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Personal profile

Research interests

Spanning fifteen years, Julia Winckler's research sits across multiple strands:

• Archives, Memory & Migration

• Reactivating Archives through Artistic Interventions

• Photography and Pedagogy

Julia's research investigates archival traces within the context of collective memory and migration narratives. Her key research question probes how neglected archival sources can reveal forgotten histories of great significance to our understanding of the present. Applying a creative and interpretive photographic approach, using photographs as tools to think about historical experience, multiple articulations of memory and meaning are expressed, with the aim of generating new academic knowledge.

The author Ben Okri has described 'the artist [as] a conduit through which lost things are recovered' (2005). Julia's research methodology considers archival research as a material, embodied practice. Through extensive investigation in archives, she gathers materials and maps out a strategy and approach. She then travels to the sites that have historical significance for each project.

Through reactivation and visualisation using photography as the key medium, past memories are reframed and resituated in the present. Combining an archaeological with a genealogical approach, traces are  documented; their significance to the present assessed, as some of the historical functions are lost or no longer important. The genealogical approach necessitates an investigation that starts in the present, a retracing of the journey, that is physical and experimental, setting up encounters and dialogues.

Lost and recovered narratives have been a key theme of Julia Winckler's work to date. Memory and migration narratives of emigration (Two Sisters), exile and loss (Traces), exploration (Retracing Heinrich Barth), displacement (Leaving Atlantis), expedition/peregrination (My Canadian Pilgrimage) and interwar home-making (Fabricating Lureland)  have been visualized and probed using the language of photography. These projects have been disseminated through public exhibitions, at conferences, exhibition catalogue publications and public engagement workshops, as well as informing Julia's teaching practice.

Julia has undertaken extensive work with and within communities to enable broader access to personal cultural heritage amongst disadvantaged areas and demographics. She has sought to improve inclusivity of knowledge production and to reanimate disconnected or underdeveloped narratives and histories. Oscillating between photographic and archival research, she uses photography as a medium through which collective memories can be reconstructed and given a renewed cultural presence.



Supervisory Interests

Photographic archives

Art practice as research

Co-production of knowledge 



Scholarly biography

Julia Winckler is a photographer, experienced participatory arts facilitator and curriculum developer and a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton, School of Media. Between 2009-2011 she was also a teaching fellow at SOAS, Department of Anthropology and Sociology. Julia has exhibited widely, including at the Motorenhalle, Dresden (2018),  the Brunei Gallery, SOAS (Retracing Heinrich Barth, 2008) and the Austrian Cultural Forum, London (Traces, 2012). Julia is also an art education consultant with regular engagements at Kaitak Research Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University. 

She recently completed a PhD that interrogated a previously underexplored archival collection through a process that fused visual and creative research methods and explored multi-layered narratives of place.  She discusses her research approach in ‘Fabricating Lureland: site marking the pioneer bungalows of Peacehaven’ in the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice (2016).

Julia’s interdisciplinary research focuses on archival traces, memory and migration narratives, bringing together knowledge gained from degrees in African Studies & Anthropology, Social Work and Photography.

Cross-cultural narratives of exile and hybridity have been explored through writing and publishing within academic contexts, e.g. in book form Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Internee: Fred Uhlman in Captivity (2009), which explores the role of the artist/witness during WWII and was co-authored with Prof Charmian Brinson and Dr. Anna Müller-Härlin.

Through generous research support by Prof. Paul Newman and the late Prof. Tony Kirke-Greene, Julia was able to revive the extraordinary life story of Dorugu and turn it into the extensive journal article 'Regards Croisées: James Henry Dorugu’s 19th century European Journey'. This work built on her photographic project Retracing Heinrich Barth. The essay was later translated by German charity Mate Ni Kane into French and German in order to disseminate it to communities across Niger. Julia was invited to write an introduction, ‘Dorougou, un fils de la region de Zinder’ for Tarihin Dorugu – Histoire de Dorougou published in French and Hausa by Albasa in Niamey, Niger (2015). This now reintroduces the story of Dorugu to young people across Niger and ensures that future generations know the story of this remarkable and brave early African explorer, who also came to Europe. 

Other recent book chapters include 'Two Sisters, Contrary Lives' (with Prof. Charmian Brinson) for Working Memory, Women and Work in World War II (2015); 'The first rule of photography is patience: the photographs of Wolf Suschitzky' in Seven Decades of Photography (2014); 'A time we were not born: Experimental Archaeology' in Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age, (2013); 'War, Memory and Photographic Traces' in Twentieth Century Wars in European Memory (2013).

She was co-researcher, with Prof Adrienne Chambon, Prof Vid Ingelevics, Prof Ernie Lightman, and Beth Good and Mary Anderson on the SSHRC funded Children of the City: from street to playground (2013-2017), which mobilized a collection of archival photographs of urban street scenes taken in Toronto at the turn of the last century.


As part of this grant Julia co-curated the exhibition' From Streets to Playgrounds' (2016-17) at the City of Toronto Archives Gallery, as well as 'Photographic Memories - Lost Corners of Paris: The Children of cité Lesage-Bullourde and Boulogne-Billancourt' at the Alliance Francaise gallery in Toronto with photographs by Marilyn Stafford which were exhibited for the first time. The journal article ‘Compelling Evidence: mobilizing the Carlton Hill photographic archive’, in Visual Methodologies (2017), co-written with Chambon and supported by Selma Montford, describes their associated exhibition 'Carlton Hill: the children of Brighton’s displaced community', which was shown at the Brighton's Jubilee Library and at the University Catholica, Lisbon during 2016. 



Approach to teaching

Julia enjoys teaching and considers this to be the best part of her job at the University of Brighton. Despite having worked here since 2004, Julia continues to discover new and rewarding ways of teaching and facilitation. Julia has been nominated for two teaching awards (in the inspirational teaching award category and for the Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning award).

Julia supervises BA and MA dissertations (including practice-based MA dissertations), leads photography practice modules, a module on participatory media production for social change that takes a global and historical perspective to collaborative practice, and a photography module on reactivating photographic archives. She also teaches into research modules and a journalism module, which highlights the importance of socially engaged photography and active citizenship.

Just prior to working at the University of Brighton, Julia taught photography at Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University. Between 2009-2011 she was also a teaching fellow at the University of London, SOAS, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, where she enjoyed running an MA Media Production module, co-convened and developed with Jens Franz.




Knowledge exchange

Most of Julia's solo and collaborative projects have had educational and participatory elements. As an art education consultant with artists undergoing training to become educators, Julia has coached them to develop curricula that inspire and encourage students’ creativity and independence through the arts. Much of her work is interdisciplinary and engages with communities outside of Academia and in many parts of the world who she works with and learns from. Through her affiliation with the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice and the Centre of Memory, Narrative and Histories Julia exchanges resources and knowledge on a regular basis.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Toronto

External positions

Art education consultant


  • TR Photography

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

photography Social Sciences
playground Social Sciences
social work Social Sciences
Niger Social Sciences
magazine Social Sciences
artist Social Sciences
curriculum Social Sciences
photographer Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2003 2019

‘Quite content to be called a good craftsman’ – an exploration of Wolf Suschitzky’s extensive contributions to the field of applied photography between 1935 and 1955

Winckler, J. 2019 (Accepted/In press) Émigrés and the Applied Arts in Britain, 1933-51. Malet, M. & Nyburg, A. (eds.). London , Vol. 19 , (Yearbook 19 Society of Exile Studies; vol. 19)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Compelling Evidence: the mobilization of the Carlton Hill photographic archive across time

Winckler, J. 1 Apr 2017 5, 1, p. 20-31 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

From Streets to Playgrounds: Representing Children in Early 20th Century Toronto

Winckler, J., Chambon, A., Ingelevics, V., Lightman , E., Good , B. & Anderson , M. 2017

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

Open Access
social field
public space
social work
Photographic Memory

Carlton Hill – The Children of Brighton’s Displaced Community

Winckler, J. 13 Sep 2015

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

Urban Studies