I am able to offer postgraduate supervision (MA or PhD) in the following subject areas:
Originally from the Waveney Valley in Suffolk, I've now lived in the north-west of England for well-over a decade (save for a year in the States). I'm told this makes me an honourary northerner, an identity I try to live up to by using - probably wrongly - such terms as 'aye', 'lass', and 'mill' as frequently as possible (ie. 'Aye lass', that's a very nice 'mill' over there....). When not reading World War II histories, discworld novels by Terry Pratchett (genius), or anything by Roger Deakin (poet of water and the woods) I can often be found hiking the lakeland fells with a ridiculously excitable labradoodle named Molly, running the occasional marathon, or cycling through the Forest of Bowland (please note: not with Molly. I tried, but she can't peddle to save her life). For reasons that I still don't fully understand, these interests and idiosyncracies are lovingly indulged by my partner Nicola and our daughter Megan, the latter of whom (not yet two) has already resigned herself to the fact that weekends are for bike rides, even in snow. On Fridays, I repay their indulgence by cooking enormous quantities of bolognese whilst drinking red wine and dancing to classic 80s power-ballads. The latter, I'm told, is very bad, and borders on the distressing. I persist regardless.
I hold a BA (2002), MA (2003) and PhD (2008) in History, all from Lancaster University. My PhD thesis explored the processes and practices of American war commemoration in Britain and France, from the end of World War II through to the present, with a particular focus on activities in eastern England and along the D-Day beaches in Normandy. My interest in this topic has been with me for quite a while now, with origins that ultimately lie in my teenage years during which I spent much of my spare time cycling to the old abandoned airfields of the wartime US 8th Air Force. This interest remains even now, ensuring that I am firmly of the opinion that the Memphis Belle (1990) is easily the best film ever made. Twelve O'Clock High (1949) comes a close second.
Prior to joining the History department at MMU in September 2010, I was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. In recent years, I have also taught at Lancaster University (2003-2009); the Open University (2008-09) and the University of Cumbria (2009).
Broadly speaking, I'm interested in exploring the cultural underpinnings to transatlantic relations in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the ways in which various commemorative and cultural forms have provided forums in which certain ideas (such as the 'special relationship') have been actively constructed (rather than just repeated or rehearsed). To date, this has led me to examine post-1945 American war memorials in Europe (East Anglia and Normandy), whilst future projects (see below) will explore the 'use' made of particular historical figures appropriated as indicative of a uniquely close Anglo-American alliance (Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, both of whom have Norfolk connections), as well as the ways in which this alliance has been gendered in post-1945 cinema. To my continued delight, I increasingly find that these research interests take me back to my East Anglian beginnings.
Grants, Prizes and Awards:
2009: Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, University of Pittsburgh, US-UK Fulbright Commission.
2009: British Association of American Studies (BAAS) Founders’ Travel Award.
2005: General and Mrs Matthew B. Ridgway Military History Research Grant, United States Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
2004: PhD Studentship, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), United Kingdom.
2003: Queen’s Studentship: Best qualified entrant into PhD study, History Department, Lancaster University.
2002: Andrew Pearson Prize: Best undergraduate History dissertation, History Department, Lancaster University.
S. Edwards, ‘“From Here Lincoln Came”: Anglo-Saxonism, the Special Relationship, and the Anglicization of Abraham Lincoln, c. 1860-1970’ in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies 11:1, pp. 22-46 (2013).
S. Edwards, ‘Ruins, Relics, and Restoration: the afterlife of World War II American Airfields in England, c. 1945-2005’ in C. Pearson, P. Coates and T. Cole (eds.) Militarized Landscapes: From Gettysburg to Salisbury Plain, (London: Continuum Press, 2010).
S. Edwards, ‘Commemoration and Consumption in Normandy, c. 1945-1994’, in M. Keren and H. H. Holger (eds.) War Memory and Popular Culture: Essays On Modes of Remembrance and Commemoration, (Jefferson, North Carolina: Mcfarland, 2009), pp. 76-91.
S. Edwards, ‘Commemorating Air War: The Airfields of the United States Eighth Air Force’, in C. Baker, E. Granter, R. Guy, K. Harrison, A. Krishnan and J. Maslen (eds.) Perspectives on Conflict, (Salford: European Studies Research Institute, University of Salford, 2006), pp. 117-141.
S. Edwards, ‘Fields of Honor: World War II and the Politics of American Commemoration in Britain and France, c.1943-2000’ (provisional title): This is a monograph based upon my PhD research.
M. Dolski, S. Edwards and J. Buckley (eds.) D-Day in History and Memory: Comparative Perspectives on the Normandy Invasion (Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press, forthcoming in 2013) This is an edited collection of essays involving contributors from across Britain, Europe and the United States. I am co-editor with two colleagues. I will also be contributing the chapter on D-Day in British memory (see details below).
S. Edwards, 'D-Day in British Memory' in M. Dolski, S. Edwards and J. Buckley (eds.) D-Day in History and Memory: Comparative Perspectives on the Normandy Invasion (Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press, forthcoming in 2013).
Current and Future Projects:
Heroes and Misfits: The Veteran in American and British Culture, c. 1898 to 2009. This will be a comparative examination of the ‘veteran’ in transatlantic culture across the twentieth century.
Honest Abe in Albion: The Image and Iconography of Abraham Lincoln in Britain, c. 1860-2009. By conducting new research into Lincoln's portrayal in the British press during the Civil War, detailed study of the various Lincoln memorials established in Britain over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Edinburgh, 1893; Hingham, 1919; Manchester, 1919; London, 1920), and an investigation into Lincoln's representation in more recent popular culture artefacts, this project will provide the first full-length and chronologically comprehensive study of Lincoln in Albion.
Englishman, Frenchman or American?: Thomas Paine in Anglo-American Memory, c. 1809-2009: Like my research into Abraham Lincoln, this project interrogates Anglo-American relations through the prism of a particular figure, in this case Thomas Paine. More specifically, this project seeks to uncover the differences and divergences in Anglo-American views of Paine.
Gendering the Special Relationship: The Anglo-American Alliance on Film: This project will explore representations of the Anglo-American 'special relationship' on film, paying particular attention to the way in which this relationship has been gendered.
Selected Conference Papers, Seminar Papers and Public Lectures:
2013: 'From Here Lincoln Came': Abraham Lincoln in East Anglia, c. 1809-2009, invited public lecture, Second Air Division Memorial Library, Norwich.
2012: 'Over Here': The Legacy of the Mighty Eighth in East Anglia, invited public lecture, Second Air Division Memorial Library, Norwich.
2012: 'From Here Lincoln Came': Anglo-Saxonism, the Special Relationship, and the Anglicization of Abraham Lincoln, c.1870-1970', invited seminar paper, Andrew Hook Centre for American Studies, University of Glasgow.
2011: 'These Men Rest in Hospitable Soil': The ABMC at Madingley Hill, British Association of American Studies Conference, UCLAN.
2010: ‘The Beginning of the End: D-Day in British Cultural Memory’, Society of Military History Conference, Virginia Military Institute, USA.
2009: ‘From Here Lincoln Came’: The Special Relationship in Anglo-American Commemoration of the Second World War’, The Legacy of Abraham Lincoln Conference, Paris, France.
2009: ‘Fields of Honor’: Commemorating D-Day in Normandy’, D-Day Conference, Liberty University, Virginia, USA.
2009: ‘Constructing a Perfect Past: D-Day and American Identity’, War and US Identity Conference, University College, Dublin, Ireland.
2008: ‘From Haunted Landscapes to Heritage Landscapes: American Airfields and Battlefields in Britain and France, 1970 to the present’, Militarized Landscapes Conference, University of Bristol.
2006: ‘Commemoration or Consumption: American War Tourism in Europe, 1980-2004’, Popularization of War Memory Workshop, University of Calgary, Canada.
2005: ‘ “A bit of England watered with our tears”: Marking the Past of the Mighty Eighth’, The Legacy of World War II Conference, Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, USA.
2005: ‘The Silence of Memory: Remembering and Forgetting the Bombing of Germany’, Discursive Spaces: Identity, Memory and Meaning Conference, Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College, Dublin, Ireland.
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