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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth Pente x
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This chapter addresses the question of how historical knowledge can help one to make sense of communities like Rotherham. It first considers what counts as ‘historical knowledge’, and examines the limitations of historiography in producing histories at a local level, where issues of class, gender, and ethnicity are played out in people’s everyday lives. The chapter then explores how historians are expanding what counts for historical knowledge — in particular, the co-production of research, which can be defined as research with people rather than on people. It also provides some real-world examples of co-production in action. Finally, the chapter provides some arguments as to why historical knowledge matters.

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This chapter challenges what might be called a ‘local history paradigm’, whereby immigration to Britain and the decline of industry are linked and local history is considered to ‘end’ in the 1980s. It explores representations of past and present in Rotherham, and draws on examples of heritage projects undertaken there by people from minority ethnic communities. This chapter emerged from the experience of many of the participants living in and researching the town during the child sexual exploitation scandal. Nonetheless, while about Rotherham, its interpretation might be applicable to a variety of post-industrial towns and cities in northern England and elsewhere. The chapter also considers ways in which the heritage projects add to the local history narrative of the town.

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Connecting Rotherham through research

This is a book that challenges contemporary images of ‘place’. Too often we are told about ‘deprived neighbourhoods’ but rarely do the people who live in those communities get to shape the agenda and describe, from their perspective, what is important to them. In this unique book the process of re-imagining comes to the fore in a fresh and contemporary look at one UK town, Rotherham.

Using history, artistic practice, writing, poetry, autobiography and collaborative ethnography, this book literally and figuratively re-imagines a place. It is a manifesto for alternative visions of community, located in histories and cultural reference points that often remain unheard within the mainstream media. As such, the book presents a ‘how to’ for researchers interested in community collaborative research and accessing alternative ways of knowing and voices in marginalised communities.

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This chapter offers a sense of the legacy of this book and identify its key features, in order to provide a summary of what the authors have learned from doing the book. The central goal in writing this book has been to demonstrate that communities produce their own forms of knowledge, and that those forms are valid — and valuable — ways of knowing. The chapter articulates the value of this kind of research for community knowledge production that is emergent, situated, and future oriented. As such, this chapter identifies four key themes: thinking across difference, the arts as a mode of inquiry and as an agent of change, rethinking knowledge production practices, and hope and the importance of transformational change. The chapter then reflects on these themes.

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This is a book that challenges contemporary images of place. Too often we are told about deprived neighbourhoods but rarely do the people who live in those communities get to shape the agenda and describe, from their perspective, what is important to them. In this book the process of re-imagining comes to the fore in a fresh and contemporary look at one UK town, Rotherham. Using history, artistic practice, writing, poetry, autobiography, and collaborative ethnography, this book literally and figuratively re-imagines a place. It is a manifesto for alternative visions of community, located in histories and cultural reference points that often remain unheard within the mainstream media. As such, the book presents a how to for researchers interested in community collaborative research and accessing alternative ways of knowing and voices in marginalised communities.

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This is a book that challenges contemporary images of place. Too often we are told about deprived neighbourhoods but rarely do the people who live in those communities get to shape the agenda and describe, from their perspective, what is important to them. In this book the process of re-imagining comes to the fore in a fresh and contemporary look at one UK town, Rotherham. Using history, artistic practice, writing, poetry, autobiography, and collaborative ethnography, this book literally and figuratively re-imagines a place. It is a manifesto for alternative visions of community, located in histories and cultural reference points that often remain unheard within the mainstream media. As such, the book presents a how to for researchers interested in community collaborative research and accessing alternative ways of knowing and voices in marginalised communities.

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This is a book that challenges contemporary images of place. Too often we are told about deprived neighbourhoods but rarely do the people who live in those communities get to shape the agenda and describe, from their perspective, what is important to them. In this book the process of re-imagining comes to the fore in a fresh and contemporary look at one UK town, Rotherham. Using history, artistic practice, writing, poetry, autobiography, and collaborative ethnography, this book literally and figuratively re-imagines a place. It is a manifesto for alternative visions of community, located in histories and cultural reference points that often remain unheard within the mainstream media. As such, the book presents a how to for researchers interested in community collaborative research and accessing alternative ways of knowing and voices in marginalised communities.

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This is a book that challenges contemporary images of place. Too often we are told about deprived neighbourhoods but rarely do the people who live in those communities get to shape the agenda and describe, from their perspective, what is important to them. In this book the process of re-imagining comes to the fore in a fresh and contemporary look at one UK town, Rotherham. Using history, artistic practice, writing, poetry, autobiography, and collaborative ethnography, this book literally and figuratively re-imagines a place. It is a manifesto for alternative visions of community, located in histories and cultural reference points that often remain unheard within the mainstream media. As such, the book presents a how to for researchers interested in community collaborative research and accessing alternative ways of knowing and voices in marginalised communities.

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What role does “Black history” play in community development? This chapter discusses how Black and Asian minority ethnic (BAME) communities have been excluded from contributing to national and local histories, depriving them of resources that would enable them to develop different futures in the context of a British historical narrative dominated by whiteness. It focuses on the intersection of history and community development and how community-based organisations have worked in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield (in West Yorkshire in the north of England). The chapter suggests that there are advantages in the co-production of historical knowledge, one of which is that a collaborative approach enables greater inclusion and diversity of views, especially as there is a lack of ethnic diversity amongst academic staff at British universities.

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