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The University of Southampton
HistoryPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Ms Nicola Woodhead 

Postgraduate research student

Ms Nicola Woodhead's photo

I am a postgraduate research student interested in: refugee movements particularly the Kindertransport, gender, identity, oral history, memory and museology. My thesis seeks to provide the first comprehensive examination of transmigrant Kinder by mapping both the experience of transmigrant Kinder and the memory of these experiences. I teach at both university level and at secondary schools through widening participation schemes.

My thesis seeks to nuance the way in which we understand the Kindertransport and its memory. The Kindertransport is often portrayed as a rescue scheme in which Britain welcomed 10,000 Jewish children unconditionally and that they made their home permanently in the UK. However, this narrative disregards the temporary nature of their entry permits and that a large number did not/were not allowed to permanently settle in the UK. My thesis aims to map both the experience of transmigrant Kinder – those who did not permanently settle in the UK - and also the memory of these experiences.

My research unpicks the celebratory narrative surrounding the Kindertransport. In doing so I engage with collective memory particularly how the Kindertransport is reported upon in the press, presented in museums and used in education. In doing so I have noted the absence of transmigrant Kinder in favour of those who settled in the UK. Thus far I have identified Kinder who re-emigrated to: the USA, Israel, Chile, Canada, China, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Egypt. However, their stories remain hidden. My research focuses on uncovering these experiences through making use of testimony – written, oral and video – and archival documents such as letters, newspapers and travel documents. I aim to bring these narratives to the fore and discuss why the collective memory surrounding the Kindertransport has obscured this experience.

I am member of the Parkes outreach team which involves organising events to in the local community. I am particularly passionate about our work with local sixth form and colleges delivering research-led workshops in local schools. For a number of years I have been involved with the organisation of Southampton’s Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event.

Seminar tutor for World Histories: Contact, Conflict and Culture from Ancient to Modern.

Ms Nicola Woodhead
Student Office, Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Southampton. SO17 1BF United Kingdom
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