Heritage seminar 16th April: Dr Sara Perry – Cultural heritage in pictures: The state of play in current visualisation practice

The next Heritage Futures Unit seminar will be on Wednesday 16th April at 4.30pm.  Dr Sara Perry, Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York will be talking about:

Cultural heritage in pictures: The state of play in current visualisation practice

This talk will provide an overview of graphic media production and visual theory as applied to cultural heritage in the UK and beyond. I will discuss the current communities of professionals, scholars and students engaged in visualisation work, the contradictions and problems faced (and often propagated) by these communities, and next steps for the field of practice.

Please get in touch with Julie Barber email: julie.barber@ucs.ac.uk if you’d like to attend.

Sara’s Bio:

Sara completed both a BA and MA in Anthropology at the University of Victoria (Canada), specialising in prehistoric archaeology and visual anthropology.  Following these degrees, she moved to the UK to pursue a PhD in Archaeology, graduating from the University of Southampton in 2011.  Concurrent with her PhD, she held a British Academy research fellowship at the Society of Antiquaries of London, a managerial post on the English Heritage-funded Visualisation in Archaeology project, and a fellowship in digital humanities at Southampton.

Sara’s research focuses on the means by which archaeologists present the past to both academic and non-academic audiences—e.g., in museums, books, journal articles, magazines, exhibitions, lectures, on television, film and the web.  Her work converges on the intellectual and economic consequences of these various forms of media, particularly how their use feeds back into disciplinary research questions and funding streams.

Sara blogs about her academic life at saraperry.wordpress.com, and she’s on Twitter at @archaeologistsp.

Landguard Barracks

Landguard_3967During our tour of Landguard Fort we were allowed to have access to the upper levels. These provided amazing views across the barracks (officers above, men below) towards the Port of Felixstowe container port. The channel for ships entering (or leaving) Harwich brings vessels close to the walls (and guns) of Landguard (note the position of the Stena Line ferry). The large arches on the left of the picture are the gun casemates, positioned to dominate the harbour mouth.

Landguard Heritage


Professor David Gill, Director of Heritage Futures, joined Simon Thurley of English Heritage, the staff of Landguard Fort and the Landguard Partnership for a tour of the fort and the Felixstowe Museum. There are wonderful views over the estuary to Harwich and the adjacent Felixstowe container port, and up the coast to the now lost location of the Roman Saxon Shore Fort (Walton Castle).

Saxon Shore Forts in Norfolk


Three Roman forts associated with the Saxon Shore defences are located in Norfolk (and one of them used to be located in Suffolk before the county boundary changed!). David Gurney has written a helpful illustrated booklet on the forts for the Norfolk Archaeological Trust: Outposts of the Roman Empire: a guide to Norfolk’s Roman forts at Burgh Castle, Caister-on-Sea and Brancaster (2002). There is an introductory section that includes a map of Roman Norfolk, and another showing the estuary of the Bure, Yare and Waveney in the Roman period.

The book contains information about how to visit the three sites, and where to see the finds. There is also a short bibliography.

Research seminar 26th March: One lump or two? Fusion and fission in the heritage sector, a view from Scotland

The next research seminar will be held on Wednesday 26th March at 4.30pm.  Dr Simon Gilmour, Director of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, will be talking.


One lump or two? Fusion and fission in the heritage sector, a view from Scotland

This seminar will explore the different trajectories currently being taken in Wales, England and Scotland with regard to the historic environment. It will focus particularly on the Scottish experience, looking at the process of developing high-level strategic thinking on the subject and possible trends, and make some comparisons with elsewhere.

Simon has, since 2007, been the Director of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a charitable not-for-profit membership organisation founded in 1780 and instituted by Royal Charter in 1783. He is trained as an archaeologist with excavation experience in Syria, Romania, France and, of course, Scotland, where he is co-director of several archaeology projects coming to fruition, or part published.  He is also currently the Vice Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) a membership organisation bringing together voluntary and professional non-governmental organisations that operate at the national level and represent people who work within the built environment sector.

All welcome. As usual, please contact Julie Barber email: julie.barber@ucs.ac.uk to register.

Burgh Castle: the leaning walls

Burgh Castle

The Roman fort at Burgh Castle © David Gill

Concern was raised earlier this month that the excessive rainfall over the winter months had destabilised the impressive Roman walls at Burgh Castle (press report). It now appears that the walls are stable although some sections appear to be leaning in a quite dramatic way.

Burgh Castle is one of a series of major Roman forts of the “Saxon Shore” that can be found from Brancaster in north Norfolk to Portchester in Hampshire. The fort at Walton Castle near Felixstowe has now disappeared into the sea.

Research Seminar – Finding critical management in heritage management?

I am presenting a seminar this afternoon (5ht March): Finding critical management in heritage management?
The term ‘heritage management’ has been accepted in professional parlance for over three decades, but there remains a lack of understanding of what that management actually does within the heritage sector or, indeed, whether the notion of management has been adequately conceptualised within the subject.
The talk will revisit ideas originally looked at in doctoral research almost 20 years ago, and present a preliminary characterisation of the intersecting academic literature, suggesting that critical engagement with management concepts remains undeveloped despite the growth of a canon of heritage management literature. There is still much to be explored at the nexus of organisational studies, management research and heritage, which is both a practical challenge and an academic opportunity.
UCS Waterfront Campus 4.30pm. All welcome, and with apologies on the lack of usual notification via the blog.