Office: H0.11, ground floor of the Humanities Building
Phone: 02476 572796, internal extension 72796
Office Hours: on Microsoft Teams, by appointment only.
Please book via: https://simonpeplow.youcanbook.me/
Monday 3-4pm and Wednesday 11am-12pm.
Please email me for availability outside of these hours!
I am a researcher of modern British race, ethnicity, and migration history, having a particular interest in Black British political participation and engagement through official mechanisms and collective violence. My research combines aspects of social, political, and cultural history, and I have broader research interests in these fields – particularly within modern Britain.
My first monograph Race and Riots in Thatcher's Britain (Manchester University Press, 2019), based on my PhD research, is the first study to use newly released records regarding the 1980-81 disturbances in England. Case studies of Bristol, Brixton, and Manchester explore the importance of the public inquiry in public and political culture, by demonstrating that governmental inquiries were simultaneously viewed by Black Britons as either a solution or a fraud, as well as being a guarded privilege and later tactical concession from alarmed establishment figures. Locating 1980-81 within a longer history, I also argue that the disturbances should be viewed broadly within the 'collective bargaining by riot' framework (Hobsbawm).
My current research extends my analysis of the political tactics of Black people and organisations in Britain throughout the 1980s, comparing and examining the links between anti-apartheid and domestic anti-racist groups in Thatcher's Britain, investigating the changing nature of political protest during this period. Other projects explore the policing of migrant communities, and the history of the Race Relations Board (1966-77) and Community Relations Commission (1968-77).
I have made various contributions to the BBC News website, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Somerset, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Wiltshire, and pieces for The Conversation, Bristol Post, Western Morning News, History Workshop Online, The History of Parliament, Politics Home, and other media outlets related to my research and its contemporary significance. I have been involved with the GW4 Modern British Politics and Political History research group, and have presented my research to Home Office civil servants following an invitation by History & Policy.
I am co-convenor of the Black British History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, and History UK's ECR representative.
- 2018 onwards: Senior Teaching Fellow in 20th Century British History, University of Warwick
- 2016-2018: Lecturer in History, University of Exeter
- 2011-2016: Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, University of Exeter
- 2011-2015: PhD History, University of Exeter
- 2010-2011: MA Political Culture in Modern Britain, Aberystwyth University
- 2007-2010: BA History, Aberystwyth University
- HI153 Making of the Modern World
- HI173 Empire and Aftermath
- HI175 The Historian's Toolkit
- HI180/HI291 Britain in the Twentieth Century: A Social History
- HI2D4 Race, Ethnicity, and Migration in Modern Britain
- HI995 Themes & Approaches to the Historical Study of Empire
- Race and Riots in Thatcher's Britain (Manchester University Press, 2019).
- '"In 1997 Nobody Had Heard of Windrush": The Rise of the 'Windrush Narrative' in British Newspapers', Immigrants & Minorities, 37:3 (2019), 211-37.
- '"Immigrants & Minorities 2020 Special Issue: Race, Immigration, and the British Media since 1945' (with E. James West), Immigrants & Minorities, 37:3 (2019), 131-5.
- '"A Tactical Manoeuvre to Apply Pressure": Race and the Role of Public Inquiries in the 1980 Bristol "Riot"', Twentieth Century British History, 29:1 (2018), 129-55.
- 'The "Linchpin for Success"? The Problematic Establishment of the 1965 Race Relations Act and its Conciliation Board', Contemporary British History, 31:3 (2017), 430-51.
Edited Special Issues:
- 'Race, Media, and the British Press since 1945' (with E. James West), Immigrants & Minorities, 37:3 (2019).
- 'Learie Constantine and Race Relations in Britain and the Empire. By Hill, Jeffrey.', History, first published online 29 October 2020, doi 10.1111/1468-229X.13075.
- 'Political Blackness in Multiracial Britain. By Mohan Ambikaipaker', Twentieth Century British History, 31:3 (2020), 419-21.
- 'Rob Waters, Thinking Black: Britain, 1964-1985', Contemporary British History, first published online 14 June 2019, doi 10.1080/13619462.2019.1629293.
- 'Why we still need to talk about Enoch: Review of Shirin Hirsch, In the Shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, Locality and Resistance', Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 72 (2019), 160-2.
- 'Expert comment - why Black Lives Matter is a UK issue as well as a US one' (June 2020).
- 'The Politics of Protest in Britain', The History of Parliament blog (October 2020).
- 'Grenfell Fire and the Politics of Public Inquiries', History Workshop (December 2017).
- 'Why people have long questioned the point of public inquiries', The Conversation (November 2017).
- 'Parliament and the 1965 Race Relations Act', The History of Parliament blog (March 2017).
- 'Will today's migration stats influence referendum debate?', Politics Home (May 2016).