Current Students

Pete Hodson

  • History, Anthropology, Politics and Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast
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My thesis is titled 'Memory, conflict and class: the experience and legacy of deindustrialisation in Belfast and North East England since 1970'. Economic restructuring heralded major social transformation in these localities. Communities bound by ties to a single employer found themselves adrift and struggling to comprehend the post-industrial world. The thesis adopts a comparative approach to examine the consequences of ‘managed’ and ‘catastrophic’ deindustrialisation. The National Coal Board and Harland & Wolff were selected because of their nationalised status, similar deindustrialisation time-scale and cultural symbolism in their respective regions. Unlike the Coal Board, decimated in the wake of strike action in 1984/5, the British Government supported a managed decline of Harland & Wolff fearing the security consequences of loyalist unemployment during the Troubles. Two different heavy industries (shipbuilding and coal mining) have been chosen to expose the nuances in late twentieth-century industrial culture and social memory - how ex-workers and communities remember industrial decline, cope with its socio-economic effects and interact with deindustrial landscapes. Cultural legacies are also examined, through perceptions of 'heritagisation' narratives and regeneration initiatives. Titanic Quarter and Beamish Museum are adopted to explore these themes.

Supervisory Team: Prof. Sean O’Connell, History (QUB), Dr Paul Corthorn, History (QUB), Dr Matt Perry, History, Classics and Archaeology (Newcastle).

Start Date: October 2015