Dr Helen Cornish

Staff details

Position Lecturer Programme Convenor: BA History and Anthropology
Department Anthropology
Email h.cornish (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7378
Dr Helen Cornish

My anthropological research explores the practices and politics of historical knowledge, and how it is drawn through both official and informal sources. I am interested in how the past constituted through dynamic and everyday historicity and senses of temporality, that includes ritual, experience, material culture, landscape, and folklore as well as archived sources and expert interpretations. My longitudinal fieldwork is rooted in my doctoral research with British Witches and Wiccans, partly located at the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall. I am preparing a monograph for publication in 2019 in the Routledge Anthropology of History series.


Anthropological Approaches to History
Contemporary Issues of Anthropology (Integrated Degree)
Anthropology in Public Practice

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of History
  • British magical religions (Witchcraft and Wicca)
  • Micromuseums
  • Anthropology of Britain (Cornwall)


Book Section

Cornish, Helen. 2019. The Other Sides of the Moon: Assembling Histories of Witchcraft. In: Shai Feraro and Ethan Doyle White, eds. Magic and Witchery in the Modern West: Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of 'The Triumph of the Moon. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 65-83. ISBN 9783030155483


Weston, Gavin; Woodman, Justin; Cornish, Helen and Djohari, Natalie. 2019. Spectral cities: Death and living memories in the dark tourism of British ghost walks. Urbanities, 9(2), pp. 36-51. ISSN 2239-5725

Weston, Gavin; Liber, Elena; Urdea, Alexandra and Cornish, Helen. 2019. Queue-munity engagement: Collaborative Event Ethnography at the Antiques Roadshow in Kent. Ethnography, ISSN 1466-1381

Cornish, Helen. 2015. ‘Not all singing and dancing: folk festivals in Padstow’ Anthropology Revisits the Festival. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, ISSN 0014-1844

Cornish, Helen. 2013. 'The Life of the Death of "The Fighting Fairy Woman of Bodmin": Storytelling around the Museum of Witchcraft'. Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 22(1), pp. 79-97. ISSN 1755-2923

Cornish, Helen. 2009. Spelling out history: transforming witchcraft past and present. Pomegranate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies, 11(1), pp. 14-28. ISSN 1528-0268

Cornish, Helen. 2005. ‘Cunning Histories: privileging narratives in the present’. History and Anthropology, 16(3), pp. 363-376. ISSN 0275-7206

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