Dr Rebecca Clifford
Associate Professor
History
Telephone: (01792) 602973
Room: Office - 124
First Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

Dr Clifford is a historian of contemporary Europe, whose principal interest is the memory of the Second World War in the post-war period. She is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy. She completed a DPhil in Modern History at the University of Oxford in 2008, and held a Junior Research Fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford, before joining the department in 2009.

Her first book, Commemorating the Holocaust: The Dilemmas of Remembrance in France and Italy, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. From 2008 to 2012 she worked with a team of fourteen historians on a collaborative oral history project entitled ‘Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories’, which attracted funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust, and which produced a series of articles, a book, and a relational database of 500 interviews with former activists. The team’s collectively-authored book, Europe’s 1968: Voices of Revolt, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

Dr. Clifford is now working on a new project on child Holocaust survivors, which has received funding from the British Academy – Leverhulme Trust. In 2014 she was selected to be part of the award-winning Welsh Crucible programme, which promotes the development of Wales’ future research leaders.

Areas of Expertise

  • Social and cultural history of Western Europe in the twentieth century
  • collective memory of war and of the Holocaust
  • protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s
  • oral history
  • history of emotions

Publications

  1. Clifford, R. Families after the Holocaust: between the archives and oral history Oral History 46 1 42 54
  2. Clifford, R. Who is a survivor? Child Holocaust survivors and the development of a generational identity Oral History Forum 37 (2017)
  3. Clifford, R. Review of Merilyn Moos, Breaking the Silence: Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism Oral History 43 2
  4. Clifford, R. Review: Sean Hand and Steven Katz (eds.), Post-Holocaust France and the Jews H-Nationalisms H-Net and Clio-online
  5. Clifford, R. Review: Marie Louise Seeberg, Irene Levin, and Claudia Lenz (eds.), The Holocaust as Active Memory: The Past in the Present Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network

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.

  • HIH121 Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989

    The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers ¿ the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.

  • HIH274 Conflict & Memory: Europe in the Twentieth Century

    Collective memories of conflict and death were powerful historical forces in twentieth-century Europe. This module considers how popular and scholarly understandings of the past shaped debate, attitudes and decisions from the start of the First World War to the end of the Cold War. It addresses the pronouncements of politicians and the output of artists, as well as public debate about the work of historians. Co-taught by lecturers with expertise in comparative history, the module covers a range of countries and conflicts spanning Europe¿s turbulent twentieth century. Case studies to be examined in detail include the commemoration of conflict after 1918, the role of historical narratives in the articulation of ideologies of the interwar period, the development of a collective memory of the Holocaust, and the salience of memory and commemoration during the Cold War. Students will develop an appreciation of the different concepts, approaches and sources historians use to explore collective memories. The module will also explore cultural and political aspects of the current ¿commemorative fever¿ which has gripped Europe in the twenty-first century

  • HIH3221 The Long 1968: Protest in a Global Perspective, 1960-1980 (I)

    Student activism, worker unrest, anti-war agitation, the civil rights movement, feminism ¿ why did protest explode on a global level in the 1960s and 1970s, and what were the consequences? In this module, we will explore this question through a series of seminars focused on the analysis of a range of primary sources. We will look at forms of protest that transcended national borders, and will consider the ways in which protest movements were interconnected at a transnational level. We will also seek to place these protest movements within the broader history of the Cold War, and assess their impact on contemporary politics, culture and society. With HIH 3222, this module forms the first of a two-part Special Subject and will concern the main historical problems and historiographical debates concerning this period, exploring such themes as the origins of youth revolt, the concept of civil rights, and the different meanings of activism. It will also briefly introduce students to the primary sources for this period.

  • 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

  • Rembering disasters: Between individual and collective memory (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jeremy Tree
  • Defined by a Label: How Collective Action Brought about Change during the Second Half of the Twentieth Century for People with Cerebral Palsy (awarded 2020)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner

Key Grants and Projects

  • 'Child Survivors and Holocaust Memory' 2014 - 2016

    , British Academy and Leverhulme Trust

  • ‘Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories’ 2008 - 2012

    An oral history project involving 13 historians at institutions across the UK and Europe. The team has published articles and a collectively-authored book on the topic (Europe’s 1968: Voices of Revolt, OUP 2013)., AHRC and Leverhulme Trust