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Name: Suzy Harrison (formerly Brunyee)

PhD: Intangible Cultural Heritage

Thesis Title: The Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in England: A Comparative Exploration


Thesis Description:

This study explores intangible cultural heritage policy in England and the UK, looking at national and international positions, as well as a view at community level, and focusing on the domain of traditional craftsmanship as expounded by UNESCO in the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).The Convention attempted to show that UNESCO accepts that cultural heritage does not end at monuments. It also includes "living expressions ... such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts” (UNESCO 2003). However, since the UK is one of eighteen countries to have not ratified the Convention, research in this country has not had a high profile. This research has sought to address this lacuna by analysing the current heritage policy of the UK governmentdevolved institutions, and NGOs in order to assess options for the future of safeguarding ICH in EnglandThis national 'top down' perspective is balanced with a practical understanding of the experiences of traditional craftspeople in the Midlands of England, linking the real concerns of people involved in an ICH domain with the wider issues of safeguarding. With those concerns in mind, the question is asked whether it is desirable for the UK to ratify the Convention. A case study analysis was conducted in two countries which have differing experiences of ICH and traditional craftsmanship safeguarding, one which has ratified the Convention, and one which has not. An examination of the ratification of the Convention in the Netherlands looks to see if it creates the optimal conditions for safeguarding ICH practicesHowever, there has also been criticism of the UNESCO safeguarding paradigm and the perceived institutionalisation of culture. Therefore, is there an alternative course of action for the UK in the practices of one of the other States which have not ratified the Convention, namely Canada, with the provincial ICH safeguarding model in Newfoundland and Labrador


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

  • Dr Natalie Braber - Nottingham Trent University
  • Professor Christopher Loveluck - University of Nottingham
  • Dr Katharina Massing 



  • "The popularity paradox: issues of safeguarding mob football games in the East Midlands of England". (2017) Sharing Cultures 2017. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Intangible Heritage. pp.219-228. September 6-8, Barcelos, Portugal. Edited by Sergio Lira, Rogerio Amoeda and Cristina Pinheiro. Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development. ISBN 978-989-8734-24-2, e-ISBN 978-989-8734-23-5


  • Braber, N., Ashmore, C., and Harrison, S., 2017. Pit Talk of the East Midlands. Sheffield: Bradwell Books.  ISBN-13: 978-1910551806

  • Citation in: Pratley, C. 2016. The Inzovu Curve. Interpreting the 'Impossible'. Interpretation Journal. Association for Heritage Interpretation. Vol. 21, No. 2. Winter 2016

  • "Tyranny of the tangible - the future of intangible cultural heritage policy in the UK". (2015) Sharing Cultures 2015. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Intangible Heritage. pp.257- 267. September 21-23, Lagos, Portugal. Edited by Sergio Lira, Rogerio Amoeda and Cristina Pinheiro. Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development. e-ISBN 978-989-8734-12-9

  • Citation in: Royal Society for the Arts. Action and Research Centre. Heritage Identity and Place. Seven themes from the Heritage Index. ISBN 978-0-901469-67-0    My dataset of intangible cultural events in England has been used to help quantify the ‘cultures and memories’ theme within the report. This has been referred to on page 22.



Teaching and Lectures:

  • May 2017: Research Skills lecture for Culture Syndicates staff
  • March 2017:  NTU MA Museum and Heritage Development. Module - HERI40415 Museum and Heritage Futures. Teaching Session: Global Heritage and Intangible Heritage Futures
  • January 2017: Reinwardt Academy, Amsterdam University of the Arts: One hour lecture and Q&A
  • December 2016: NTU MA Museum and Heritage Development. Module - HERI40215 Materiality and Memory. Teaching Session 9: Museums, Heritage and Memory
  • November 2016: Essential Toolkit for Teaching in Higher Education (ETTiHE). Six week training course including two micro teach sessions.
  • April 2016: Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. - One hour lecture at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • April 2016: Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland - One hour lecture at the Folklore Department
  • February 2015: NTU MA Museum and Heritage Management - Module - HERI40105 Heritage Resource Management.Teaching Session: Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums



  • September 6-8 2017: Sharing Cultures. 5th International Conference on Intangible Heritage. Barcelos, Portugal.
  • July 2017: College of Art, Architecture, Design and Humanities Annual Research Conference. Nottingham Trent University.
    Paper - 'The Perception of Intangible Cultural Heritage in England and Scotland: A Diverging Heritage Narrative in the United Kingdom.'
  • July 2016: 'A Fieldworker's Vision: Researching the Present'. Folklore, Ethnology, and Ethnomusicology Conference Aberdeen, Elphinstone Institute,University of Aberdeen,Scotland, Co-sponsored by the Folklore Society. 
  • June 2016: Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum Conference and Awards - Guest Speaker
  • May 2016: Nottingham Trent University’s 4th Annual Postgraduate History Conference. “Space and Place”.
  • January 8-12 2016: The Ritual Year 2016: Regulating Customs. The 12th Annual International Conference of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) Working Group on the Ritual Year, hosted by the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, Findhorn, Scotland.
    Paper - The Development and Management of a Transnational Tradition: The Case of Diwali in Leicester.
  • September 20-24 2015: Sharing Cultures. 4th International Conference on Intangible Heritage. Lagos, Portugal.
    Paper - Tyranny of the tangible - the future of intangible cultural heritage policy in the UK
  • May 2015: Nottingham Trent University’s 3rd Annual Postgraduate History Conference. “Journeys to Selfhood: Myth, Memory and Identity”.
    Paper - Uppies and Downies. Folk football and identity in the East Midlands

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:



  • Midlands3Cities Research Festival - Photography Exhibition entitled 'The Living Heritage of the East Midlands' 
  • Nottingham City Council - Collaboration with Heritage Strategy Officer to produce a Heritage Lottery Fund application 
  • Invitation Only One Day Workshop on Heritage Festivals and Tourism, part of the CoHERE research project and will inform a policy brief on multicultural heritage festivals - Intercultural Research Centre at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh
  • HOTPOT: York's Heritage Unconference - University of York
  • Journey to Justice: Heritage Consultant
  • NTU Global Week: Shortlisted as part of the Photography Competition
  • Reinwardt Academy, Amsterdam University of the Arts - MA Museology: Thesis meeting and guidance



  • School of Arts and Humanities History Research Seminar Autumn 2015 Series. Speaker - The Tyranny of the Tangible: Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy in the UK
  • August - November 2015 - Leicester City Council Collaboration. Festivals Review - lead consultant, resulting in a 2016-20 LCC Report
  • May 2015 - May 2016 - Paid Research Assistant on British Academy funded project 'Pit Talk East Midlands'.
  • Part of the conference committee organising the Nottingham Trent University’s 3rd Annual Postgraduate History Conference. .

2013-2014: Freelance Heritage Consultancy

  • Derbyshire County Cricket Club: HLF project – Consultancy role setting up of a Photographic Collection and writing documentation for training and archives.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council Buildings at Risk Surveyor for English Heritage
  • AHRC funded Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange (CEKE) project. This included extensive Buildings at Risk survey work in Nottinghamshire, the co-ordination of a team of postgraduate students, and the creation of a website. This work culminated in a presentation at an AHRC symposium at the Broadway Media Centre, Nottingham.
  • National Trust – The Workhouse at Southwell: Accreditation Assistance

2012-2013:  MA Museum and Heritage Management (Distinction)

1999-2012: Photo Archive Manager at Press Association Images.  I managed a collection of over 10 million photographs ranging from 1863 to present day. It also involved management of a team of archivists, creating photo archive policy, and researching requests from newspapers, book publishers, magazines and web publishers.  I also project managed a team in the PA office in Mangalore, India, during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.


Professional Memberships:

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts
  • Member of the UK Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies
  • Friend of the Heritage Crafts Association
  • Member of SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore) and The Ritual Year Working Group

Other Research Interests:

  • Heritage Policy of Great Britain
  • Politics of Heritage
  • Folklore of England 

Social Media Presence:

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