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Mutsa Mhende

History, De Montfort University

Thesis title:

Textures of Blackness in the Midlands: Excavating Regional Archives of Black Culture and Politics

This PhD project is a Collaborative Doctoral Award, in partnership with The Stephen Lawrence Research and Black arts organisation, Serendipity. It aims to be an investigation into the ways in which Black public and private lives have been constructed, excavated and preserved through certain kinds of archival practices in particular sites of memory. Additionally, it will be interrogating the archive as a site of colonial knowledge production, not merely as a site for knowledge extraction as it has traditionally been viewed. 

Through these investigations, I hope to unearth the ways in which Black people in the Midlands have been producing alternative and oppositional ways of knowing and being through their own sites of memory- and how these ways of knowing have been a source of resistance and liberation. Finally, this research asks: what conditions need to be met for “permanent”/ sustainable spaces of Blackness to be established in collective, regional, and national memories that are reflective of and responsive to the needs of the communities represented in those spaces?

Research Area

  • History


Public Engagement & Impact

Applying the cosmologies, ontologies, axiologies, and epistemologiess of Traditional Shona Religion (Chivanhu) to our understanding of the 'Black Atlantic', Friday 15th May 2020, Boredom Bitesize 

Other Research Interests

Archives, Resistance, Memory, Black British Identity, Black womanhood, postcolonialism, Healing Justice, Traditional African Religions