Professor Steve Poole

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About me

​Professor of History and Heritage

Director, Regional History Centre, UWE

Chair, The John Thelwall Society John Thelwall Society

Committee, Southern History Society

Historical Associate, Splash & Ripple Ltd Splash and Ripple

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 the politics of environmental association, particularly in tidal landscapes and urban waterfronts, and in the impact of affective digital technologies on historical interpretation.

In the heritage field I work in partnership with two Bristol-based experience design SMEs, Splash & Ripple and Satsymph, to develop locative mobile and digitally informed approaches to heritage. Project work includes Ghosts in the Garden at the Holburne Museum (see AHRC highlight feature here) and A Knight's Peril for the National Trust, both with Splash and Ripple.

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.

My AHRC-funded current project with Splash & Ripple, 'Heritage Empath', critically explores the use of empathy in heritage experience design.

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

​In May 2013 I organised and chaired a panel discussion for the Bristol Festival of Ideas at Watershed to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of E P Thompson's, The Making of the English Working Class. It featured Emma Griffen, Adrian Randall and Penelope Corfield and you can hear a recording of it here: E P Thompson at the Festival of Ideas

Area of expertise

Eighteenth and early nineteenth century popular protest, political movements, criminality and visual culture

History of the Bristol and Somerset region

Heritage landscapes and digital media


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