Arts Emergency

Claire Hayward


I always loved studying both English and History throughout school, so came to a cross-roads when I was applying for university in choosing which one to study further – I never questioned that I would do an Arts degree, as that was where my passions lay. After deciding on History, I never looked back. Studying History at BA level allowed me to develop skills I could take into the workplace, and allowed me internship opportunities to put these skills into practical use. It also allowed me to recognise that the History I studied inside the university walls could be, and is, used outside of this environment. Through my MA degree, I developed an interest in ‘hidden histories’ – marginalised histories that are not discussed in academia, much less in the public domain. During this time, I also interned for Lion Television, where I was able to see first hand how history can be used outside the lecture theatres and develop a more creative take on history. I’m now doing a PhD in Public History and am looking at the way it represents same-sex attraction, one of many hidden histories. In my research, I am lucky to work both within an academic world and in the public sphere – hoping to highlight how they, alongside museums, archives and other forms of public history, can work together for shared knowledge in an open and positive way. Studying an Arts degree in the first place allowed me to develop my passion for history, as well providing me with the skills and opportunities to pursue a career in it.