Academics in the department inform public debate in and beyond Britain through their varied contributions to the press, television, radio, popular magazines, and online publications. Our research has provided innovative content and historical expertise for many culture, documentary and news programmes broadcast regionally, nationally and internationally. Such activities have extended the reach of our research impact and engaged a diverse range of audiences beyond academia, including:
Who Do You Think You Are?
Professor Mark Knights appeared on series 9 episode 8 of BBC One's 'Who Do You Think You Are?'. He assisted actress Celia Imrie in tracing her family back to the seventeenth century and uncovered stories of political intrigue and imprisonment in the Tower of London. The episode aired on 10 October 2012, attracting an audience of 4.89 million.
Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs
Laura Schwartz's research on the Domestic Workers Union of Great Britain and Ireland was featured in episode 2 of the BBC 2 series, 'Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs'. Laura appeared on screen speaking to Dr Pamela Cox about Jessie Stephen's experience of domestic work in Glasgow and her role as an activist in the Domestic Workers Union. The episode aired on 5 October 2012, attracting an audience of 1.46 million.
Secrets of the Manor House - Beyond the Fiction
Dr Richardson contributed to the documentary 'Secrets of the Manor House - Beyond the Fiction', broadcast by the American station PBS. 'Secrets of the Manor House' delved into life inside two British manor houses in the Edwardian period, focusing on the relationship between house owner and servant as well as the aristocratic system that remained unchanged until the First World War changed British society. The programme originally aired 21 January 2012 on PBS (audience 2 million) and is now available online.
The Queen's Hidden Cousins
Drawing on his research on children and insitutional life, but also his earlier work on the history of mental deficiency, Thomson acted as an historical consultant for the Channel 4 programme 'The Queen's Hidden Cousins', broadcast 17 November 2011. The programme used the case of Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, who spent most of their lives in Royal Earlswood mental asylums, to examine attitudes towards learning disability and institutionalisation in the early to mid-twentieth century.
LBC Radio & BBC World Service's Newsday
Following the recent death of Margaret Thatcher, Dr Sarah Richardson joined Nick Ferrari to talk about Mrs Thatcher and her legacy for women on London-based LBC Radio (09/04/13). She also featured on the BBC World Service's Newsday programme on the day of Mrs Thatcher's funeral, speaking about the historical significance of state funerals.
BBC Radio 4 'Document'
Dr Sarah Richardson presented an edition of 'Document' on Victorian Women Voters (18/03/13).
BBC Radio 4 'Today Programme'
Dr Sarah Hodges appeared on Radio 4's 'Today Programme' (23/02/13) to discuss why David Cameron's visit to India with a British trade delegation was largely ignored by the Indian Press.
BBC Radio 4 'Night Waves'
Professor Berg featured on BBC Radio 4's 'Night Waves' to discuss luxury in an age of austerity (09/04/12). She contributed to a debate that explored our passion for luxury in an age of austerity, questioning: Is it a sin or simply the inevitable expression of our human nature? How has our understanding of luxury changed over the centuries? Should we embrace it or shy away?
BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed'
Professor Steedman was interviewed by Laurie Taylor about her publication Labours Lost on BBC Radio 4's 'Thinking Allowed' (03/03/10). Discussing a neglected corner of social history, she argued that servants' resentments and personal philosophies had a huge impact on the development of the English character and the British nation state.
BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour'
Dr Jennifer Smyth appeared on BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour' (21/02/10), speaking about representations of women in western films. As ‘True Grit’, a Western with a strong leading woman,geared up to do very well at the Oscars, Dr Smyth discussed how the golden age of the Hollywood Western before the Second World War was filled with nuanced tales of strong, complex women.
BBC Radio 4 'In Our Time'
Dr Penny Roberts joined Melvyn Bragg to discuss The Field of the Cloth of Gold, the site of a meeting between King Henry VIII and King Francis I of France in the Spring of 1520. She explored a number of key questions: what drove the French and the English to create such an extraordinary event? What did the two sides do when they got there, and what - if anything - was achieved?
Dr Sarah Richardson: 'Women voted 75 years before they were legally allowed to in 1918', The Telegraph, 18 March 2013.
Professor David Hardiman: 'Analysis: Amritsar massacre festering sore will not heal easily', politics.co.uk, 21 February 2013.
Dr Laura King: 'Is the 'modern dad' really that modern?', BBC History Magazine, May 2012.
Professor Beat Kümin: 'Ich bezeichne Gersau als Extremfall', Bote der Urschweiz, 30 August 2012.
Dr Angela Davis: 'Baby experts' books leave mothers feeling confused and inadequate', The Guardian, 17 March 2012 (article by Tracy McVeigh discussing Dr Davis' monograph Modern Motherhood).
Dr Sarah Richardson: 'The nation has warmed to the idea of Queen Camilla', Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2010.
Professor Peter Marshall: 'Cardinal Wolsey and the English Church', History Review, Issue 60 2008.
Dr Penny Roberts: 'Can History Help Halt the Runaway Train?', BBC History Magazine, 9:4 (April 2008), 36-38.