Skip to content

Research in Area Studies at Chester focuses on national and global identities, crossing several language disciplines. The work of the research team is that of diverse modes of representation of self and social identities in global cultural contexts, from the post war/post-colonial periods to the present. The Area Studies unit brings together researchers from the Department of Languages and Culture and the Department of Music, Media, and Performance.

The University’s targeted research funding has been bolstered by external funders including: The British Academy, the Society for French Studies and the AHRC.

7 staff were identified as having significant responsibility for research in REF2021, leading to a requirement for 18 outputs to be submitted.

Research outputs submitted to REF2021 are included in the Modern Languages Collection of ChesterRep, the University of Chester’s online research repository

The impact of research in this unit was exemplified through the following case studies:

Francophone Africa and the Equality Challenge: a digital humanities research and knowledge transfer project: This research examined the legacy of colonialisation on the lives of women in Francophone West Africa, tracing reasons for contemporary concerns around rising poverty and falling literacy rates in the region. It conserved and published an important series of reports known as the Savineau archive, which now forms the basis of an interactive online platform that provides resources on colonial and post-colonial history, social structures, cultural diversity, and educational policies. These materials respond to a need to de-centre pedagogical practices and public perceptions of the francophone world.  They have broadened the content and design of Key Stage 3 lessons in preparation for A Level.

Public Perceptions of East Germany: Enhancing Understanding: Public perceptions of East Germany have long been shaped by dominant tropes, such as political oppression, and key moments that received international coverage, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall.  This research aimed to offer new insight into life in East Germany by exploring lesser-known historical events from the perspectives of the very people that lived through them, and through cultural representation that challenges official narratives. The findings were disseminated in public spaces, informing understanding of the lived reality of East Germany, and, ultimately, suggesting a new way of looking at an often-ignored period.

return to main page