Dr Claire Nolan
School of the English and Digital Humanities
Dr Claire Nolan is a postdoctoral researcher for the Ports, Past and Present project. Drawing on her academic and professional background in both archaeology and psychotherapy, her research explores the social and eco-literal value of the historic environment. It seeks to gain a greater understanding of how heritage assets directly influence individual lived experience, wellbeing, environmental awareness and climate resilience.
Claire’s PhD research (University of Reading, UK) investigated the potential of the historic environment to support wellbeing, employing qualitative, phenomenological methods to explore the therapeutic value of the prehistoric landscapes of Avebury, Stonehenge and the Vale of Pewsey, UK in the present day. She has since published a number of papers on this topic, including the co-authored Historic England (2018) Report, Wellbeing and the Historic Environment.
Claire’s current work is focused on: the power of cultural heritage to ground and create meaning for individuals and communities; climate heritage and the potential for reflective engagement with heritage narratives to promote environmental literacy and ecotherapy; strategies for mindful heritage engagement and learning; and collaborative community heritage. Other research interests include: the value of heritage in post-colonial/colonial societies; access to cultural heritage and the protection of ancient monuments.