Professor Steve Poole

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  • Position:Professor - History and Heritage
  • Department:Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries, and Education (ACE)
  • Telephone:+4411732 84437
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About me

‚ÄčProfessor of History and Heritage

Director, Regional History Centre, UWE  

I am currently leading a major three year research project, Intergroup Dynamics in the 1831 Reform Riots: Towards a New Social-Psycho History. This project is funded by ESRC until September 2023 and we are working in partnership with the University of Sussex and a number of county archives, museums and heritage centres. 

As a former journalist with the radical alternative newspaper, Bath Spark (1978-1985), I have been working with Phil Chamberlain (Univeristy of Bath) on a project entitled, Recovering the Regional Radical Press in Britain, 1968-1988.

In the heritage field I have worked in partnership with two Bristol-based experience design SMEs, Splash & Ripple and Satsymph, to develop situated mobile and digitally enabled approaches to heritage. Externally funded project work with Splash & Ripple includes Ghosts in the Garden at the Holburne Museum, Bath (see AHRC highlight feature here), A Knight's Peril for the National Trust and Heritage Empath: Of Home and Each Other critically explores the use of empathy in heritage experience design.

Romancing the Gibbet  , with Satsymph, approaches the extraordinary 18th centry practice of crime-scene execution through the medium of immersive poetic soundscape and has been further developed through a series of downladable phone apps. Further information here. Live performances based on the soundwalks has twice been funded by the Being Human Festival of the Humanities. Satsymph are also building soundscapes for our ESRC project, Intergroup Dynamics (see above).

I have written critically about some of this work here in the International Journal of Heritage Studies.

‚ÄčAll of the articles published in the Regional History Centre's journal, the Regional Historian, are now available in an extensive digital archive here

Area of expertise

I work and publish broadly on eighteenth and nineteenth century English history from below with an emphasis on crime, protest and the crowd in South Western counties. My most recent book on this theme, co-authored with Nicholas Rogers, is Bristol From Below: Law, Authority and Protest in a Georgian City. I am also interested in environmental histories, particularly in tidal landscapes and urban waterfronts, and in the impact of affective digital technologies on historical interpretation.

I chair the John Thelwall Society and serve on the following committees: Southern History SocietyBristol Record Society and  Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries. I am also a member of the We Are Bristol History Commission.


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