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Emma Fearon

History, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Opening the gates: increasing opportunities for the representation of gender and LGBTQI+ in castle histories

This project aims to widen participation by researching and embedding gender and LGBTQI+ histories in the historical interpretation of the Nottingham Castle site. The research has practical applications as by ‘opening the gates’ it aims to attract new and diverse audiences to the history of castle sites. This project covers a wide historical scope including the agency of queens and consorts, the prostitutes of Brewhouse yard and the castles connections to homosexuality.

In particular, I aim to explore the concept of exemplarity and how historical figures could act as positive and negative exempla. I will be exploring this from an interdisciplinary perspective by viewing how historical figures perceived each other and how modern visitors to the castle, perceive and interpret them. I aim to embed the study of exemplarity and emulation within the research as I believe that these are key opportunities for representation. Museums and heritage sites exist as places of history and exemplarity, providing us with opportunities to either relate to its subjects or to learn from history’s mistakes. Physical spaces have become symbolic of community and belonging and I would like to explore how the physical space of the castle can emulate and take on characteristics of the individuals it represents, and how contemporary visitors react to exhibitions within the space. Thematically, this research relates to gender and identity studies and the relationship between people and places.



Research Area

  • History

Other Research Interests

  • Exemplarity and emulation
  • Gender studies
  • Identity studies
  • Sexuality studies
  • Heritage studies
  • Castle studies
  • Ecclesiastical studies
  • Space and place