Portrait of Professor Paul Ward (History/MHM) Professor Paul Ward (History/MHM)

p.j.ward@hud.ac.uk | 01484 478413



Paul Ward is Professor of Modern British History and Head of the Department of History, English, Languages and Media. He joined the university in 2000. He studied for his BA and PhD at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. He has taught at London Guildhall University, Middlesex University, the University of Westminster and Royal Holloway, University of London. He was visiting lecturer at the University of A Coruña in Spain in the spring of 2004, and Fulbright-Robertson Professor of British History at Westminster College, Missouri, 2004 to 2005.

Paul is on Twitter @profpaulward

Research and Scholarship

Paul's research is concerned with national identities in the United Kingdom since the late nineteenth century. In particular, Paul is well known for his historical study of Britishness.

He is also interested in oral history, public history and the co-production of historical knowledge, especially the ways in which communities think about their histories.

He has written four books: Red Flag and Union Jack: Englishness, Patriotism and the British Left 1881-1924, published in 1998 (re-issued in paperback in 2011); Britishness since 1870 in 2004; Unionism in the United Kingdom in 2005 (funded by a grant from the AHRB); and Huw T. Edwards: British Labour and Welsh Socialism, published in 2011 (funded by a British Academy Major Research Grant).

In 2011 Paul was involved in a European Science Foundation funded workshop on Historiography and history teaching after empire.

Paul’s current projects include:

The Beefeaters, Britishness and the British World since the 1820s: This is a project exploring representations and experiences of the Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London.

Imagine: Connecting Communities Through Research (Imagining better communities and making them happen). ESRC-AHRC funded project under the Connected Communities Civic Engagement call. This is a major project led by Dr Kate Pahl (University of Sheffield) and involving ten universities. As one of the lead CIs, I am exploring co-production of research by community groups and academics and examining how community groups use history to develop their identities, as well as providing a historical overview for the project as a whole. 2013-2017. The project website is at http://www.imaginecommunity.org.uk/

This project involves working with grassroots organisations to explore the diversity of British culture in twentieth and twenty-first century Britain. Examples of these projects and groups include:

Sound System Culture http://soundsystemculturehuddersfield.tumblr.com/

Bhangra Renaissance http://www.virsa.info/

Kirklees Local TV http://www.kirkleeslocaltv.com/

You can read more about projects in which Paul is involved at http://blogs.hud.ac.uk/subject-areas/historians-at-work/


Paul is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

He edits the North American Journal of Welsh Studies.

He was Fulbright-Robertson Professor of British History at Westminster College, Missouri, 2004 to 2005 and visiting lecturer at the University of A Coruña in Spain in the spring of 2004.

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Historical Society.

He edits a book series for Peter Lang Publishing called ‘British Identities since 1707’.

He has examined research degrees at the University of York, Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Sheffield and the University of Ulster.

He is a member of the research network for the AHRC Coordinating Centre Everyday Lives in War: Experience and memory of the First World War, based at the University of Hertfordshire and is on the steering group of the Imperial War Museum North’s academic network.

Paul led the joint application with the University of Hull for the AHRC Block Grant Partnership Capacity Building Route, which led to the successful application of the Heritage Consortium doctoral training centre in the AHRC’s BGP2 scheme.

Paul has made a number of media appearances including, in print, in Big Issue in the North, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Daily Telegraph and English Pravda, on radio, Voice of Russia (London) and BBC Radio Leeds, and on television, for Kirklees Local TV and ITV’s Calendar.

Research Degree Supervision

Paul is happy to supervise research students in any aspect of British political and cultural history since the mid-nineteenth century. The following are suggestions rather than an exclusive list:

•           Britishness and other national and regional identities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

•           The co-production of historical knowledge

•           Public and oral history

•           The status of aunties in British culture

•           Patriotism

Opportunities for funding are available through The Heritage Consortium http://www2.hull.ac.uk/fass/heritage-consortium.aspx

Paul's current research students are conducting projects on the Festival of Britain (Cate Benincasa-Sharman), the location of oral history within the environment as augmented reality (Simon Bradley, AHRC-funded), a history of gender and performance in late 20th century Manchester (Jo Dyrlaga, AHRC-funded), Public History, Oral History and Regeneration: A Co-production Approach (Elizabeth Pente), A biography of Andrea Dunbar (Adelle Stripe, a Creative Writing student, jointly with Michael Stewart), Histories of People of African Descent (Milton Brown), Bussing Out in the 1960s and 1970s (Shabina Aslam) and The Gott Collection, medievalism and co-production (Nicole Harding AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral award).

Paul's successful supervisions include an MPhil on Conservatism in the 1920s, and PhDs in the history of the police, the oral history of football fandom and communities, and Mechanics Institutes in Yorkshire in the 19th century, brass bands in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Stephen Etheridge), Yorkshire identities in the nineteenth century (William Marshall, AHRC-funded) and memories of the Second World War in the islands of the United Kingdom (Daniel Travers).

Paul’s reseach students organised the Unofficial Histories conference 2014, for which see http://unofficialhistories.wordpress.com/ and intend to run an ‘Unconference’ on history and co-production in the near future. We have also been involved in a series of workshops for PhD students on collaborative research

Enterprise Activities

Professor Ward believes that the university’s knowledge and skills should be shared with the public and he is happy to provide professional advice related to his research and teaching interests, especially to community organisations. He has worked with colleagues, students and museum professionals to deliver a permanent exhibition on local mill heritage at Brooke’s Mill, Armitage Bridge, as well as a temporary exhibition on  royal visits to Yorkshire at the Colne Valley Museum. In 2012, he compiled a report on Britishness for the office the Agent General of the Government of South Australia to encourage migration to Adelaide.

Paul is on the boards of Huddersfield Partnership and Kirklees Local TV.

Paul provides oral history training for community groups and students and is happy to provide advice and support for community history projects, including project design and management, interviewing, audio editing and exhibitions.

Paul has worked with Imperial War Museum North and Leeds City Museums to develop museum-university networks

Administrative Responsibilities

Paul is Head of the Department of History, English, Languages and Media.

Paul is a member of the Academy for British and Irish Studies, which publishes the journal Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/journal/abis/

Teaching and Professional Activities

Paul leads two training courses through Staff Development for PhD students: ‘The Literature Review’ and ‘Research Project Planning’.

He is module leader for Twentieth-Century Britain and Digital Victorians at undergraduate level.  Student work from Digital Victorians is available at http://mhm.hud.ac.uk/digitalvictorians/

He has taught at universities in Spain and the USA, as well as giving guest lectures/seminars at around 10 overseas institutions, including the Xavier University of Louisiana, University of South Alabama and the University of Copenhagen.

He received a TQEF Extra Mile Award for teaching in 2006 and was nominated in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

He won the School of Music, Humanities and Media award for most innovative module assessment, 2010

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