Dr Rachael Kiddey

Dr Rachael Kiddey

Lecturer in Heritage and Museum Studies

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



My work centres on developing collaborative and non-hierarchical methodologies for doing heritage work with marginalised social groups, particularly people affected by homelessness and displacement. Drawing on theory drawn from archaeology, anthropology, Heritage Studies, and political science, I locate the historical context of social inequalities in the present. I am interested in how the past lingers and co-constitutes the present in material, ideological, and structural ways. I believe that past-facing disciplines and institutions have important roles to play in educating diverse audiences about the plurality of ways to be human, to promote and co-create more egalitarian and sustainable futures. 
I received my PhD from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York in 2014. My doctoral research involved developing collaborative methodologies for working archaeologically with homeless people, documenting how cultural heritage can function in socially useful and transformative ways. My monograph, ‘Homeless Heritage’ was published by Oxford University Press in 2017 and it won the Society of Historical Archaeology’s James Deetz Book Award 2019. 
Between 2018-2022, I held a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, where my project was called ‘Migrant Materialities’ and focused on the role of material and visual culture in situations of human displacement in Europe. Fieldwork involved working in squats and refugee camps across Europe, using participatory research methods to co-document the heritage of contemporary displacement. Together with displaced people, I co-curated a digital heritage exhibition called ‘Made in Migration’, which launched during Refugee Week in 2021. 
I am also Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where I continue to teach on the MPhil Heritage Studies, focusing on Museums & Theory. I am an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London and co-editor of the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) book series, published by BAR Publications. 
I am happy to be approached for supervision by prospective PhD candidates with aligned research interests. 


Teaching interests

I am Lecturer in Heritage & Museum Studies and currently teach on the MA Heritage Theory & Practice, specialising in Critical Heritage. Some of this teaching is conducted at The Box (Plymouth's newly refurbished museum). 
I also teach Public History and Heritage and History at undergraduate level. 
I am also Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where I teach on the MPhil Heritage Studies, specialising in Museums & Theory. 
I previously taught at the University of Oxford on the undergraduate Anthropology course, specialising in 'Culture At War'. 
My office hours are 10.30-12.30 on Mondays. Feel free to drop in or email me to make an appointment if Mondays between 10.30-12.30 is not convenient. 


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Berihuete-Azorín M, Blackmore C, Borck L, Flexner JL, Frieman CJ, Herrmann CA & Kiddey R (2023) 'Archaeology in 2022: Counter‐myths for hopeful futures' American Anthropologist , DOI Open access
Kiddey R (2023) 'We Are Displaced, But We Are More Than That: Using Anarchist Principles to Materialize Capitalism’s Cracks at Sites of Contemporary Forced Displacement in Europe' International Journal of Historical Archaeology , DOI Open access
(2020) 'Correction for Altschul et al., Opinion: To understand how migrations affect human securities, look to the past' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, (43) 27059-27059 , DOI
Altschul JH, Kintigh KW, Aldenderfer M, Alonzi E, Armit I, Barceló JA, Beekman CS, Bickle P, Bird DW & Ingram SE (2020) 'To understand how migrations affect human securities, look to the past' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, (34) 20342-20345 , DOI
Kiddey R (2020) 'I’ll Tell You What I Want, What I Really, Really Want! Open Archaeology that Is Collaborative, Participatory, Public, and Feminist' Norwegian Archaeological Review 53, (1) 23-40 , DOI Open access
Kiddey R (2019) 'Reluctant Refuge: An Activist Archaeological Approach to Alternative Refugee Shelter in Athens (Greece)' Journal of Refugee Studies 33, (3) 599-621 , DOI Open access
Kiddey R (2017) 'From the ground up: cultural heritage practices as tools for empowerment in the Homeless Heritage project' International Journal of Heritage Studies 24, (7) 694-708 , DOI Open access
Crea G, Dafnis A, Hallam J, Kiddey R & Schofield J (2014) 'Turbo Island, Bristol: excavating a contemporary homeless place' Post-Medieval Archaeology 48, (1) 133-150 , DOI Open access
Kiddey R & Schofield J (2011) 'Embrace the Margins: Adventures in Archaeology and Homelessness' Public Archaeology 10, (1) 4-22 , DOI Open access
Kiddey R (2017) Homeless Heritage. Oxford University Press , DOI
(2016) The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology. Routledge , DOI
Kiddey R & Schofield J (2018) 'Embrace the margins: Adventures in archaeology and homelessness' A Museum Studies Approach to Heritage 686-699
(2016) 'InHabit' Peter Lang UK , DOI
Kiddey R (2016) 'Punks and drunks: Counter-mapping homelessness in Bristol and York' Who Needs Experts?: Counter-mapping Cultural Heritage 165-179 , DOI
Kiddey R & Schofield J (2015) '‘Keeping it real’: Social sustainability in the Homeless Heritage project in Bristol and York' Theory and Practice in Heritage and Sustainability: Between past and future 40-53
Kiddey R (2014) 'Punks and drunks: Counter-mapping homelessness in Bristol and York' Who Needs Experts? Counter-mapping Cultural Heritage 165-179
Schofield J, Kiddey R & Lashua B (2012) 'People and Landscape' The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology Oxford University Press 296-318 , DOI