Hallam Roffey

Department of History

Research student & Teaching assistant


Thesis title: Boundaries of Acceptability: Power, Obscenity and Offence in British Culture, c. 1970-1990.




Thesis abstract:

My thesis examines cultural change in Britain between 1970 and 1990 and seeks to track how 'boundaries of acceptability' have changed between these years.

It looks at the entanglement of power, understandings of how power operates, conceptions of identity (especially race, gender and religion) and the limits of permissibility in British culture. It looks to analyse how this particular nexus worked in a crucial period of British history and in doing so answer why our ideas of acceptable discourse have changed so profoundly.

The thesis will intersect different 'genres' of offensive and 'obscene' material, including pornography, violence, blasphemy and racism with different cultural mediums, such as literature, magazines, television, film and theatre.

It is hoped that by trying to identify what social and cultural forces have driven transformations in our national sensibilities and mores it will be possible to illuminate and contextualise a number of discourses and themes which continue to resonate in public and political discussions today - namely 'political correctness', 'identity politics', 'freedom of speech', 'hate speech', sexism, racism and fascism.

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

University of Sheffield Teaching Assistant 2020-21 academic year: 

  • HST112 Paths from Antiquity to Modernity
  • HST117 The Making of the Twentieth Century

University of Sheffield Teaching Assistant previous years: 

  • HST119 The Transformation of the United Kingdom, 1800 to the present
Professional activities
  • Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society
  • Member of the Social History Society
Publications and conferences

Blog posts: