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. Families after the Holocaust: between the archives and oral history. Oral History 46(1), 42-54.
  2. Who is a survivor? Child Holocaust survivors and the development of a generational identity. Oral History Forum
  3. (2015). Review of Merilyn Moos, Breaking the Silence: Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism. (Oral History No. 43).
  4. (2015). Review: Sean Hand and Steven Katz (eds.), Post-Holocaust France and the Jews. (H-Nationalisms). : H-Net and Clio-online.
  5. (2015). 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

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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

  • Providing education for children with cerebral palsy and related disabilities: how policy and collective action brought about change during the second half of the twentieth century. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner
  • Rembering disasters: Between individual and collective memory (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Jeremy Tree

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