Alex Noonan

Department of History

Research student & Teaching assistant


Thesis title: The Political Culture of England, 1974-1994.




Thesis abstract:

My research examines political culture in England from the fall of the Heath government in 1974 to the election of Tony Blair as Labour Leader in 1994, a time when English politics was unusually polarised on both right and left.

It seeks to move away from Thatcher-dominated studies of ‘high’ politics which dominate the literature, and is instead concerned with the broader ways in which political culture in England was being remoulded throughout this turbulent period in our contemporary history.

Casting Britain in this period as a relatively new democracy, with its democratic culture still open to being recast, my research explores topics such as the changing ways political parties communicated with their voters, the nature of political programming on television, debates in the public sphere regarding the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and new forms of political activism.

In seeking to move away from traditional ‘high politics’, my research draws upon a rich source base of social science, opinion polling, life writing, popular culture and contemporary media, and will place a particular premium on the voices and writings of everyday citizens, in order to reconstruct a ‘lived’ narrative of the period.

  • PhD History, University of Sheffield, 2018 - present
  • MA Historical Research, University of Sheffield, 2018
  • BA (Hons), History and Politics, University of Sheffield, 2017


Teaching activities

University of Sheffield Teaching Assistant 2020-21 academic year: 

  • HST112 Paths from Antiquity to Modernity
  • HST11002 Land of Liberty? Rights in the USA, 1776-2016

University of Sheffield Teaching Assistant previous years: 

  • HST119 The Transformation of the United Kingdom, 1800 to the present