‘I Don’t have a Story to Tell’

I wrote this piece for a research event I helped with in April. Not quite dock work, but excellent nonetheless and I now know much more about eyebrows than I ever thought I would.

I had not spent much time thinking about eyebrows until I became part of the team for the ‘Brews n Brows’ research event at FACT. My own PhD thesis is an oral history of dock work in the twentieth century, so I spend more time reading about hydraulic winches than HD brows. However, the focus on identity, culture and Liverpool in ‘Brews n Brows’ had me hooked. I also knew that I could not give up the chance to work in such a brilliant team. As an eyebrow novice, the experience was a learning curve both professionally and personally.

I developed my research skills and broadened my methodological knowledge through taking part in a focus group, using a 3D scanner, taking photographs and helping with filming equipment. My favourite aspect was being able to talk to people from Liverpool and people visiting the city about a topic everyone can relate to…

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Becoming Part of the Conversation


‘Emma Copestake is a first-year History PhD student at the University of Liverpool. Her research currently focuses on the humour and wellbeing of dock communities in Liverpool and Glasgow throughout the twentieth century. Other interests include the history of emotions, labour history, class, gender, occupational health and medical humanities. Follow Emma on Twitter @em_copestake and read further blog posts at https://theaffectivehistorian.wordpress.com/

I know nothing about the history of dock work. This is something I tell myself daily, despite the fact I have already spent two and a half years researching waterfront communities, carried out interviews with those who worked on the docks and spend most days reading something relating to the industry. Just to be clear, I also know nothing about the history of emotions, humour, labour history, occupational health or anything related to my field.

Since beginning my PhD in October 2017, I have had to learn to value my own contribution…

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Great Opportunity for PGRs in the North West!

Exciting news! This is our official call for papers for Crafting the Past, all PGRs interested in presenting a paper should send their 100-word proposal, paper title and short bio to livpostgradworkshop@outlook.com. Presentations will be 10 minutes in length and a question-and-answer session will follow, but for now we just want to read your excellent […]

via CFP – 9TH FEBRUARY 2018 — Annual Postgraduate Conference

A ‘Networking’ Trip to Glasgow

On Monday 11th December, I travelled from Liverpool to Glasgow to visit the Scottish Oral History Centre and to attend the book launch of The Deindustrialized World: Confronting Ruination in Postindustrial Places. I decided to attend because I enjoyed the book and wanted to watch the author presentations but I ended up learning a lot about the value of one of academia’s key buzzwords: ‘networking’.  Continue reading