University of Hertfordshire

Dr Katrina Navickas DPhil, MA (Oxon), FRHS


Katrina Navickas

Dr Katrina Navickas DPhil, MA (Oxon), FRHS


Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom


I am Reader in History and a member of the History group at the University of Hertfordshire.


Research interests:

Public space, planning and protest:

I have been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship 2018-19 for a new project, 'The history of public space in England, 1700-2000'.


Contemporary urban regeneration and social protest movements have raised urgent questions over the ownership, policing and uses of sites where people meet, play and protest. But often such debates lack full consideration of how contested sites have been shaped by much longer histories of planning, legislation and local resistance. This new major research project explores:


  • the ways in which people have used and contested public spaces in their locales;

  • how people have ‘dwelt’ in the landscape;

  • how changing patterns of landownership and governance have shaped everyday access to public space and created conflicts over its use;

  • issues of enclosure, privatisation, policing and planning of public space


Work in progress is documented on my blog:

I will be organising several community workshops and an exhibition about the history of public space and protest in 2019.

I have also set up a new academic network into 'rural modernism' in the 20th century. Comprised of historians, historical geographers and historians of art and design from across the UK, we tweet @RuralModernism



Local and regional history:


As part of my role leading Local & Regional History within the Heritage Hub, I have worked with Stevenage Irish Network and Milton Keynes community groups, training them in archive research. I am editor of the UH Press book series Explorations in Regional and Local History, and on the editorial board of the International Journal of Regional and Local History.




Protest and popular politics in 18th and 19th century England


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My monograph Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848 (Manchester University Press, 2015), is now out in paperback.

My first book was Loyalism and Radicalism in Lancashire, 1798-1815 (OUP, 2009). I have published widely on such topics as the Luddites, Swing rioters, Chartists, political prisoners, political clothing, and protesters' use of landscape.

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I am committed to public engagement. My historical essay on the Pentrich Rising of 1817 accompanies Andy Hedgecock's creative writing for an anthology of short stories edited by Ra Page, Protest!: Stories of Resistance, (Comma Press, 2017). In 2017, I worked with several actors in Mike Leigh's new feature film, Peterloo, training them in how to research their parts.

I have recently worked with two community groups on HLF funded projects: REELMcr's project, 'Finding Sam', enables young people from Middleton, Greater Manchester, explore the history of Samuel Bamford and Peterloo using film and creative drama. The Kennington Chartist Project in south London commemorated the 1848 Chartist 'monster' meeting in the park with a series of community workshops and events in summer 2018.  I gave a public lecture, debated with journalist Paul Mason and trade union leader Gail Cartmail on a 'people's question time panel', and facilitated the Chartist research group at Lambeth Archives.


 Digital history and geography:

I enjoy experimenting with digital methods, including mapping with GIS, and applying the theories and methods of cultural geography to history. I am currently collaborating with Dr Sam Griffiths and Blerta Dino of the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, on a project applying Space Syntax methods and Depthmap software to historical urban street plans and political meeting sites.


I was one of the two winners of the 2015 British Library Labs competition, for my digital history project, 'Political Meetings Mapper', which text-mined and mapped reports in 1840s newspapers -



Research supervision:

I have supervised several PhD and MA by Research students to completion, on topics related to 19th century regional history including the implementation of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, and the impacts of the building of railways and canals in Hertfordshire. My most recent completed student is Nathan Bend, on a AHRC-collaborative doctoral studentship with The National Archives, researching the Home Office and popular disturbance, 1800-1832. I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

  • Dianne Shepherd, on women's agency in the sweated trades of the East End of London between the Chartists and the Suffragettes.
  • David Noble, on the Primitive Methodists in Hertfordshire.
  • Peter Elliott, on the history of aircraft museums.

I welcome applications for PhD and MA by Research students on: politics, protest and social movements in Britain from the 18th century to the present day; regional history, urban planning and transport; post-war modernism; digital projects relating to these topics.



I grew up in Rochdale in Lancashire. I read Modern History at St. John's College, Oxford, and taught at the universities of Oxford, Bath Spa and Edinburgh before joining Hertfordshire in 2009. I served as Acting Head of History in 2014.

I am reviews editor of Social History. I served as Communications Officer and a long-standing committee member of the Social History Society.

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