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

Publications

  1. ‘M4 to Wales - and prosper!’ A history of a motorway. Historical Research,, n/a-n/a. doi:10.1111/1468-2281.12055
  2. What's the Point of Sports History?. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 30(1), 102-108. doi:10.1080/09523367.2012.747196
  3. Swansea 'til I Die: A Century of Supporting the Swans. Swansea City Supporters' Trust, 2012.
  4. Wales since 1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  5. Cardiff: The Making and Development of the Capital City of Wales. Contemporary British History, 26(4), 509-528. doi:10.1080/13619462.2012.676911

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-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • 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.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of this module is to discuss the varieties of historical sources explored by historians, the uses that are made of this material, and the intellectual and practical problems which can arise. The module will address the distinction between primary and secondary sources and the origins of this distinction with the emergence of History as a discipline. It will examine the ways in which contemporary trends in post-structuralist theory have problematised these issues. The materials may include: paintings, films, oral testimonies, autobiographies and memoirs, newspapers, statistics, government records and maps.

  • 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.

Supervision

  • Domestic Service in South Wales, 1851 - 1921 (current)

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

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr. Louise Miskell
  • The Conservative party in South Wales, 1951 - 1983. (current)

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

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

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr. Alexander Wakelin
    Other supervisor: Professor Christopher Williams
  • Wales and Militancy 1952 - 1970 (awarded 2011)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Christopher Williams