Dr Martin Johnes

About Me

I teach and research the 20th century history of Wales and Britain. I am particularly interested in questions of identity and popular culture and I've published various books and articles that look at popular sports, obscure sports, national identity, historiography, disasters and local government.

My last book was Wales since 1939 (Manchester University Press, 2012). It's the first major survey of Wales in this period and has a particular emphasis on social history and national identity. Further information and supporting material for the book can be accessed at the book's website.

I am currently working on projects on the histories of Christmas and British boxing and on the role of history in Welsh culture. My work on Christmas will be for a book looking at the festival in Britain from 1914 to the present day.

I co-edit the journal Sport in History, am a past chairman of the British Society of Sports History and a current executive member of Llafur: The Welsh People's History Society.

I am a regular contributor on history, sport and politics to the Welsh print and broadcast media. I tweet about history at @martinjohnes

Areas of Expertise

  • Modern British history; Wales since 1939; history of sport and leisure
  • popular culture
  • national identity

Publications

  1. Archives and historians of sport. International Journal of the History of Sport 32(15), 1784-1798.
  2. Christmas and the British: A Modern History. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  3. Welshness, Welsh soldiers and the Second World War. In Wendy Ugolini & Juliette Pattinson (Ed.), Fighting for Britain? Negotiating Identities in Britain During the Second World War. Oxford: Peter Lang.
  4. Sport history and digital archives in practice. In Sport History in the Digital Era. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
  5. History and the Making and Remaking of Wales. History 100(343), 667-684.

See more...

Teaching

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M70 Wales since 1945

    TBC

  • HIH122 Making History

    History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television. This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.

  • HIH124 Modern British History

    This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • HIH253 The Welsh Century: Politics, Nationality and Religion, 1847-1947

    This survey of modern Welsh history from the 1847 report on the state of education in Wales, to the social reforms of the Attlee government at the end of the Second World War, traces the emergence of Welsh identity through key developments such as temperance and the Sunday Closing Act, religion and the disestablishment of the church and the emergence of Welsh national institutions. It considers how Welshness adapted to and intersected with other loyalties, defined by race, gender, class and empire, and it deals with the changing social and cultural scene which saw anglicizing influences alter demographic and linguistic patterns in Wales.

  • HIH3239 Sport and British Society (i)

    This module examines the history of modern sport from its development in the late nineteenth century to the advent of the television era in the 1950s. It sets sport firmly in its wider social, economic and political context and examines sport’s different meanings to communities and individuals across Britain. Students will thus learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. Local studies will be compared to assess the place of sport in British society and to question the idea of a national culture. The source material of sports history lies at the heart of the module and students will analyse its uses, problems and limitations. This module forms the first of a two-part Special Subject (with HIH 3240) and will concern the main historical problems and debates concerning the history of sport. It will also introduce students to the primary sources for this period.

  • HIH3240 Sport and British Society (II)

    This module examines the history of modern sport from its development in the late nineteenth century to the advent of the television era in the 1950s. It sets sport firmly in its wider social, economic and political context and examines sport’s different meanings to communities and individuals across Britain. Students will thus learn about the diversity of sporting traditions across British history and examine how they were shaped by wider forces such as work, class and gender. The source material of sports history lies at the heart of the module and students will analyse its uses, problems and limitations. This module forms the second part of a two-part Special Subject (with HIH3239). It will be studied through the subject’s primary sources.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HIH3326 Britain since 1945

    While Britain emerged from the Second World War as one of the victor powers, the conflict left a deep mark on the country. By the end of the war, the British government was virtually bankrupt, and in foreign affairs Whitehall faced Britain’s relegation into the second division of world powers within the emerging bi-polar world order of the Cold War. Despite the difficult economic situation, consecutive British governments pushed an ambitious programme for social reform at home and attempted to regain power in international relations through the acquisition of nuclear weapons. This third year option examines society, culture and politics in Britain since 1945. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will be studying key events and developments in postwar Britain, in particular changes in the role of the state and the success or failure of social and economic policies, the Cold War and the wider international relationships – either European or transatlantic – within which Britain has pursued its interests, aspects of social change in the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. gender roles, postwar affluence and student protests), the impact of decolonization and immigration on postwar British society, the Irish question and devolution as well as Thatcherism.

  • HIHD00 Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)

    This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage by undertaking a practical heritage project. The project, worth 67% of the marks, may be undertaken independently, or via a placement with a heritage project or organisation. It will be accompanied by a reflective commentary worth 33% of the marks.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.

  • HIHM04 Heritage Work Placement

    This module enables students to gain practical experience of working with a heritage organisation or project in a graduate-level role. Placements may involve the acquisition of skills in museum work, community projects, heritage interpretation and policy (but are not restricted to these areas). Group discussion and individual tutorials will support students in preparing an extended essay reflecting on their work experience in the context of literature on heritage and public history.

Supervision

  • The Conservative party in South Wales, 1945-1997 (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Jonathan Bradbury
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Rhys
  • 1967 Milwaukee race riots. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Rebecca Clifford
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • The Social and Economic Changes in the Pontardawe Area in the 19th and 20th Centruries with specific reference to the Lloyd and Gilbertson families. (current)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • 'Class, Work and Community' (awarded 2016)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • 'Wales'''' Hidden Industry: Domestic Service in South Wales, 1871-1921.' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • 'Youth, Sex and the Permissive Society: South Wales, C. 1955 - c. 1975.' (awarded 2013)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Chris Williams
  • Workers' fields: Sport, Landscape, and the Labour Movement in South Wales, 1858-1958. (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Chris Williams
  • '''''The Best-Hated Man'''': George Malcolm Thomson, Intellectuals and the Condition of Scotland Betweeen the Wars.' (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Chris Williams
  • Wales and Militancy 1952 - 1970 (awarded 2011)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Chris Williams