Dr Fiona Cosson

Head, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: History

Fiona Cosson is Head of School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, where she leads and supports academic staff in the development, delivery, and administration of learning and teaching, research and innovation, and public outreach and engagement in the disciplines of Criminology, English, History, Sociology, Philosophy, Policing, Politics, and Theology.

Email: fiona.cosson@aru.ac.uk


Fiona has a PhD in Modern British Social History, and she has taught and researched in the fields of oral history and memory; public history and heritage; history of housing and community; and employability in Humanities education. She has a professional background in cultural and community engagement, having directed and delivered projects, consultancy, and training for archives, libraries, and museums.


  • Bournemouth University, Postgraduate Certificate in Education Practice, 2018
  • University of Northampton, PhD by Research, Modern British History, 2013
  • University of Leeds, MA Race and Resistance, 2008
  • University of Leeds, BA (Hons) History, 2004

Selected recent publications

2023 Teaching Oral History in Higher Education (forthcoming with Routledge)

2022 ‘The Graduate Project: A Model for Embedded Employability in Arts and Humanities Undergraduate Education’ in SAGE Handbook of Graduate Employability (forthcoming)

2019 ‘Introduction: Oral History Journal @ 50’. Oral History 50th Anniversary Special Issue, 2-5.

2017 ‘The Small Politics of Everyday Life: Local History Society Archives and the Production of Public Histories’. Archives and Records, (Volume 38, No. 1, Spring 2017)

Hidden Histories: Doing Your Oral History Project Toolkit. (Manchester Histories, 2017)

2016 ‘A Life in Sound: The Sounds and Stories of Paul Graney’. Sound Essay. (Manchester Archives Plus, June 2016)

2013 ‘Unofficial Histories’ with Ian Gwinn, History Workshop Journal (Issue 75, Spring 2013)

2010 ‘Voice of the Community?: Practical reflections on accessing, working with and representing communities in oral history’, Oral History (Volume 38, No 2, Autumn 2010).

2008 From Abolition to Commonwealth: West Yorkshire Remembers Indentured Labour in Africa and the Caribbean, with Will Jackson, Sewa Singh Kalsi, and Carl Hylton, (Gbakhanda Publishing, Leeds, 2008)

Recent presentations and conferences

2019 Local History Archives: Some Challenges and Opportunities, at Hampshire Archives Trust.

2016 Oral History as/and Biography: Interviewers and their Sound Archives, at Oral History Association Conference, Los Angeles.

2016 Just What Do You Think About All Day Long? The Sounds and Stories of Paul Graney, Oral History Society Conference, London.

2016 Pride and Privilege in Community History, at Modern British Studies, Birmingham.

2016 A Life in Sound: The Sounds and Stories of Paul Graney, at Manchester Histories Festival.

2015 Gloves Off: Writing History from Below from Local History Society Archives, at History From Elsewhere Symposium, London Metropolitan Archives.

2015 In the Time between Then and Now: Memory, Social Change and Everyday Life at Oral History Seminar Series, Institute for Historical Research, London.

2015 'I learnt to make a shoe right through': Narratives of Work, Community and Change in a Shoe and Boot Town at International Labour Process Conference, Athens.

2014 Unlocked Doors, Slippered Feet and Rose-Tinted Glasses: The History of a Sense of Community at Global History Seminar Series, University of Leeds (Invited Speaker).

2014 Oral History: Outside and Inside the HE History Class at Higher Education Academy Conference, London.

2013 ‘You reduce the whole process to a soulless machine’: Community, Power, and the Memories and Meanings of Local Government in the Twentieth Century at Community at Cohesion and Social Stability Conference, Bangor.

2012 Imagined Nostalgia: Popular Memory, Individual Testimony and the Memorialisation of Community in Britain at the European Social Science History Conference, Glasgow.

2010 All events and happenings are recorded in good faith: Local History, Collective Memory and Narratives of Community- 35th Annual Social Science History Association Meeting, Chicago, USA.

2010 A Sense of Loss: Exploring the Social Anxieties over the Demise of Community in Britain, 1887-2001 at the European Social Science History Conference, Ghent, Belgium.

2009 Between The Locks: an oral history of the working lives of the upper tidal Thames at Oral History Workshop, London.

2009 Voice of the Community?: The participation and representation of marginalised communities in oral history projects at Oral History Society Annual Conference, Glasgow.