Discourses of identity and dialect writing in the press, c.1890-1940.
Having completed an undergraduate degree in history and French at Oxford and a research master’s degree in history at Leiden, I am currently pursuing doctoral research on regional and local identities in western Europe. My project focusses on France, England and Jersey in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. I aim to examine the cultural construction and development of territorial identities at a regional and local scale, and in particular the place that these identities could have in daily life, their reception and the ways in which the public engaged with them, and the ways that they interacted with other forms of identity such as class or nation.
My main source for this research is the local and regional press, most notably its content in dialect and regional languages, a medium which could be found in various forms throughout the areas in question, and which was often both popular and a key vehicle for the articulation of identities. Drawing on the common qualities of the local press throughout the areas surveyed, as well as its often close relationship and mutual engagement with its public, I hope to shed further light on the nature of sub-national identity construction and regionalism as a pan-European phenomenon in this period, whilst using bottom-up research techniques to gain understanding of the significance of this at a grassroots level and improve our knowledge of how processes such as ‘region building’ were received and negotiated by the public at large.
My research is funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.