Professor Patrick Wright has been awarded a £46K Leverhulme Research Fellowship for his project, Learning from Sheppey: place, culture and identity at England’s periphery.
The project aims to understand the distinctive cultural and political outlook of an English community that finds itself at the margins of contemporary life, by looking at the Isle of Sheppey - a largely industrialized island at the mouth of the Medway on the north Kent coast, which has struggled to reinvent itself since the closure in 1960 of the admiralty dockyard in Sheerness.
"The project will draw on my previous work concerned with British national identity and cultural heritage," says Professor Wright. "It makes use of my preparatory research into the literary writing of Uwe Johnson, and also of investigations I shared with the film maker Patrick Keiller and the geographer Doreen Massey, during the AHRC funded project The Future of Landscape and the Moving Image."
Though primarily concerned with the example of Sheppey, the study will be written as a contribution to the wider debate about national identity, regional culture, and centralized government within the UK.