Harriet Parry

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Personal profile

Research interests

My Ph.D. research focused on exploring how individuals relate to heritage sites on a sensory, embodied level. Attending to more-than representational affective expressions of everyday interactions with space and place, this work aims to contribute to an understanding of how and why individuals connect to, or reject these strategic sites. 

Working through the terms and concepts of 'community' 'space' and 'place,' this research acknowledges the important roles that heritage sites can play in drawing together disparate and connected networks of individuals to facilitate current and future connection to their environment.

My interdisciplinary methodology applies an enactive approach to traditional forms of ethnographic research. Adopting the eye and sensibilities of a theatre scenographer to read how a site's location, architectonics and cultural identity, engender particular atmospheres that affect how individuals become enmeshed on a phenomenological level with built history and imagined futures.

Located in the School of Humanities this Design Star AHRC funded research aims to offer alternative and inclusive ways of thinking around how heritage sites can be designed and developed. 

Scholarly biography

My current research combines a professional interest in how we design our world with an academic fascination for the philosophy of how we create connections with that world. This interest also feeds into my teaching of Fdeg and BA Theatre Arts students to support their creative practice as well as their critical understanding of the impact their practice can have culturally and socially.

My curiosity was given shape by the academic training I received on my MA in History of Design and Material Culture for which I achieved a distinction. My dissertation research was on a series of WW2 murals created by Air Sea Rescue servicemen stationed at Newhaven Fort, a scheduled ancient monument in East Sussex, and the cultural biography of the paintings over time. My work there is ongoing and I am currently involved in helping to create an exhibition about the murals that aims to continue to develop their relationship with visitors of the Fort through our interpretation. 

Between September 2020 and March 2021 I took up a work placement with English Heritage at Marble Hill House in south-west London as an associate community engagement officer. My work involved assisting the audience development manager on two Lottery funded resonance projects taking place there. Working in collaboration with the Marble Hill Revived project team, I was tasked with independent and guided research to support community engagement initiatives and interpretation at Marble Hill, as well as supporting the delivery of these through stakeholder management and workshop design and participation. 

My professional background spans nearly twenty years as a design assistant, costume effects technician, costumier, prop maker and stage manager in the film, television and theatre industries. My current research gives me the opportunity to combine a tacit understanding of embodied cognition through making and physical expression, with an academic platform to use this knowledge as a tool and a lens to explore the way others experience, create, cognate and communicate through their enminded bodies.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Brighton

Sep 2016Oct 2018

Award Date: 12 Dec 2018

Bachelor, University of Brighton

Award Date: 1 Aug 2016


External positions

Arts lecturer, GBMet

Mar 2012 → …


  • AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
  • Heritage
  • AHRC
  • Futures
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • phenomenology
  • Phenomenographics
  • Morethan-representational
  • Heritage
  • Futures
  • BH Aesthetics
  • Atmosphere
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • Heritage
  • Critical heritage


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