Doctoral Researcher, university of Birmingham
In 1838, Birmingham, Manchester and Bolton were granted a Charter of Incorporation in what was contemporarily described as a ‘great experiment’. Focusing on Birmingham as a case study, Donna’s AHRC-funded research is exploring how this legislation fits into the so-called ‘Age of Reform’ and its relationship to several decades of local Radical agitation. She is particularly interested in the idea of a bipartite ‘them and us’ society and the discourses that took place within the political public sphere during this dynamic period of modern British history. Print was a primary medium of those discourses. Evidence for this research has been found in various forms, including newspapers, sheet music, placards or posters and penny pamphlets. There is a good collection of printed ephemera to be found at the Library of Birmingham archives.