IWM Research Active Staff
Suzanne oversees IWM’s engagement with the academic community and works to embed and develop research as a key function of IWM. Former roles include editing the IWM Review and leading the team which created the Holocaust Exhibition opened in 2000. She has been Principal Investigator on two AHRC-funded projects – Whose Remembrance? (2012-13) which investigated the state of awareness of the history of colonial involvement in the two world wars, and on the network which investigated the archive of the BBC Monitoring Service (2015-16). She is currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded network UNTV in Croatia and Bosnia –Herzegovina. Suzanne co-chaired the Independent Research Organisations Consortium; co-chaired the Royal Historical Society’s working group on equality and diversity (2019); is co-editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s series The Holocaust and its contexts; and a trustee of the Freud Museum. She has published widely, most recently Wartime London in Paintings (2020).
Chris Cooper is Senior Curator in the Contemporary Conflict team. He is responsible for developing the museum’s collections relating to the Iraq War and counter-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria. He is the IWM lead on the Social Media in Conflict Research Project, working in collaboration with Dr Charlie Winter of King’s College London. His current research themes include social media and its influence on the conflict environment and how ISIS used the social media sphere to disseminate propaganda.
Vikki Hawkins is a Curator, working on IWM London’s Second World War Galleries, due to open in 2021. She is responsible for content related to the war in Asia and the Pacific, the British Empire, and the British Home Front. In August 2021 she published ‘Displaying Marginalised and “hidden” histories at the Imperial War Museum London: The Second World War gallery regeneration project’, in a special edition of the War and Society journal. Vikki is supervising a PhD student, Megan O'Mahony, with the London School of Economics, exploring material culture that highlights narratives of sexual violence in conflict.
Dr Alan Jeffreys is a senior curator in the Second World War team. He is co-supervising Rachel Way, a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD student, on ‘Encounters with Empire 1939-1945’ along with Professor Ashley Jackson at King’s College London. Publications include: Approach to Battle: Training the Indian Army during the Second World War (2017), London at War 1939-1945: A Nation’s Capital Survives (IWM, 2018), editor of The Indian Army in the First World War: New Perspectives (2018). Alan has also contributed a number of introductions to IWM’s Wartime Classics series. He is on the editorial advisory board of the British Journal for Military History.
Amanda Mason is a Senior Curator in the Contemporary Conflict team, specialising in interpretation and currently focussing on developing and documenting IWM’s collections relating to the conflict in Afghanistan from 2001 onwards. She has extensive experience of developing exhibition narratives, text writing and specifically in communicating complex and difficult subjects to a range of audiences. Recent exhibitions curated at IWM include War Correspondents, Fashion on the Ration, Reflections on Helmand and Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire.
Helen Mavin is Head of Photographs. She is responsible for the care and strategic development of the collection which comprises of approximately 11 million items across negative, print, and digital formats. Helen is currently Co-Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project: ‘Provisional Semantics: Addressing the challenges of representing multiple perspectives within an evolving digitised national collection’ and is co-supervising an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Cardiff University ‘Diversifying and decolonising conflict photography: an exploration of how accompanying textual information can influence the reading and understanding of photographs’.
LUCY MAY MAXWELL
Lucy May Maxwell is a Curator in the Second World War and Mid-20th Century team. She is part of the content team delivering IWM’s new Holocaust Galleries. Lucy is involved with the AHRC-funded research network re-examining the United Nations Television (UNTV) collection, having catalogued the films in 2011-2012. She previously worked on the redevelopment of the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford. She co-authored Somewhere in England – American Airmen in the Second World War (2015).
Dr Elena Nepoti is Preservation Manager, where she is responsible for the long-term preservation of the museum’s important collections of film, photographs and sound. She has a PhD in Visual, Performing and Media Arts from the University of Bologna (Italy), with a focus on Silent Cinema, Film Restoration and Preservation. She has over ten years’ experience in her sector and she has published several papers on the history of silent cinema. Her most recent books are Storia del Cinema Muto a Bologna (2018) and Alfredo Testoni e il cinema muto italiano (2019).
Rebecca Newell is Head of Art, working on all aspects related to the care, display and interpretation of IWM's preeminent art collection, identifying new opportunities for collecting and working with artists and cultural partners. She is IWM’s lead subject specialist for art and is part of the research-active staff community at IWM engaging with Institute Associates, experts and academics on a range of topics. With Birkbeck’s Matt Cook, she is currently supervising Lee Arnott’s collaborative PhD on the military masculine ideal and the experiences of LGBTQ service personnel 1980-present. Her current research themes also include sexual and gender violence in conflict and early post-conflict spaces, marginalised and forgotten histories, issues of representation and the role of the artist in recording and memorialising conflict.
Hilary Roberts is a Senior Curator of Photographs and a specialist in the history and practice of conflict photography. She studied at universities in England and Germany before joining IWM’s Photograph Archive as a junior curator in 1980. As the Archive’s Head Curator (1996 – 2013), she oversaw the development of IWM’s photographic collections and its transition to digital technology. Hilary works with leading photographers and collections of international conflict photography worldwide. She has numerous broadcasts, publications and exhibitions to her name. Past projects include IWM’s highly praised trilogy of exhibitions Don McCullin: Shaped by War (2010-2012), Cecil Beaton: Theatre of War (2012) and Lee Miller: A Woman’s War (2015 – 2016). Recent exhibitions of contemporary photography include Edmund Clark: War of Terror (2016-2017) and Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria (2017). She supervises and examines doctoral research students on topics related to conflict photography of all periods. She is a member of the Canon Ambassadors Programme with a remit to mentor young photographers, a member of the Oracle International Network of Photocurators, an advisor to the VII Foundation and several networks specialising in military photography. She was awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s prestigious award for curatorship in 2017.
Louise Skidmore is Head of Contemporary Conflict. Previously she led the innovative War Story project from 2010 to 2016, which introduced new collecting methodologies to IWM and established IWM’s contemporary conflict collection, which continues to grow under her leadership. As War Story project manager she oversaw the exhibition projects War Story: Serving in Afghanistan, Supplying Frontline Afghanistan, Afghanistan 2014 and Fighting Extremes: From ISIS to Ebola leading on proactive collecting for these projects, which involved ground-breaking visits to Helmand and to Kabul, Afghanistan. She has led exhibition projects as both project manager and curator, most recently as lead curator for Yemen: Story of a Crisis at IWM North.
Alan Wakefield is Head of First World War & Early 20th Century Conflict, where he leads the curatorial team charged with interpreting and developing the hugely varied collection of material covering the period 1900 – 1929. He has co-supervised one Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD student, Jane McArthur, with the University of Edinburgh. Alan is a recognised authority on British involvement in the Salonika Campaign (1915-1918) and has lectured and contributed to publications in the UK, Greece, Russia and Serbia on aspects of the campaign and other First World War related subjects. His most recent publications and papers include ‘The First World War In Focus – Rare and Unseen Photographs’ (2018); ‘A long way from France and Flanders – Experiences of British Military Personnel in South Russia 1916 – 1920 as reflected in the collections of the Imperial War Museums’ (Volgograd, November 2019); ‘The British Way in Warfare – Salonika 1915-1918’ (Belgrade, November 2018) and ‘Cameras with the British Salonika Force’ (Thessaloniki, May 2018).
Claire Brenard is an art curator in the First World War team. She is currently researching the history of IWM’s art collection from its origins in 1917 to the present day for a book, due to be published by IWM in 2023. Her work considers the role of the art collection within the war museum, with an eye on the wider colonial context, and illuminates British war art’s changing remit, from subtle form of propaganda to the investigative practice of more recent artists. Since she started at IWM in 2012, Claire has researched the museum’s “unofficial” Second World War art collection, and curated art exhibitions including Architecture of War, Visions of War Above and Below, co-curated Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11 and lately, Wartime London: Art of the Blitz, the first art exhibition of its kind at the Churchill War Rooms.