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Emeritus Professor James Hinton

Academic Profile
  • BA (Cambridge), 1964; PhD (London), 1969
  • Teaching at Warwick since 1967
  • Head of Department, 1995-98 and 2001-2004
  • Fellow of Royal Historical Society
Undergraduate Modules Taught (no longer taught)
  • Visions of the People: Imagining Society in Mid-Twentieth Century Britain (HI389)
Postgraduate Modules Taught (no longer taught)
  • Democracy and Popular Participation in Twentieth-century Britain
  • Contributions to Term One Core Course in MA in Culture and Society in the Cold War
Selected Publications
  • The First Shop Stewards' Movement, London 1973
  • Labour and Socialism. A History of the British Labour Movement, 1867-1974, Brighton, 1983
  • Protests and Visions. Peace Politics in Twentieth Century Britain, London, 1989
  • Shop Floor Citizens: Engineering Democracy in 1940s Britain, Aldershot, 1994
  • Continuities of Class: Women and Social Leadership in the Second World War, Oxford, 2002

During the last 15 years my research has concentrated on two themes in the social history of mid-twentieth century Britain: shop floor organisation, economic planning and the question of industrial democracy; and the voluntary work undertaken by upper and middle-class female social leaders. One thing that unites this rather unlikely combination of interests is the theme of 'active citizenship' in the period of the second world war. Pursuing this, my next major project is to write a history of Mass Observation, the organisation established in 1937 to make democratic citizenship a reality by promoting 'an anthropology of ourselves'. During the succeeding decade Mass Observation was responsible for soliciting one of the richest collections of diaries and other personal testimony from 'ordinary people' that has ever been assembled, material widely used by historians but whose potential for exploring the experience of public-spirited individuals negotiating the frontier between private desires and public responsibilities in the highly collectivised society of the 1940s remains largely untapped.

PhD Research Topics Supervised
  • Mathew Thomas, 'Paths to Utopia: Anarchist counter-culture in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain'
  • Philip Coupland, Utopianism in British Political Culture, 1929-1945
  • Mark Hayman, 'The British Labour Party and the Monarchy, 1906-39'
  • Kate Taylor, 'The Campaign for Equal Pay, 1918-1955'
  • Dave Ayrton, 'The Consumption of Coal in 1940s Britain: the social history of a commodity'

James Hinton