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Personal profile

Research interests



OFFICE: G7 71 Cotham Hill

Email: jessica.moody@bristol.ac.uk




My research concerns how people engage with the past, through collective memory, public history, and heritage. I am specifically interested in the representation of, and engagement with, difficult and dissonant pasts, especially those concerning contested racial histories, transatlantic slavery and warfare. My first monograph, The Persistence of Memory: Remembering slavery in Liverpool, 'slaving capital of the world',  analyses how transatlantic slavery has been 'remembered' in Liverpool, the largest slave-trading port city in Europe (out now with Liverpool University Press, in hardback, paperback and open access https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/isbn/9781789622577/). I map the ways in which this difficult past has (or has not) been addressed and engaged with in public discourse across a longue duree, from the end of the eighteenth century, up to the present day, and therby from 'history' to 'memory'. I am also working on a project with Dr Geoff Cubitt (University of York) about public attitudes to the First World War, the war's centenary and commemoration more broadly drawing on over 300 qualitative interviews with visitors to First World War exhibitions in York, Scarborough and Portsmouth in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

I joined the University of Bristol in September 2017. I have previously worked for the Universities of Portsmouth (Lecturer in Modern History and Heritage, 2014-2017) and York (Research Associate with the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past Spring 2014-Autumn 2014). At the University of Portsmouth, I was a member of the Port Towns and Urban Cultures research group (http://porttowns.port.ac.uk/) and a founding member of the Citizenship, 'Race' and Belonging group (http://crab.port.ac.uk/). I completed my PhD (The memory of slavery in Liverpool in Public Discourse form the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day) at the University of York in April 2014 (supervised by Dr Geoff Cubitt). I also have a Master's degree in Cultural Heritage Management (University of York, course director Prof Laurajane Smith) and undertook my BA (Archaeology and English) at the University of Liverpool. I have also previously worked for National Museums Liverpool and undertaken work and placements with The Chocolate Story (York), English Heritage, Merchant Adventurer's Hall (York), Wiltshire Heritage Museum (Devizes) and Chester Amphitheatre.

I am a member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, and a convenor of the Institute for Historical Research Public History seminar series: http://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminar/public-history


Research Supervision:

I would be happy to supervise postgraduates on any aspect of public history/heritage/collective memory research, especially projects concerning transatlantic slavery or the First World War.


Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Centre for Black Humanities


  • Public History
  • Heritage
  • Memory
  • Public Memory
  • Collective Memory
  • Cultural Memory
  • Difficult History
  • Dissonant Heritage
  • Slavery and Memory
  • War and Memory


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