ACIS Logo Shahmima Akhtar

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I am a historian of race, migration and empire. My first book Exhibiting Irishness: Empire, Race and Nation, c. 1850-1970 (forthcoming) traces multiple constructions of Irish identity in national and international displays as Ireland moved from a colonial to an independent, globally-connected state. As a cultural history of Irish identity, the book considers exhibitions as a formative platform for imagining a host of Irish pasts, presents and futures. My second project continues my interest in visual histories and is provisionally titled Brumistan: Race and Resistance in Birmingham’s British Bangladeshi Communities in the 1970s and 80s, seeks to interrogate the activism, community networks and anti-racist action of this collective in the late-twentieth century. I have formerly worked at the Royal Historical Society to improve BME representation in UK History, whether working with schools and the curriculum, cultural institutions, community groups or other learned societies. I have also worked closely with museums and heritage sites as a researcher and consultant on shaping histories of the British Empire for today’s populace. Overall, I am committed to researching histories of race, migration and empire and thinking through their presentation in historic or contemporary visual platforms.

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