Staff Directory

Last Updated


01522 83 5597
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
United Kingdom

About Heather Hughes

I was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and completed an African Studies degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. My postgraduate studies were all in London: MA in Southern African Studies at SOAS and PhD in History as an external student of the University of London. My academic career began at the University of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) in Durban, South Africa, where I taught African Studies (mostly colonialism, nationalism, political economy and gender). I became interested in tourism and heritage through working for new government structures after 1994 on refurbishing neglected heritage. I joined the University of Lincoln in 2001. From student days onwards, I was active in the anti-apartheid movement, focusing mostly on educational issues and detainees’/political prisoners’ rights.

Department Responsibilities

I have responsibilities across two Schools in the University. In the Lincoln International Business School, I supervise PhD students, teach at Masters and undergraduate levels and lead the Visitor Economy Research Group, as well as the Africa Research Forum.  In the School of History and Heritage, I head up a large, HLF-funded project, the International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive.  This involves leading a team of five staff members to build a digital archive on Bomber Command, provide the content and interpretation for an exhibition which will be housed in the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln when it opens in 2017, and conduct research on the heritage of Bomber Command

Subject Specialism

Southern Africa, nationalism, biography, difficult/contested heritage


  • BA (Hons) African Studies — Witwatersrand,
  • MA Southern African Studies — School of Oriental and African Studies,
  • PhD African History — London,


  • Amnesty International South Africa for Significant Contribution to the Struggle for Human Rights
  • Teacher Fellow, University of Lincoln
  • Distinguished Teacher Award, University of Natal


(with M Elliott-White and L Price) Economic impact of Lincoln Christmas Market (For the Lincoln City Council) Design of heritage interpretation panels, Dube City/International Airport, Durban, South Africa Advisor, refurbishment of Inanda Heritage Trail, Durban, South African [focuses on Mahatma Gandhi’s first ashram; the headquarters of Isaiah Shembe, one of South Africa’s most revered prophets; and first ANC president John L. Dube’s school] Heritage interpretation signage, Cathedral Quarter, City of Lincoln (with A Vaughan) A heritage and cultural preservation strategy for Cato Manor [Durban]. (Report for the European Union/Cato Manor Development Association) Wales and the Anglo-Boer War.  (For BBC Wales for 4-part television documentary) (With C Merrett) A history of detentions in KwaZulu Natal, 1960-1993. (Report for Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa)

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • biography

  • contested heritage

  • Nationalism

  • Southern Africa

Research Groups Memberships

  • Visitor Economy Research Group
  • Africa Research Forum

Research Projects

  • International Bomber Command Project — Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • Oral HIstory Society
  • Higher Education Academy — Senior Fellow
  • Royal African Society
  • African Studies Association of the UK
  • South African Historical Society
  • Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion
  • Association of Tourism in Higher Education
  • Geographical Association
  • Institute for Historical Research
  • Convocation, University of London