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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Natasha Vall is a Professor of urban and cultural history and the Dean for the School of Social Sciences Humanities and Law. Previously she was the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law and the School of Arts and Creative Industries incorporating MIMA at Teesside University. Natasha also performs a number of University research leadership roles including Chair, Research Culture Sub Committee, Deputy Chair, Research and Innovation Committee, Teesside University Programme Lead for the University Alliance DTA3 Cofund https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/ and the Teesside University Director for the Northern Bridge Consortium www.northernbridge.ac.uk.  

Summary of Research Interests

Natasha's research interests are in comparative urban (especially industrial and postindustrial) history. She published her second monograph 'Cultural Region' (Manchester University Press) in 2011, which is the first historical assessment of English regional cultural policy. Through the lens of North East England, this study reveals how the discourse of history and industrial heritage was deployed to shape the boundaries of the contemporary cultural region.

Natasha sustains a strong profile of research into the cultural renewal of postindustrial cities in the uk and beyond, characterised by deep engagement with a range of museums, cultural and heritage organisations. This has provided the basis for two REF impact case studies in 2014 and 2021 respectively. She is the institutional academic lead for Teesside University's AHRC Impact Acceleration Account, which will built innovative and sustainable approaches to engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders and partners. Natasha welcomes inquiries from prospective PhD students in the field of modern urban history, cultural policy and post-industrial heritage.

Research Projects & External Funding

  • AHRC IAA (2022-2025)
  • Towards a Greener Tees Valley-Community Renewal Fund with Thirteen Housing Group (2021-2022)
  • TV Lab-UKRI (2019-2021)
  • GreatPlace- Greater Tees. HLF/ACE, CI (2017)
  • HLF- Steel Stories, CI (2017)
  • Creative Fuse North East AHRC, (2015), project management team

PhD and Research Opportunities

PhD Supervisions

I am interested in hearing from potential students who wish to carry out a PhD around the topic areas above.

PhD students – Teesside:

  • James Beighton (2014): Reasoning the need: questioning the value and role of the visual arts in the life of an industrial town. AHRC funded full-time
  • Jacquline Hayes (2014): The emergence of open-air education in industrial and de-industrialising society during the first half of the twentieth century, with particular reference to the concept of the ‘delicate’ child. Part time student. Part-time Heritage Consortium (completed 2020)
  • Tracey Jones (2016): Gender and identity: The relationship between femininity and dress in Victorian mining districts in England and Wales. AHRC funded, full-time (completed 2022)
  • Judith Philips (2013): National identity, gender, social class and cultural aspiration in mid-nineteenth century England and France: Josephine Bowes (1825-1874), collector and museum curator. Part-time (completed 2020)
  • Rob Burton, (2018) trace, memory and post-memory through making, meaning and materiality (completed 2020)
  • Rosemary Stubbs (2017) 'All workers are exploited, some are more exploited than others' AHRC Heritage Consortium (completed 2022)
  • Warren Harrison '

    ‘The Creek’, a practice-based research project with accompanying critical commentary. (PhD BCW, complete 2022)

Leeds Becket University:

Taras Nakonecznyj (2014) Theatres of Memory: The foundation of identity in the historic city, AHRC funded. Full time

Sheffield Hallam University:

Alex Wilson (2016): Pretend You’ll Survive: Archiving Independent Film and Video in Yorkshire, 1970-1990, AHRC funded. Full time

External Roles and Professional Activities

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Strategic Reviewer for the AHRC and Member of AHRC peer Review College (2011-2019)
  • ESF peer reviewer
  • Trustee, Tees Valley Arts
  • Academic Advisory Board, Redhills Foundation

External Research Collaborations

  • University of Tubingen
  • University of Malmo
  • UCL
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Hull
  • Newcastle University
  • Durham University
  • Queens University, Belfast
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Natasha's research involves the critical appraisal of the process of culture-led regeneration in post-industrial conurbations and she has advised commercial property companies, business partners as well as cultural policy makers on the historical context for the regeneration of the urban landscape.

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

Research led teaching, doctoral training, students as researchers.

External positions

Academic Advisory Board, Redhills

5 May 2020 → …

Trustee, Tees Valley Arts


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