Professor Philip Payton, Director of Cornish Studies based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus, has been made an Honorary Fellow by the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
The decision was made at the Academy’s Annual General Meeting in November to honour the Professor of Cornish and Australian Studies; as one of the overseas academics in the humanities who has a close association with Australia. Professor Payton’s work leads the way in the study of Cornish emigration history and identity.
His work on the Cornish diaspora, especially in Australia has explored the many dimensions of Cornishness that have been translated to new lands and environments. The skills and experiences forged in Cornwall’s mines were consistently in demand following the globalisation of the hard-rock mining in the 19th century. Professor Payton’s book, Cornish Overseas: A History of Cornwall’s Great Emigration, remains the standard volume on the subject. His most recent, Regional Australia and the Great War:‘The Boys from Old Kio’, provides an in depth examination of the wartime experiences of one Cornish emigrant community.
The accolade marks the end of Professor Payton’s 22 years working at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Cornish Studies. During which time his research in the history and politics of modern Cornwall, broadly from the late 18th to the 21st century, has seen him emerge as a leading specialist in the field.
Speaking of his achievements, Professor Payton said:“I am extremely proud to have been awarded this prestigious honour by Australia's premier Humanities body. But, as I prepare to stand down as Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies after 22 years, I am especially delighted by what is international recognition for all we have achieved in Cornish Studies over the last two decades.”
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