The Doctoral Inaugural Lectures - College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

Wednesday 24th May 2017, 17:00-18:00 (reception 18:00-19:00)
Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 3

Dr Rebecca Gordon , 'Feeding the city: animals, food and city life in post-medieval England (AD1500 -1900)'
Dr Cintia Velázquez Marroni, 'Researching a country in turmoil: history, museums and their visitors in contemporary Mexico'

Booking is open.

Dr Rebecca Gordon, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Feeding the city: animals, food and city life in post-medieval England (AD1500 -1900)

Gordon Research ImageThe zooarchaeological enquiry of animals and their products in the post-medieval period has largely been disregarded in British archaeology. Yet, there is a multitude of ways in which animals can inform upon the profound social and economic changes that took place during this era. Animal bones excavated from urban sites were analysed along with zooarchaeological data to understand the transformations in the production and consumption of animals. These investigations showed that innovations in agriculture and the industrialisation of food production had a considerable effect on husbandry regimes, urban provisioning and consumption behaviours in the post-medieval period.

Rebecca’s research demonstrates how animals were integral in the development of England’s economy and were embedded in the social construction of Britain’s cultural identity. In addition, this research shows how animals can assist in our understanding of aspects of the meat trade; urban history; rural economies and the evolution of urban culture.


About Dr Rebecca Gordon

Dr Rebecca GordonRebecca Gordon received her undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester (2009) and her Masters at the University College London (2010). After completing her Masters she returned to Leicester to work as a Laboratory Technician Intern at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History as part of the Graduate Internship program. During this time she applied to do her PhD at the University of Leicester and completed her doctorate in 2015. Rebecca now works at the Museum of London Archaeology (Northampton) as a Finds and Environmental Processing Officer, where she helps to manage and supervise the processing of finds and environmental samples. In her role, she also writes archaeological reports and has been recently granted a research dividend to continue exploring emergent research questions raised in her PhD.



Dr Cintia Velázquez Marroni, School of Museum Studies

Researching a country in turmoil: history, museums and their visitors in contemporary Mexico

Marroni Research Image

It is often said that history is essential for peoples’ identity and that the past helps us to understand the present and the future. Following this line of thinking, history museums – those devoted to exhibiting and interpreting the past for the general public – should be key social assets. Yet, we surprisingly know little about them and about their visitors’ experiences. Furthermore, they are often perceived as irrelevant or marginal within the broader dynamics of a country, even more so in those currently facing social and political crises. The presentation will challenge this perception by showing the value and relevance of research in and about history museums.

Through the analysis of 88 interviews with visitors of two history museums in Mexico City, I will talk about the impact of the past in a society currently affected by intense social turmoil. By looking at the way in which visitors interpret the history museum, and therefore the way in which they make sense of the past, I have been able to map what matters to them, what their fears and hopes are, who their idols and villains are, and also what they ignore or do not care about. This will allow me to convey the complexity of the social landscape in Mexico by addressing how citizens feel about and perceive their country in the present, which is intimately related to how they also feel about and perceive the past. Ultimately, my presentation wants to open up the debate about what the relevance of history museums is, especially in countries plagued by challenging issues such as organised crime, corruption and poverty, and why it is so essential to foster our understanding of these institutions.

About Dr Cintia Velázquez Marroni

Dr Cintia MarroniI have a BA in History from the National University of Mexico and a MA in Museology from the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM). In 2015 I obtained my PhD in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester with a thesis that explored visitors’ understanding of the past in history museums in Mexico. Both my MA and PhD theses won the Miguel Covarrubias National Prize for best museum research, awarded by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. I have worked as a museum practitioner, focusing on learning, interpretation and community outreach at the Tlatelolco University Cultural Centre, and taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Currently, I am a Teaching Associate at ENCRyM and a Museum Consultant at Taller de Museografía, an exhibition design firm, both located in Mexico City. I am passionate about making history museums visible and relevant for today’s world.


All University staff and students and members of the public are invited to attend the Doctoral Inaugural Lectures. Entry is free, but seats must be booked in advance. Bookings for this event are OPEN.

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