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Photo of Professor Bryony Onciul

Professor Bryony Onciul

Associate Professor of Museology and Heritage Studies

01326 253763

01326 253763

Professor Bryony Onciul is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus.

She researches and publishes on community engagement, indigenising and decolonizing museology and heritage, difficult histories, truth and reconciliation, identity and performance, understanding place and environment, and the power and politics of representation.

Bryony is the Director of PGT and the Director of a new MA and MRes in International Heritage Management and Consultancy. She teaches on the MA, MRes and Undergraduate programmes, with modules on heritage, public history, Indigenous history, heritage and environmental change, and leads the International Field Course to Canada.

Bryony welcomes PhD applications related to her research, and currently supervises SWW DTP and CDA PhDs.

Bryony is the author of Museums, Heritage and Indigenous Voice: Decolonizing Engagement, published by Routledge. The book focuses on Blackfoot First Nations engagement and self-representation in museums and heritage sites in Alberta, Canada. She is also the lead editor of Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities published by Boydell and Brewer.

Bryony has ongoing funded research. Over her time at Exeter, these projects have included:

  • UBC Eminence-Funded Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-Being Research Cluster Sub-grant for Gifting together and giving back. 2019-2020
  • Wellcome Centre Exploring the Cultural and Creative Dimensions of Health and Wellbeing through Arts-Based Transformative Engaged Research 2018-19
  • AHRC Troubled Waters - Reaching Out 2017-18
  • AHRC Enduring Connections 2016-18
  • The Exchange Grant Mulliontide 2016
  • AHRC Troubled Waters, Stormy Futures: heritage in times of accelerated climate change 2015
  • AHRC Apologies for Historical Wrongs: When, How, Why? 2014-15

Bryony reviews for International Journal of Heritage Studies, Journal of Museum Ethnography, Museum and Society Journal, International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, HEA’s Teaching History in Higher Education, E-pisteme journal, and Routledge.

Research interests

Bryony’s main research interests include community engagement, heritage, Indigenising and decolonising museology, (post)colonial narratives, difficult histories, identity and performance, understanding place, the effects of climate change on heritage management, the power and politics of representation, repatriation, apologies, truth and reconciliation.

Research collaborations

'Enduring Connections' 2017-2018

This project is funded by AHRC Translating Cultures/Care for the Future Innovation Awards on International Development.

'Troubled Waters - Reaching Out' 2017-2018

This project is funded by AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement (Connected Communities Highlight Notice)

'Mulliontide' 2016-2017

This project was funded by the Exchange Grant. This was an interdisciplinary collaborative project with artist Louise Ann Wilson, theatre company Golden Tree and the National Trust.

‘Troubled Waters, Stormy Futures: heritage in times of accelerated climate change’. 2014 - 2016

This project was funded by the AHRC Care for the Future Early Careers Development Grant . It was an interdisciplinary collaborative project with the University of Exeter, Aberystwyth University, University of Birmingham, Monash University, The National Library of Wales, National Welsh College, Cornish Audio Visual Archives, and The National Trust.

‘Apologies for Historical Wrongs: When, How, Why?’ 2014 - 2015

This project was funded by the AHRC Care for the Future Early Careers Development Grant. This was an interdisciplinary collaborative project with the University of Exeter, University of Surrey, University of Leeds, University of Ulster, Indigeneity in the Contemporary World: Performance, Politics and Belonging, and the Peace and Reconciliation Group.

Research supervision

I welcome interest from potential postgraduate students in any of the following areas, in particular Indigenous history, material cultural, intangible heritage, sense of place, museology and heritage studies:

  • Community engagement in heritage management
  • Cross-cultural dialogue
  • Colonial and postcolonial history
  • Repatriation
  • Apologies for historical wrongs, truth and reconciliation
  • Decolonisation processes
  • Identity, memory, culture and performance
  • Environment and sense of place
  • Public History

Research students

Current PhD students:

Tanya Venture. Provisional title: 'Managing Archaeological Loss in the face of Coastal Change' (Second Supervisor)

Alice Would. Provisional title: 'Fleshing out the animal: the taxidermy specimen and its production line' (Second Supervisor)

Previous PhD students:

Lesley Trotter. 'Oceans Apart – Nineteenth century emigration from Cornwall as experienced by the wives ‘left behind’' (Second Supervisor)

Amanda Phipps. ‘Representations of the First World War in Theatre during the Centenary’ (Mentor)

Previous Masters by Research students:

Will Rees. ‘“I Will Not Be Conquered”: Popular Music and Indigenous Identities in North America’ (First Supervisor)

Contribution to discipline

Chair and Founder of the UK Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS)

Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS)

Member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College

Referee for New Zealand's Marsden Fund

Referee for Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Fund

Teaching

Professor Bryony Onciul has been recognised for her outstanding teaching and was nominated for a teaching award in 2013 and received recognition of excellent in teaching from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) in 2017. Her modules are innovative and engaging, and informed by her current research. In 2018 she was a nominee for the Guild Teaching Awards in the category of Best Postgraduate Research Supervisor.

Bryony supervises PhD students researching topics related to her research interests and she welcomes inquiries from potential post-graduate and PhD students.

Modules taught

Biography

Associate Professor Bryony Onciul earned her BA in History and Politics from the University of Nottingham, MA in Heritage Education and Interpretation and PhD (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University. She studied at the University of Auckland in New Zealand as part of her undergraduate degree and did extensive research in Canada as part of her MA and PhD.

Bryony’s research in history, heritage and museology continues to take her overseas and she is currently working on grant funded projects in the UK, Canada, and the Pacific.

Bryony previously taught at Newcastle University in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies. In September 2012 Bryony joined the University of Exeter and in 2018 she led the launch of a new MA in International Heritage Management and Consultancy.