Professor Adrian Bingham
B.A., D.Phil. (Oxon.)
Department of History
Head of Department
Professor of Modern British History
Full contact details
Department of History
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the History Department at Sheffield in September 2006.
Before this I read history at Merton College, Oxford, and stayed there to study for my D.Phil. In 2002 I took up a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Contemporary British History (CCBH), Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
I remained at the CCBH to hold a three-year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship.
My main research interests are in the political, social and cultural history of twentieth-century Britain. I have worked extensively on the national popular press in the decades after 1918, examining the ways in which newspapers both reflected and shaped British society and culture.
My first monograph explored press debates about femininity and masculinity in the inter-war period. My second book, Family Newspapers? Sex, Private Life and the British Popular Press 1918-1978 (OUP, 2009) explored the role of the press as a source of information and imagery about sex, morality and personal relationships.
With Professor Martin Conboy, I have written a wide-ranging history of popular newspapers, Tabloid Century: The Popular Press in Britain, 1896 to the Present (Peter Lang, 2015). I have also worked on the press coverage of child sexual abuse.
I am currently working on a project entitled ‘Everyday Politics, Ordinary Lives: Democratic Engagement in Britain, 1918-1992’, supported by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2017-18). This project investigates how British citizens understood politics and how they viewed its relationship to their lives, from 1918 to 1992.
I am co-Editor of the journal Gender and History, and Senior Associate of History & Policy.
- Research interests
My main research interests are in the political, social and cultural history of twentieth-century Britain. I have worked extensively on the national popular press in the decades after 1918, examining the ways in which newspapers both reflected and shaped British society and culture. I have also worked on the press coverage of child sexual abuse. More recently, my research has focused on democratic engagement since 1918, exploring how British citizens understood politics and how they viewed its relationship to their lives.
I am currently working on a project entitled ‘Everyday Politics, Ordinary Lives: Democratic Engagement in Britain, 1918-1992’, supported by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2017-18). This project investigates how British citizens understood politics and how they viewed its relationship to their lives, from 1918 to 1992. It focuses on the everyday political opinions, discussions and interactions of ordinary British people in the period from the establishment of a near democracy with the Representation of the People Act 1918 (which gave the vote to all adult men and most women over 30) up until the transformation of British political culture with the emergence of 24-hour news channels and the internet in the early 1990s.
I am co-Editor of the journal Gender & History, and I am co-Series Editor, with Dr Mark Hampton, of Bloomsbury’s A Cultural History of Media 6-volume series.
In 2009 I founded, with Professor Conboy, the Centre for the Study of Journalism and History.
Please see the video below (as part of the department's Schools History Network) to see me talking about my research and using modern newspapers as sources.
- Tabloid Century: The Popular Press in Britain, 1896 to the Present. Oxford: Peter Lang.
- Family Newspapers? Sex, Private Life, and the British Popular Press 1918-1978. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Gender, Modernity, and the Popular Press in Inter-war Britain. Oxford University Press.
- The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, Volume 3: Competition and Disruption, 1900-2017. Edinburgh: EUP.
- Eloise Moss. Night Raiders: Burglary and the Making of Modern Urban Life in London, 1860–1968. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Pp. 272. $35.00 (cloth).. Journal of British Studies, 59(3), 689-690.
- 'It would be better for the newspapers to call a spade a spade': The British press and child sexual abuse, c. 1918-1990. History Workshop Journal, 88, 89-110. View this article in WRRO
- The British Press and the 1918 Reform Act. Parliamentary History, 37(1), 150-167. View this article in WRRO
- Writing the First World War after 1918: Journalism, history and commemoration. Journalism Studies, 17(4), 392-397. View this article in WRRO
- Historical child sexual abuse in England and Wales: the role of historians. History of Education, 45(4), 411-429. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO The daily mail and women. History Today, 66(5).
- “AN ORGAN OF UPLIFT?”. Journalism Studies, 14(5), 651-662.
- The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2006 (Gale Cengage). The English Historical Review, 128(533), 1037-1040.
- INTRODUCTION. Media History, 19(1), 1-2.
- ‘The monster’? The British popular press and nuclear culture, 1945–early 1960s. The British Journal for the History of Science, 45(4), 609-624.
- IGNORING THE FIRST DRAFT OF HISTORY?. Media History, 18(3-4), 311-326.
- Sex Before the Sexual Revolution: Intimate Life in England, 1918-1963, by Simon Szreter and Kate Fisher. The English Historical Review, CXXVII(526), 765-767.
- NEWSPAPER PROBLEM PAGES AND BRITISH SEXUAL CULTURE SINCE 1918. Media History, 18(1), 51-63.
- Reading Newspapers: Cultural Histories of the Popular Press in Modern Britain. History Compass, 10(2), 140-150.
- Hearts Exposed: Transplants and the Media in 1960s Britain, by Ayesha Nathoo. The English Historical Review, CXXVI(522), 1242-1244.
- Unequal Britain: Equalities in Britain since 1945, ed. Pat Thane. The English Historical Review, CXXVI(521), 1022-1024.
- The BBC and National Identity in Britain, 1922–1953. Contemporary British History, 25(4), 613-615.
- ‘The “K-Bomb”: social surveys, the popular press and British sexual culture in the 1940s and 1950s’.. Journal of British Studies, 50(1), 156-179.
- Contraception: A History. The English Historical Review, CXXV(516), 1266-1267.
- Book Review: Kevin Williams Read All About It! A History of the British Newspaper Abingdon: Routledge, 2010. 320pp. ISBN 978 0 415 34624 5. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 11(4), 501-502.
- 'The Digitization of Newspaper Archives: Opportunities and Challenges for Historians'. Twentieth Century British History, 21(2), 225-231.
- The Shadow of Marriage: Singleness in England, 1914-60. The English Historical Review, CXXIV(507), 488-489.
- THEDAILY MIRRORAND THE CREATION OF A COMMERCIAL POPULAR LANGUAGE. Journalism Studies, 10(5), 639-654.
- Book Review: Joel H. Wiener and Mark Hampton, (eds), Anglo-American Media Interactions, 1850—2000, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Media, Culture & Society, 30(4), 581-582.
- ‘DRINKING IN THE LAST CHANCE SALOON’. Media History, 13(1), 79-92.
- Drinking in the last chance saloon’: the British press and the crisis of self-regulation, 1989-1995. Media History, 13(1), 79-92.
- THE BRITISH POPULAR PRESS AND VENEREAL DISEASE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. The Historical Journal, 48(4), 1055-1076.
- ‘An Era of Domesticity’? Histories of Women and Gender in Interwar Britain. Cultural and Social History, 1(2), 225-233.
- ‘Stop the Flapper Vote Folly': Lord Rothermere, the Daily Mail and the equalisation of the franchise 1927-28’. Twentieth Century British History, 13(1), 17-37.
- The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization by The Modern Girl Around the World Research Group. Gender & History, 22(1), 245-247.
- Drunk with the Glitter: Space, Consumption and Sexual Instability in Modern Urban Culture by Gillian Swanson. Gender & History, 22(1), 248-249.
- ‘“The Monster”? The British Popular Press and Nuclear Culture, 1945- early 1960s’. British Journal of the History of Science, 45(4), 609-624.
- Conservatism, gender and the politics of everyday life, 1950s-1980s In Berthezene C & Gottlieb J (Ed.), Rethinking right-wing women: Gender and the Conservative Party, 1880s to the present Manchester University Press.
- ‘Gross Interference with the Course of Justice’: The News of the World and the Moors Murder Trial, The News of the World and the British Press, 1843–2011 (pp. 229-243). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- ‘Media products as historical artefacts’, The Routledge Companion to British Media History (pp. 19-28). Abingdon: Routledge.
- ‘Gross Interference with the Course of Justice’: The News of the World and the Moors Murder Trial In Brake L, Kaul C & Turner M (Ed.), The News of the World and the British Press, 1843-2011: 'Journalism for the Rich, Journalism for the Poor' London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Pin-up culture and page 3 in the popular press, Women and the Media: Feminism and Femininity in Britain, 1900 to the Present (pp. 184-198).
- Enfranchisement, Feminism and the Modern Woman: Debates in the British Popular Press, 1918–1939, The Aftermath of Suffrage (pp. 87-104). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- ‘Representing the people? The Daily Mirror, class, and political culture in inter-war Britain’ In Beers & Thomas (Ed.), Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-building in Britain between the Wars (pp. 109-128). London: Institute of Historical Research.
- Middlebrow Literary Cultures Palgrave Macmillan UK
- ‘Putting literature out of reach’? Reading Popular Newspapers in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain, The History of Reading, Volume 2 (pp. 139-154). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- The History of Reading, Volume 2 Palgrave Macmillan UK
- ‘A stream of pollution through every part of the country?’: Morality, regulation and the modern popular press, Narrating Media History (pp. 112-124).
- Women and the Media Routledge
- Enfranchisement, Feminism and the Modern Woman, The Aftermath of Suffrage Palgrave Macmillan
- Cultural Hierarchies and the Interwar British Press, Middlebrow Literary Cultures Palgrave Macmillan
- Christopher Hilliard. The Littlehampton Libels: A Miscarriage of Justice and a Mystery about Words in 1920s England.. The American Historical Review, 123(5), 1736-1737.
- The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855–2000. The English Historical Review, 132(559), 1667-1669.
- Prince of Tricksters: The Incredible True Story of Netley Lucas, Gentleman Crook. By Matt Houlbrook. Twentieth Century British History, 28(2), 307-309.
- Book Review: Family Secrets: Shame and Privacy in Modern Britain. Journal of Family History, 41(1), 99-100. View this article in WRRO
- Sexual Abuse: A Hidden History: Throughout the 20th century responses by Britons to the sexual abuse of children have been hindered by the desire to avoid scandal and blame the victim, argue Adrian Bingham, Lucy Delap, Louise Jackson and Louise Settle. History Today, 65(10).
- Howard Cox and Simon Mowatt, Revolutions from Grub Street: a history of magazine publishing in Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. xii + 263. ISBN 9780199601639 Hbk. £35). The Economic History Review, 68(3), 1071-1072. View this article in WRRO
- The English in Love: The Intimate Story of an Emotional Revolution. Contemporary British History, 29(2), 284-285. View this article in WRRO
- 'The Most Remarkable Woman in England': Poison, Celebrity and the Trials of Beatrice Pace, by John Carter Wood. The English Historical Review, 129(538), 756-758.
- Working Class Heroes: Rock Music and British Society in the 1960s and 1970s. Social History, 39(1), 146-147.
- Reproduction by Design: Sex, Robots, Trees, and Test-Tube Babies in Interwar Britain.. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY, 83(2), 486-487.
- Domesticating the Airwaves: Broadcasting, Domesticity and Femininity. By Maggie Andrews. Twentieth Century British History, 24(3), 478-480.
- Managing the Body: Beauty, Health, and Fitness in Britain, 1880-1939 - By Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska. History, 97(325), 170-172.
- Death in War and Peace: A History of Loss and Grief in England, 1914-1970, by Pat Jalland. The English Historical Review, CXXVI(523), 1575-1576.
- Research group
I am keen to supervise postgraduate students working on the political, social and cultural history of modern Britain, particularly those with interests in the media and popular culture; gender, sexuality and class; and popular political engagement and social activism.
- Current students
- Completed students
- Aaron Ackerley - Economic Ideas in the Interwar British Daily Press.
- Gareth Roddy - Into the West: The Literature of Travel in the Western Peripheries of the British-Irish Isles, c.1880-c.1940.
- David Holland - Natives and Newcomers, Marriage and Belonging - South Asian migration, settlement and working-class tolerance in the Sheffield area during the early twentieth century.
- Lucy Bell - From Co-operation to Confrontation: Trade Unionism, British Politics and the Media, 1945-1979.
- Sarah Kenny - Unspectacular Youth? Evening Leisure Space and Youth Culture in Sheffield, c.1960-c.1989.
- Ross Paulger (MPhil) - Anglo-American Quality Press Narratives and Sexual Revolution, 1958-1979.
- Steve McKevitt - The persuasion industries in the UK and the inculcation of persuasion within British society from 1969 to 1997.
- Lucy Brown - Encountering Each Other: Love and Emotional Relationships between Men and Women in Britain, 1950s-1970s.
- Thomas Dowling - In Spite of History: New Leftism in Britain 1956-1979.
- Patrick Glen - Morality in the Music Press, 1967-1983.
- Helen Smith - A study of working-class men who desired other men in the north of England 1895-1957.
- Sarah Rawlins - Modernity, Identity & Englishness in the Interwar Suburban Garden.
- Laura King - Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, 1918-1960.
- Teaching activities
- HST288 - Media and Popular Culture in Twentieth-Century Britain
- HST3095/3096 - Permissive Britain? Social and Cultural Change, 1956-74
- HST6052 - Stories of Activism in Sheffield, 1960 to the Present
- HST680 - Media and Political Culture in Modern Britain
- Professional activities
- Royal Historical Society - Fellow
- History & Policy - Senior Associate
- Media History - Editorial Board
- Twentieth Century British History - Co-Editor 2015-2020
- Gender and History: Co-Editor 2020-
- Head of Department (2018-present).
- Director of Graduate Studies (2015-17): This involves overseeing the postgraduate taught programmes and the postgraduate research supervision in the department, liaising with the postgraduate community, and supporting applications for MA and PhD funding.
- Director of Learning and Teaching (2010-14): This involves overseeing the undergraduate taught programmes in the department, monitoring student feedback, ensuring the smooth running of quality assurance processes, and assessing the overall shape of teaching provision.
- Allocations (2006-9): Overseeing the student module allocation process.
- Public engagement
I have made significant interventions in public policy-making and media debates about historical child sexual abuse. My historical evidence to the NHS/ Department of Health enquiries into the activities of Jimmy Savile (delivered in 2013, with colleagues from History & Policy) was cited in four public reports on the Savile scandal in 2014-15: Kate Lampard’s Oversight Report (June 2014) and Lessons Learnt Report (Feb. 2015) and reports on Broadmoor Hospital (June 2014) and Stoke Mandeville Hospital (Feb. 2015). Working with Professor Louise Jackson, Dr Lucy Delap and Dr Louise Settle, I have written policy papers and media articles on the history of child sexual abuse, and given presentations to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (2016) and the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre’s annual conference (2017).
I have also contributed to policy and media debates about press regulation. One of my articles was cited in Lord Justice Leveson’s report, An Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press (November 2012).
I am involved in the Stories of Activism project, which explore Sheffield's rich history of activism and collects campaign stories, memories and objects from 1960 to the present.
I am a Senior Associate of History & Policy, which works for better public policy through an understanding of history by connecting historians, policy makers and the media.
As part of the department's Schools History Network we contribute to local schools' teaching by holding events for local pupils and their teachers, introducing children to advances in historical knowledge, and enabling teachers to brush up on their scholarship concerning historical events. Staff have given talks to students at local schools, but we also hold events within the department to which local pupils and teachers are invited and schools have also offered placements for our MA students.
As part of the Schools History Network the department has made a series of videos for use in the classroom. Below is a short video of myself talking about using modern newspapers as sources.