Gabriella Gay

Gabriella Gay

Twitter: @gkagaywriting

Thesis Title

Staffordshire’s Colonial Connections: re-imagining black voices from the archival debris


Keele University


Main Supervisor – Professor Mariangela Palladino (Keele University)
Dr. Kristen Brill – History , Keele University
Malika Booker – Lecturer . Manchester University
Sarah English – Staffordshire Archive and Heritage Service

Research Summary

This project, in collaboration with Staffordshire Archive and Heritage Service (SAHS), explores records of black slaves and free black women and men who lived in the region.
The project has significant academic and societal impact and opens up new critical and creative terrains. It has three key objectives:

  • Investigate SAHS records documenting black lives by interrogating and enriching its archives.
  • Produce poetic counter-narratives from SAHS’s fragmented (and missing) records of black voices.
  • Decolonise the civic, collective memory of Staffordshire and engage ‘hard to reach’ communities.

In addition to its significant contribution to regional culture, this project makes a conceptual and methodological advance in cultural studies and cultural theory on how to redress the silences of archives.

Research Interests

I am a creative writer interested in how writers use fragments from archives in their work. My research interests are located in the fields of cultural studies, archival studies, postcolonial studies and postcolonial archives. I’m interested in the social, and cultural history of free and enslaves Black people between 1668 until 1894 in England.


coming soon


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