Dr Jonathan Moses

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Between 2015 and 2019 I was a doctoral researcher based at Royal Holloway University. My thesis explored the politics of architectural design in the British public house. It traced how the pub emerged as a powerful cultural symbol for British - and especially, English - identity, and its role as a prism through which broader anxieties about the nature and direction of British modernity have been articulated. It further examines the impact of three reinventions of the pub since 1979: from above - by the corporate pub chain, J D Wetherspoon - from the side - by the Scottish craft beer brand, BrewDog - and from below, through community pub ownership. It considers the discursive, representational and phenomenological components of each of these environments, and how they interact with the legacy of the traditional pub to create modes of subjectivity with differing social and political implications. Finally, the thesis considers the pub’s place within a broader project of enchantment; as a means of rooting identity in meaningful phenomenological experiences and new forms of encounter, as opposed to more abstract markers of nationhood. 

The project was jointly supervised by Professors Philip Crang and David Gilbert and made possible with the support of a departmental Reid Scholarship and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (represented by the TECHNE consortium).

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