contexts that are themselves structured by specific disruptive events caused by conflict and/or colonialism.
Whilst adhering to these themes, each case-study embodies particular methodological inflections and intentions, as detailed below.

1. Oral histories, sound recordings, and historical record regarding land clearances and culturenature relationships in postcolonial and post-apartheid west Namibia
- led by Sian Sullivan, Principal Investigator (UK) and Project Coordinator, Bath Spa University (BSU)
This case-study complements and extends research conducted under the AHRC Care for the Future research project Future Pasts (ref. AH/K005871/2, www.futurepasts.net). It seeks to explicitly connect and juxtapose oral histories and testimonies recorded as part of Future Pasts in Khoekhoegowab amongst Damara / ?Nu Khoen people in west Namibia, with a range of written and recorded archival sources housed at the Namibia Resource Centre of the Basler Afrika Bibliographien (BAB) in Basle, Switzerland. The case study consolidates analysis of oral histories of childhood memories of displacement from former dwelling sites, recorded during return with adults to sites that were previously home for these individuals (see Disrupted Histories blog post describing this case study at https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/227). The case research is connecting these memories with written archival documents and new historiography (especially relevant are: Miescher, G. 2012 Namibia's Red Line: The History of a Veterinary and Settlement Border. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; Rizzo, L. 2012 Gender and Colonialism: A History of North-western Namibia. Basle: BAB) that map and document land use and indigenous presence in west Namibia. The following avenues are being pursued in particular:

i. close review of General Kaokoveld Report by Major Manning November 1917 (National Archives of Namibia (NAN) ADM 156 W 32) and Manning's the follow-on report of 1919 in connection with oral histories for part of the area that Manning covered. This research suggests direct connections between families encountered by Manning and their elderly descendants in the area today, known through recorded interviews through prior research in the area. Two individuals (cousins Franz ||Hoëb and Noag Ganaseb) have now travelled with Sullivan to locations marked on the map sketched by Manning as inhabited by people speaking Khoekhoegowab. Due to habitation restrictions established as the area was opened for diamond mining in the 1950s and then gazetted as part of the Skeleton Coast National Park (in 1971) people were removed from these areas and they ceased to accessible for habitation. On-site oral history recorded with Franz and Noag through a 150km journey from the settlement of Sesfontein to the coast at Möwe Bay has generated a rich source of information regarding how people lived and moved in this area in the past that also finds corroboration in Manning's report from 100 years ago. This research, which combines historical archival research with on-site oral history in remote localities in north-west Namibia, is now being written up;

ii. through 'Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts' archival research at the Namibia Resource Centre of BAB is also being conducted focusing specifically on written transcripts and sound recordings made in the 1950s by the German Africanist scholar and theologian Prof. Ernst Dammann (1904-2003) and his wife Ruth Damman (née Scholtisek, 1911-1995) (Inventory PA.39, Carton F (Khoekhoegowab), Folders 1-9, and Cassettes 32-41). Initial exploration indicates that these written and recorded sources include comment on shifting historical claims to land, as well as expressing a series of folkloric representations of culturenature relationships that are remembered in and relevant to present contexts of displacement. Further archival research at BAB will permit enquiry into past audio recordings and the contexts of their documentation, in part through recovering contemporary responses to these colonial recordings in Namibian contexts.

2. Recovering childhood memories in contexts of war-time trauma in France
- led by Lindsey Dodd, Co-Investigator (UK), University of Huddersfield
The post-conflict historiography of the Vichy era in France has been subject to bitter debate, with the historical establishment pitting itself against historical actors in search of an objective 'Truth'. While attention has shifted towards understandings of daily life, children's experiences, oral histories and histories of displacement remain undervalued, and traumatic civilian experiences have been subsumed by questions of guilt, blame and retribution. Barring work on the 1940 civilian exodus during the German invasion, scholarship has failed to recognise that the period 1940-1944 was, for many French children, one of multiple displacements. They became lone refugees and evacuees at a time of severe food shortages, violent civil unrest and heavy bombing. These histories of separation and loss have been excluded from formalised historical and national narratives of the Vichy era. Historians, on the whole, have ignored French (rather than Jewish) children's pasts. This is, therefore, an issue of subject restoration. Both a positivistic obsession with the 'Truth' about (in particular) resistance and collaboration, and an institutional legacy of structuralism which resists ordinary individuals' heterogeneity have made oral history appear suspect to historians working with written archives using traditional historical methodologies. Yet sound archives (national, departmental, municipal) and digital amateur histories (blogs, websites) proliferate, albeit underexploited. In this case study, two linked methodological approaches will contest this double distortion of children's stories, and displacement stories:

i. Mapping and re-use: this approach engages with archival sound holdings and amateur histories of wartime childhoods. It seeks to catalogue and analyse existing sound archives relevant to children's wartime lives, illuminating narrator insights which disrupt, revise and refract dominant discourses on topics such as resistance and collaboration. Both the (re-)use of oral histories and crowd-sourced resources are matters of scholarly debate.

ii. Voices of wartime child displacement: 10-15 oral histories will be recorded to examine experiences of separation and displacement, building on previously recorded oral histories which include refugee and evacuee stories. Much wartime child displacement happened in 'the best interests of the child' - for physical protection or physical health. Little attention was paid to emotional wellbeing. By contrasting new oral narratives with archival material (e.g. Archives municipales de Boulogne-Billancourt (AMBB) 6H 17, 6H 18, 6H 19; Archives départementales de la Creuse (ADC) 288 W 42, 288 W 43), the consequences of loss and separation may be recovered through disruption of the 'best interests' discourse. Oral histories will be recorded with adults who as children were displaced from the industrial Paris suburbs to rural France, with the AMBB and the ADC as partner organisations (supporting letters attached). Existing research links with these two institutions stem from the Creuse being a reception department for thousands of evacuated children from Boulogne-Billancourt.

In meeting these aims, to date, Dodd has contacted 200 archives and museums across France to locate oral history holdings of wartime childhoods. She has completed two research trips (Oct./Nov. 2016) to visit nine institutions from which she harvested a large quantity of already-recorded material dating from various moments after the war, which has rarely, if ever, been analysed. For more information see Disrupted Histories blog post at: https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/171. These institutions comprised: five municipal or departmental archives, one municipal library/heritage office (Ville de Laval; keen to continue working with Dodd and with strong beyond-academia impact potential), one museum (Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation, Lyon; again with strong impact potential) and 2 institutions outside 'official spheres': Rails et histoire (the association for the history of French railways (AHCIF, Paris) and Le Son des Choses (a small organisation in the Champagne-Ardenne region which records oral histories of local life).

Dodd has thus far built a corpus of 150 'amateur narratives' of wartime childhoods in Vichy France. Of these, 86 are oral narratives collected during her fieldwork, 70 of which have been transcribed. She has recorded six people's experiences of childhood during the Vichy era. Dodd aims to return to France in 2017 to record more interviews about childhood displacement and family separation (via children's evacuation to the Creuse) in particular.

This research is leading to a paper called 'Pivoting on trauma' based on three of the narratives, which will also be delivered as a seminar paper in April 2017. The paper compares the way in which three individuals (a war child, a persecuted child, a child of a resistant) have 'composed' their traumatic pasts of family separation, both as 'amateur historians' and in narrative discourse. It looks at 2 main points:
1) the motivations to turn 'amateur historian' - which Dodd ascribe to their dissatisfaction with the dominant historical narratives (and those who 'own' them - it's about power) available to describe their wartime childhoods;
and 2) the narrative composure in personal memory stories which serves psychological functions for the teller. These stories can be used to 'disrupt' hegemonic 'collective memory' tropes in historical scholarship. Remembering is not just an act of public restitution and commemoration, but a psychological process to 'work through psychic residues' of the past in the present.
The seminar paper will be converted to a Working Paper for our forthcoming Disrupted Histories Working Paper series.

3. Telling one's story, redefining collective memory: the challenges of African refugees and migrants in 21st century Europe.
- led by Olivette Otele, Co-Investigator (UK), Bath Spa University
This case-study, conducted by French historian Olivette Otele, is looking at the ways in which oral history and recordings can become tools for understanding the notion and experience of exile in contemporary Europe. The study is articulated around two types of case research:
i. it will collect and examine the testimonies of refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa who left their homeland (frequently via North Africa and the Mediterranean) because of conflicts;
ii. it will delve into the stories of people coming from allegedly conflict free zones, who nonetheless were forced over the last decade to migrate for economic, religious and other reasons.
In order to understand how the notion of trauma can apply to both groups, the project analyses public perception of these communities in the host country, namely Britain and France, as well as exploring how the public discourse can and has shaped the ways in which these communities perceive themselves and tell their stories. Particular attention is paid to media representation, public debates about migrants, immigration, religious extremism, and the contrast with migrants' daily lives and priorities. These testimonies will be useful tools to interpret dominant discourses and histories of victimhood and threat that have been associated with migrant history. The processes and practices of telling the story will also be studied, to understand how notions such as cultural memory, identity and even post-memory in certain cases are articulated by individuals. The case research is based on the principle that incorporating oral history and amateur history alongside archival sources can contribute to the empowerment of communities, through recovering experiences and voices that have been disfranchised by displacement and trauma.

The aim of these first months of research has been to pursue three different paths in order to have a fuller picture of the trajectories of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from West and Central Africa to Britain.

1) The first path was to re-think the notions of disruption and continuity building on my expertise in bigger historical migration movements (forced and voluntary) from Africa to the Americas such as the transatlantic slave trade, colonial settlements and linking them with post-colonial migrations from Central and West Africa. My three public engagements were articulated around the idea of historical continuity and disruption of migratory flows from Africa to Europe in regards to people of African descent. I looked at the way these two contradictory points have contributed to defining notions such as "Afrophobia" and "Black Mediterranean". I moved from the history of migration in the "Longue duree" to contemporary migration and European politics and policies of border control. I am currently interrogating the ramifications of EU border control now expanding outside the European Union. The next step is to identify how these policies and politics affect re-settlement in Britain. Home Office reports and South Wales Racial Equality Council case studies could provide us with information about the impact of these measures on refugees, asylum seekers and even migrants.

2) The second path was to look at archives from organisations that worked with migrants and refugees and that facilitated integration and provided advice to newcomers. I chose the period of 1980s to the late 1990s because several conflicts in West and Central Africa have led to the displacement of population. I wanted to know how Britain, supported those who have been granted access to the country. I looked into Charter 87 (archives based at The University of East London), a group that do not exist anymore but that was in operation between 1987 and 1997. The group played a crucial role as an intermediary between refugees and the Home office. The material is vast but already one can see through their minutes and correspondence how it provided support and legal council to various groups and people. The next step will be to identify several case studies and see how Charter 87 chose to promote stories of resilience through their cuttings about specific individuals.

3) The third path was about individual stories. I wanted to look into the lives of those who settled in Britain and how bigger organisation presented their stories. I have chosen to look into The UNHCR Audio-Visual Archive (also based in UEL) and pulled out several stories that are about journeys in camps and in Europe. Those archives contain thousands of stories but the narratives are rarely complete. We have families from the Central African Republic and visuals of their lives but mostly in the refugee camp. We also have several audio-video archives about asylum seekers in Britain but it appears to be at times difficult to know the route they took especially when some came as refugees while others sought asylum seekers status once in the country. The very notion of disruption is illustrated in these testimonies. The next step is to look at testimonies that have been the most documented (video but also photos and newspaper cuttings (classified as "migrant stories" rather than refugees) and see if I can follow three or four specific cases.
The next step in using those valuable archives will be to bring together those three paths to try and see how issues related to trauma affects asylum seekers, economic migrants and refugees. The aim will be to understand the strategies put in place by institutions, local groups on the one hand, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants on the other, to move and seek recovery.

The above case studies carried out by UK members of our research team are complemented by the following two case studies by our French colleagues:

1. Memories and historical interpretations of the Jewish Oriental past in diasporic and Israëli contexts
- led by Michèle Baussant, Principal Investigator (France), (LESC), CNRS
This case research will be based on comparative fieldwork amongst diasporic Egyptian Jews in France, Israël and the United States to reconstruct accounts of daily life in colonial Egypt that was disrupted by a series of events precipitating exodus: in 1948, following the creation of the State of Israël; in 1956, with the Suez Canal crisis; and then in a continual ebb until the Arab Naksa in 1967 (when Egyptian Arabic forces were defeated by Israeli forces in the Sinai Peninsula). From heterogeneous foreign or mutamassirun (Egyptianised) communities established in Egypt, Egyptian Jews made their way to Israël, Europe, North and South America, and Australia, with only a small minority remaining in Egypt. In this context the past that is modelled and circulated inside the Jewish diaspora and especially in Israël, endeavours to unify the histories of Jews from Arab countries, ironing out contradictions and coincidences. The focus of this research will instead be the recovery of heterogeneous experience, histories and practices so as to better understand how representations of Oriental, and more specifically Egyptian, Jews' pasts are formed, spread and evolve, at the crossroads of public uses of the past, common memories and historians' history.

Three field visits will be conducted for oral testimony research amongst diasporic Egyptian Jews, through voluntary associations with whom Baussant is already working: 1. in France, through the main associations of Egyptian Jews in Paris (ASPCJE, Association pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimonie Culturel des Juifs d'Egypte, http://www.aspcje.fr/) and Marseille (AHAA, Amicale d'Alexandrie Hier et Aujourd'hui); 2. in Israël, through associations in Tel Aviv (IAJE, International Association of Jews from Egypt) and Haifa (Goshen: Association of Jews from Egypt and IFLAC, International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace), as well as in specific communities (Karaïm) in Ramleh and Ashdod; 3. and in New York where international associations claiming recognition of Oriental Jews as refugees are based. These associations also host an immense amount of public domain information and amateur histories on their websites, which will be closely read and incorporated as part of this research. Oral histories and analysis of information on association websites will be complemented by analysis of narratives in archived documents concerning Jewish refugees from Egypt, especially those of la Cimade (Fonds de la Cimade. F delta 2149 et 4 delta 1137) currently housed at the Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine (BDIC), Paris (research access confirmed through email correspondence, but BDIC do not provide supporting letters).

2. Recovering disrupted memories in a postcolonial context: Portuguese migrant subjectivities in Angola
- led by Irène Dos Santos, Co-Investigator/Post-doc (France), ISP, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
The increase of Portuguese migration flows to its former African colony of Angola since 2002, brings the <> to the fore in Portugal. Some of these new immigrants are children of <> - airlifted returnees in 1975 (about 500,000 people from Angola and Mozambique). This case research will be based on the recording of oral histories of childhood memories of displacement from this former colonial context, complemented by family archives transported from Portugal (personal pictures and super-8 films) which date to colonial times, as well as instances of the search for traces of immigrant history in local Angolan archives (civilian archives but also archives in hospitals where informants were born and in companies where family members worked). The intention will be to recover experiences of displacement through a dramatic decolonisation process in the setting of re-immigration to this colonial context, to provide counter-points to a somewhat mythic national present Portuguese narrative concerning its colonial past.

2. Cross-case synthesis
Our second core research activity is the facilitation of an open-ended process of co-production, cross-case learning, and synthesis through a series of four face-to-face meetings between the core research team to take place during the programme of research (at BSU, Nanterre/Paris and Huddersfield). To date we have had one project meeting in Paris in June 2016 and a meeting of the UK team in Dec 2016, with a meeting of three of the UK and French team members planned for March 2017. The emphases of these meetings is: systematic cross-case engagement through sharing and theorising content and experiences - focusing on our research aims as listed above; identifying commonalities and differences across our cases; cross-case support; and the creative generation of a range of outputs (see below).
Exploitation Route To early to say as yet, but we hope our research will contribute to greater sensitivity in inclusion diverse past experiences in practices of commemoration in the present.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
URL https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/
Description Our project is supported by a public-facing website at https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/, established so as to facilitate knowledge transfer and public engagement. The website includes a research blog at which we have published two posts so far (see https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/research-blog).We are also creating a Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts Working Paper series through which working papers based on our research will be available to download. Our project is in very early days and we look forward to reporting on further public engagements and research impact in the future.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Description Archives Municipales de Boulogne-Billancourt 
Organisation Archives Municipales de Boulogne-Billancourt
Country France, French Republic 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Providing research context to some of their collections; potential of working towards a public output.
Collaborator Contribution Archival support.
Impact No output as yet.
Start Year 2016
Description Archives départementales de la Creuse 
Organisation Archives Department of Creuse
Country France, French Republic 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Working with some of their collections; working towards a potential public output.
Collaborator Contribution Providing information on the ground for oral history research; facilitating work with archival materials; agreed to archive relevant recorded interview material for posterity from this project.
Impact No outcome as yet.
Start Year 2016
Description South East Wales Regional Equality Council, UK 
Organisation South East Wales Racial Equality Council
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The research is on-going and long lasting impact is not yet measurable but this research is based on previous collaborations with Asian, African and Afro-Caribbean communities in South Wales that have been previously been facilitated by SEWREC. SEWREC also provides their expertise in collaborative work with minority ethnic groups. SEWREC has been the recipient of several grants. I have organised several conferences at SEWREC's request regarding the history of people of African descent. These were designed for a broad audience.
Collaborator Contribution SEWREC's strong support of minority ethnic communities including refugees and asylum seekers makes it their first call when trying to access mainstream services. SEWERC will serve as a safeguard and a benevolent observer during the interview process.
Impact Soon: conducting series of interviews of migrants and refugees from sub-Sahara Africa at SEWREC's office in Newport.
Start Year 2016
Description University of East London, Library and Learning Services: Archives, UK 
Organisation University of East London
Department Library and Learning Services
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research will add to the tremendous work done by this institution to share knowledge and raise awareness about the history and stories of refugees.
Collaborator Contribution University of East London, Library and Learning Services: Archives, UK holds a great number of archival material that are crucial for this research. Their expertise in the field is also of great value.
Impact Articles to come.
Start Year 2016
Description "Migratory flows, colonial encounters and the histories of transatlantic slavery". International Institute for Migration (IMI), University of Oxford. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is part 1 of 2 presentations that looks at migratory flows from Africa to Europe. The second one will be in 2017-2018 academic year. It will look a specific case studies this time from Europe to Africa and at circulation within Europe. This talk was necessary to understand the current state of affairs between Europe and Africa. It is important to go back at the genesis of colonial encounters in order to understand the contradictions and workings of the policies and politics of European border control stances.

The aim of this series of talks is also to interrogate the roles of 'acteurs/entrepreneurs' of history as both participants and writers of the stories from Africa. In other words it delves into the salient question of positioning and looks at several questions about Afro-European trajectories and knowledge exchange and production.

A blog post is to be found here:

A Podcast here:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.imi.ox.ac.uk/events/migratory-flows-colonial-encounters-and-the-histories-of-transatlant...
Description "Mourning in Reluctant Sites of Memory: From Afrophobia to Cultural Productivity" at the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam. (September) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact This presentation was aimed at establishing links between the memorialisation of the colonial era and the rejection of the perceived Other in Contemporary Europe.
It took Britain as a case study in order to highlight the contradictions between growing xenophobia leading to Afrophobia on the one hand and the seemingly pacifying discourse about the memory of slavery on the other. Mass maritime exodus of people of African descent and of people from the Middle East as well as highly publicised series of deaths in the Mediterranean have stimulated discussions about national identities, European borders and even the European Union membership. Britain and France's stances on border control have ignited old quarrels regarding national identity and sovereignty. Public debate pre and post Brexit in Britain seemingly shied away from colonial legacies and yet the overall discursive field, including rhetoric often associated with foreign bodies, reminds us of post-war debates about the uncivilised new migrant. The presentation looked at black bodies as sites of memory and sites or morning. In this case the representation of Black refugees bodies in British newspapers and tabloids. It sought to highlighted overt and covert instances of Afrophobia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://networks.h-net.org/node/73374/announcements/132318/cfp-missing-memorials-and-absent-bodies-n...
Description 'Our hearts were happy here' - research blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This is a public online research blog post. It has only recently been posted and no specific outcomes can yet be reported.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/227
Description Black Mediterranean and the Migrant Crisis 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The aim of the event was to translate social science work on the Black Mediterranean, xenophobia and racism to activists and wider publics. The emerging Black Mediterranean concept draws on and expands the "Black Atlantic" to engage with histories of both cultural exchange and racial violence in the Mediterranean basin. This framework is being used by scholars, activists, and artists to understand the historical precedents for the ongoing Mediterranean refugee crisis. It provides a framework for linking border fortification and xenophobia with racism - issues often analysed separately.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://networks.h-net.org/node/113394/discussions/150072/ann-reminder-black-mediterranean-and-migra...
Description Blog on research trip (Autumn 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I wrote an engaging research blog about my trips to France during the Autumn of 2016, where I listened to oral histories with 70 people, and collected 35 more. I am not yet aware of any impact this blog may have had.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/research-blog
Description Disrupted Histories website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This is the public-facing website that has been created for Disrupted Histories, Recovered Pasts' as a means of sharing our research and events associated with our project. This is a new endeavour and we expect more engagement into the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://dsrupdhist.hypotheses.org/
Description Research paper (Huddersfield) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a 50 minute research paper about the research conducted during my sabbatical leave to students, staff and members of the local history society at the University of Huddersfield. That research was the archival research undertaken for this grant - I compared the oral narratives of three former children, and the ways in which they acted in their lives as 'amateur historians' in revolt against prevailing historical discourse, and the ways in which trauma manifested itself inside their narratives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description Research seminar, !Nara harvesters of the northern Namib 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a research seminar presenting field data from Future Pasts to a cross-disciplinary academic audience that included anthropologists and archaeologists and that attracted a number of post-graduate students. The seminar stimulated discussion and questions, with a positive comments reported after the event. It Resulted in the presenter being invited to serve as an examiner on a PhD committee in the department for new ethnographic research in Namibia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description School visit (Hulme) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I was invited to speak at Loreto Sixth Form College in Hulme about children's experiences of war, based on my oral history research in France.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017