My research examines how knowledge about history is negotiated between formal and informal histories. I am interested in how everyday practices contribute towards understanding the past – including rituals, material culture, the landscape, the senses and the emotions – as well turning to expert interpretations of archived materials. I have examined these issues by researching how modern witches and Wiccans have navigated the history of their movement. My research is partly located at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall, Britain. Out of my studies with witches I have also become interested in how magic is treated as an academic subject. My curiosity about how people think about the past has informed my involvement with collaborative research projects that examined the Antiques Roadshow and city ghost walks. I am the joint History and Anthropology BA programme convener and the Anthropology Placements Officer.
Teaching and Supervision
- BA History and Anthropology (convener)
- Anthropological Approaches to History
- Anthropology of Contemporary Issues (Integrated Degree)
- Anthropology of Public Practice (APP) (Placements Officer)
Aston, Katie; Cornish, Helen
Further profile content
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.
Spelling out history: transforming witchcraft past and present
Pomegranate: the International Journal of Pagan Studies, 11(1), pp. 14-28. ISSN 1528-0268
Cunning Histories: privileging narratives in the present
History and Anthropology, 16(3), pp. 363-376.