Dr Simon Peplow
Office: FAB 3.41Link opens in a new window
Phone: 02476 572796
Email: Simon.Peplow@warwick.ac.ukLink opens in a new window
Twitter: @simpepLink opens in a new window
Office Hours (term time only): Please book via:
Tuesday 2-3pm (FAB 3.41 or Teams) and Wednesday 11am-12pm (Teams)
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 BritainLink opens in a new window (Manchester University Press, 2019), based on my PhD research, is the first study to use newly released records regarding the 1980-81 uprisings 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 these events 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, investigating the changing nature of political protest during this period. Other projects explore the policing of migrant communities, the history of the Race Relations Board (1966-77) and Community Relations Commission (1968-77), and the impact of the Macpherson Report into the ineffective police response following the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence.
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 ResearchLink opens in a new window, and History UK's ECR representativeLink opens in a new window.
I have collaborated with the Modern Records Centre to create GCSE teaching resources for use by teachers in the classroom or by students at homeLink opens in a new window. Utilising the Modern Records Centre's wide variety of materials, these include resources on 'People PowerLink opens in a new window' and 'Migration and IdentityLink opens in a new window'.
I also created the ‘History Head StartLink opens in a new window’ course for the Warwick History department. Designed to allow students to get a head start on studying History at University, this 12 week course introduces the skills of academic reading and primary source analysis. Each week explores a new historical topic by looking at an academic journal article or primary sources from the Modern Records Centre’s vast collections. The course is particularly aimed at people aged 16-18 who are studying History (or English, Politics, or any subject really!), or just for anyone who wants to learn more about how historical research is done, published, and used. You can find more information (and the course itself!) here: History Head Start (warwick.ac.uk).
- 2021 onwards: Associate Professor in 20th Century British History, University of Warwick
- 2018-2021: 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
For 2022/23, you can find me convening or teaching on these modules:
HI180 Britain in the Twentieth Century: A Social HistoryLink opens in a new window
HI2D4 Race, Ethnicity, and Migration in Modern BritainLink opens in a new window
HI995 MA Themes & Approaches to the Historical Study of EmpireLink opens in a new window
Past modules taught:
- HI173 Empire and AftermathLink opens in a new window
- HI175 The Historian's ToolkitLink opens in a new window
Postgraduate Students, current and recently completed PhDs and MRes
William Noble (2020-), '"Our poor, tired little island just can't cope": race, immigration and "decline" in the post-war English Midlands, c.1958-1981', AHRC-funded M4C studentship at University of Nottingham.Link opens in a new window
Sue Lemos (2020-), '"Pioneers of Our Own Future": The Lives and Politics of queer Black people and people of colour in Britain, c. 1950-2000'.Link opens in a new window
Alfie Hancox (2018-19), MRes (Distinction), 'Black radicals and Euromarxists: intersectional socialism and its limits in England during the 1960s-1980s'.Link opens in a new window
- Race and Riots in Thatcher's BritainLink opens in a new window (Manchester University Press, 2019).
- '"Cause for Concern"? Policing Black Migrants in Post-War Britain (1945-68)'Link opens in a new window, Immigrants & Minorities, 40:1-2 (2022), 177-209.
- '"In 1997 Nobody Had Heard of Windrush": The Rise of the 'Windrush Narrative' in British Newspapers'Link opens in a new window, Immigrants & Minorities, 37:3 (2019), 211-37.
- '"Immigrants & Minorities 2020 Special Issue: Race, Immigration, and the British Media since 1945' (with E. James West)Link opens in a new window, 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"'Link opens in a new window, 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'Link opens in a new window, Contemporary British History, 31:3 (2017), 430-51.
Edited Special Issues:
- 'Race, Media, and the British Press since 1945' (with E. James West)Link opens in a new window, Immigrants & Minorities, 37:3 (2019).
- 'Rob Waters, Thinking Black: Britain, 1964-1985'Link opens in a new window, Contemporary British History, 35:2 (2021), 316-7.
- 'Learie Constantine and Race Relations in Britain and the Empire. By Hill, Jeffrey.'Link opens in a new window, History, 105:368 (2020), 898-900.
- 'Political Blackness in Multiracial Britain. By Mohan Ambikaipaker'Link opens in a new window, Twentieth Century British History, 31:3 (2020), 419-21.
- 'Why we still need to talk about Enoch: Review of Shirin Hirsch, In the Shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, Locality and Resistance'Link opens in a new window, Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 72 (2019), 160-2.
- 'The police won't acknowledge institutional racism in their race action plan - here's why that matters',Link opens in a new window The Conversation (May 2022).
- 'Expert comment - why Black Lives Matter is a UK issue as well as a US one'Link opens in a new window (June 2020).
- 'The Politics of Protest in Britain'Link opens in a new window, The History of Parliament blog (October 2020).
- 'Grenfell Fire and the Politics of Public Inquiries'Link opens in a new window, History Workshop (December 2017).
- 'Why people have long questioned the point of public inquiries'Link opens in a new window, The Conversation (November 2017).
- 'Parliament and the 1965 Race Relations Act'Link opens in a new window, The History of Parliament blog (March 2017).
- 'Will today's migration stats influence referendum debate?'Link opens in a new window, Politics Home (May 2016).