I am deeply grateful to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for providing me with a grant to undertake an MA in History at Cardiff University for the 2022-3 academic year. The generosity of the grant enabled me to wholly focus on my studies and I am now an SWW DTP PhD student exploring material cultures of the NHS Hospital in conjunction with the University of Bristol, the University of Exeter, and the Science Museum Group.
The academic rigour of the MA sharpened my skills in extended independent research and introduced me to new historical theories, approaches, and methods. Utilising critical disability studies and the concept of embodiment, my MA dissertation explored the neglected topic of disability amongst women in industrial south Wales. Crucially, the research demonstrated how a woman’s ‘broken body’ was symbolic of being a good wife and mother according to the highly gendered social mores of coalfield communities.
I was also able to complete a heritage module where I enjoyed learning about the place of heritage within present-day legislation, and the opportunities and challenges of working in the field. Throughout the module, I helped design a community action initiative in the form of a digital history project in partnership with the CAER Heritage Project that was delivered to the local community in West Cardiff.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Foundation once more for their generous assistance which made this year possible.