PhD Student Profile

Jennifer Deakin

Jennifer Deakin

PhD Student

School: Creative Arts and Industries

Campus: Canterbury

Project Title

Florence Farmborough: An investigation into photography, trauma and memory.

Biographical Note

Having graduated from Philippa Fawcett College of Education, London with a University of London Certificate in Education, Jennifer worked for a number of years as a primary school teacher. She changed her career path and gained experience in various sectors, including H. M. Revenue and Customs as a tax officer and subsequently for a firm of local accountants. During this period, she gained her Institute of Certified Book-Keepers accreditation and this was followed by a number of years with Canterbury City Council in an administrative capacity. Following the birth of her son in 1983, Jennifer obtained her Open University B.A. degree with modules in Art, education and Psychology. On returning to work following a further period of teaching, she finally left teaching and took up the role of Assistant Golf Club Secretary in a local club for a number of years. Her final year before retirement, was working as office manager for her husband’s department store before the business was sold in 2007. Jennifer then joined Canterbury Christ Church University as a part-time Photography student gaining her BA. (Hons.) degree in 2015 and subsequently becoming a part-time PhD research student.

Research Outline

Jennifer’s research is a qualitative study based in ethnography which investigates the minutae of Farmborough work during her period at the Russian Front in World War 1, through her photographic images, her narrative account together with the transcript of one of her handwritten notebooks. The period in question has involved investigations into facets of trauma theory with its multi-disciplinary nature, which forms a central focus to the main discussions of Farmborough’s work and which encompasses the visual, written narratives and its relationship to memory. This has involved an holistic approach resulting in critical examinations concentratrating on areas that are interconnected, such as feminism exemplified by the work of other female photographers who documented aspects of the war. Discourse analysis methods have also been employed using critcally engaged constant comparison and amalgamation methods to construct a theoretical framework and provide conceptual interpretations.

Chapters in the resulting thesis concentrate initally on the period prior to the outbreak of war with Farmborough documenting a pre-revolutionary society and culture. Progessing to her period at the Front, close investigations of her images involve a comparison with the main features of war photography and how she extended the boundaries of images of conflict taken at that time. The final chapter concentrates on an investigtion into memory, its place within photograph albums and how memory and remembrance has been depicted through a variety of art works relating to the period of World War 1.

Research Outputs

Jennifer’s work has led to articles for the University of Hertfordshire’s website and The Heswall and District magazine, published in December 2019. She also took part in the 2018 panel presentation held by CCCU commemorating the Aftermath of World War 1.

Supervisory Team

  • Dr. Karen Shepherdson (Consultant Supervisor - Programme Director and Reader for Photography at London College of Communication, member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College and co-editor of the Journal for Photography)
  • Dr Andy Birtwistle (Chair) 

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Last edited: 04/06/2020 14:31:00