Featured Project - REF 2021 Success

Posted on: 4 July 2022 by Dr Charles Forsdick in 2022 posts

REF 2021 Success

Since the award of an AHRC/LABEX grant in 2018, Charles Forsdick has worked closely with Professor Barry Godfrey (School of Law and Social Justice) in the area of penal heritage.

Their initial project, on sites of memory and sites of suffering, involved field work in a range of locations associated with so-called dark tourism including Tasmania and New Caledonia. Outputs included an annotated bibliography on dark tourism, articles on difficult heritage, and a report on the challenges of interpretation at prison museums.

In May 2022, Charles and Barry travelled to Ontario to explore collaboration with academic partners and heritage professionals in this area. In addition to a workshop on prison museums held at University of Guelph, they undertook site visits to Huron Historic Gaol and Kingston Penitentiary (Canada’s Penitentiary Museum). At the workshop on ‘Difficult Subjects: Prisoners and Public History’, Charles presented his own research on the carceral archipelago in the French-speaking world, outlining in particular the findings of fieldwork in French Guiana, New Caledonia and Vietnam.

He plans to explore the transnational and comparative dimensions of this research and discovered many resonances with the case studies identified in Canada. Charles and Barry are undertaking additional research in Kazakhstan where they will travel with Head of Languages, Cultures, and Film, Anna Saunders. Identifying a range of penal heritage sites across the globe, they are planning a new project on prison museums and national identity.

Picture: Huron Historic Gaol


Picture: Kingston Penitentiary


Keywords: .