Dr Clare Griffiths
MA, DPhil (Oxon)
Senior Lecturer in Modern History
Political and cultural history of 20th century Britain; history of the Labour Party; agricultural and rural history; landscape; popular literature c.1920-1950
Office Hours: Autumn 2013-14 - Tuesdays 10-11am; 3-4pm
+44 (0)114 22 22573
Jessop West 2.14
- Full list of publications
Clare Griffiths joined the Department in 1999. She studied Modern History at Merton College, Oxford. Before moving to Sheffield, she taught at the University of Reading, as Lecturer in the Department of History, and in Oxford, as Thompson Junior Research Fellow and College Lecturer at Wadham College, Oxford. Her publications include Labour and the Countryside: the politics of rural Britain 1918-1939 (2007), and a co-edited collection of essays, Classes, cultures and politics (2011), both published with Oxford University Press. In 2008-9 she was a visiting fellow at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, where she developed and co-curated the exhibition, Farming for the New Britain: images of farmers in war and peace (September to December 2010). She writes for the Arts pages of the Times Literary Supplement.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Forthcoming publications include a study of the Fabian socialists G.D.H. and Margaret Cole, the outcome of a project which has attracted funding from the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is also working on a number of aspects of landscape and its representations in the modern period, including research on landscapes of leisure, and on the countryside during the Second World War.
Clare Griffiths works on the political and cultural history of Britain, particularly on the period c.1918-1950. Much of her work to date has been concerned with the history of the British left, including the political culture and organization of the Labour Party, its electoral history and the making of policy. She has a special interest in the politics of rural Britain – the subject of her first book. She has also worked extensively on the history of agriculture and the countryside in the modern period. Recent work has examined various aspects of British cultural life in the mid-twentieth century, including politics in fiction, the modelling and visual representation of rural landscapes, and ideas about heritage and commemoration.
Public Engagement and Impact
Clare has written for various newspapers and magazines, including History Today, BBC History, and New Statesman. Her articles for the Times Literary Supplement include reviews of exhibitions at Tate Britain, the British Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and many other galleries around the country. Her article on David Hockney is available on open access to read online: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article865991.ece
Work with the Museum of English Rural Life
Research Supervision and Teaching
Clare Griffiths teaches modules on modern British history, including a document option (level 2) 'Remembering the Fallen: British commemorations of the First World War' and a third-year special subject, ‘Britain at War: nation, community and identity, 1939-45’. Her teaching at postgraduate level includes modules on 'Discovering Rural England: 1870-1920' and 'The Historical Novel'.
She is happy to discuss research projects in the general area of modern British history and, in particular, on the history of the Labour Party and the labour movement; political organisation and policy; rural, agricultural and landscape history; literature and publishing, especially c.1910-1950s; and visual culture.
PhDs completed under her supervision include: a study of the Independent Labour politician Fenner Brockway; an oral history of the East Yorkshire Regiment during the Second World War; and the early history of the Folk Song Movement.
Current PhD Students
Kate Ibbeson, working on women's involvement in civil defence in Britain during the Second World War.
Duncan Marks, working on memories of the Victorian period and the idea of the generation in Britain, 1918-1939.
Vivian Yang, working on female Emancipation in a Colonial Context: Chinese Women in Singapore (1900-1942).
John Sykes, working on the history of Huddersfield in the post-war period.
Administrative Roles and Responsibilities
Clare Griffiths is Director of Graduate Studies in the Department. As well as chairing the department’s postgraduate committee, she is a member of the Department’s Research Committee and the Executive Board. She is on the steering committee for the university’s new Centre for Visual Studies. She is currently external examiner for two MA programmes.
- Labour and the Countryside: the politics of rural Britain, 1918-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), ISBN 978-0199287437
- (co-edited with James J. Nott and William Whyte) Classes, Cultures and Politics: essays on British History for Ross McKibbin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), ISBN 978-0-19-957988-4
Articles and Essays
- ‘Heroes of the Reconstruction? Images of British farmers in war and peace’, in Paul Brassley, Leen Van Molle and Yves Segers (eds.), War, Agriculture and Food: Rural Europe from the 1930s to the 1950s (London and New York: Routledge, 2012), pp.209-228
- ‘Making farming pay: agricultural crisis and the politics of the national interest, 1930-1’, John Shepherd, Jonathan Davis and Chris Wrigley (eds.), Britain's Second Labour Government 1929-31 - a reappraisal (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), pp.133-149
- ‘History and the Labour Party’, in Clare V. J. Griffiths, James J. Nott and William Whyte, eds., Classes, Cultures and Politics: essays on British History for Ross McKibbin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp.282-301
- 'Socialism and the Land Question: public ownership and control in Labour Party policy, 1918-1950s', in Matthew Cragoe and Paul Readman (eds.), The Land Question in Britain, 1750-1950 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) pp. 237-256
- 'Savoir gérer un parti: organisation et professionnalisation du parti travailliste britannique des années 1920 aux années 1940', Politix, 21, 81 (2008), 61-80
- 'The dramas of local government: personal ethics and public service in Winifred Holtby's South Riding', in James Moore and John Smith (eds.), Corruption in Urban Politics and Society, Britain 1780-1950 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007) pp. 131-153.
- 'Farming in the public interest: constructing and reconstructing agriculture on the political left', in Paul Brassley, Jeremy Burchardt and Lynne Thompson (eds.), Regeneration or Decline? The British countryside between the wars (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2006), pp. 164-175.
- 'Dubious democrats: party politics and the mass electorate in twentieth-century Britain', in B. Moore and H. van Nierop (eds.), Twentieth-Century Mass Society in Britain and the Netherlands (Oxford: Berg, 2006), pp. 30-44.
- ' "Ville" et "campagne" dans la rhétorique politique britannique entre les deux guerres', in Emmanuel Roudaut (ed.), Villes et campagnes britanniques. Confrontation ou (con)fusion? (Valenciennes: Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes, 2003), pp. 73-89.
- ''Red Tape Farm'? Visions of a socialist agriculture in 1920s and 1930s Britain', in J.R.Wordie (ed.), Agriculture and Politics in England, 1815-1939 (London: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 199-241.
- 'G.D.H.Cole and William Cobbett', Rural History, 10, 1 (1999), pp. 91-104.
- 'Remembering Tolpuddle: rural history and commemoration in the inter-war Labour movement', History Workshop Journal, 44 (1997), pp. 145-69.