Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Kelly Hignett
About Dr Kelly Hignett
Dr Kelly Hignett joined the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities as Lecturer in History in 2012. Kelly's research relates to crime, social deviance and dissent in the modern central and east European region and the former USSR, particularly the study of more organised forms of criminality; crime, deviance, underground movements/sub-cultures and life "on the margins" in communist regimes; the evolution of the relationship between state and society and experiences of "the everyday" under communism.
Kelly's PhD drew on a combination of archival research and oral testimony to research the evolution of criminal networks in East Central Europe from the 1970s to the early post-communist period. She has previously published articles in several peer-review journals and edited collections and has presented a number of research papers both in the UK and internationally. Kelly is currently writing her first book, about organised crime in the East European region.
Kelly writes an online blog entitled The View East and tweets @thevieweast and @kellyhignett.
Kelly currently teaches on modules at all levels of the undergraduate History degree including: The Emergence of Modern Europe, Twentieth Century Europe (Level 4), Totalitarianism: State Ideology and Mass Politics in the Twentieth Century (Level 5), Communist Eastern Europe 1945-1989, Crime and Punishment in Modern Russia (Level 6) She also contributes to the MA Social History, teaching the option Organised Crime in the Modern World: Global Criminal Cultures.
Kelly's more recent research has focused on exploring rising levels of drug abuse and the development of domestic drug markets in late socialist east central Europe. She is currently developing a major new research project, drawing on the accounts of female political prisoners to explore gendered experiences of terror and repression in communist Czechoslovakia.
She is also interested in the historical analysis of crime and criminal underworlds on a more broadly comparative and transnational basis and on the history of east European borderlands, in connection with crime but also in relation to broader issues of nationalism, state-building and identity construction in modern Europe.