An aerial view of Singleton Campus and the bay opposite
Professor Martin Johnes

Professor Martin Johnes

Professor, History

Email address

Welsh language proficiency

Fluent Welsh Speaker
Office - 121
First Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision
Media Commentator


Martin Johnes is Professor of Modern History and specialises in the histories of Wales and popular culture in modern Britain. He has published books and articles that look at politics, sport, masculinity, race, national identity, pop music, disasters and local government. At the heart of most of his research are questions of identity. He has examined how people think of who they are and their place in their world through and in a variety of different settings. 

His work on sport has included studies of the social and cultural significance of football in Wales and analyses of the role of race in British boxing. His work on Wales includes a book on the political reactions to the Aberfan disaster and Wales since 1939, a major study that brought together developments in society, culture and politics in the period after 1939 to examine Welsh identities. He has also written a book looking at the evolution and significance of Christmas in the United Kingdom after 1914.

His latest book is Welsh Not: Elementary Education and the Anglicization of 19th Century Wales, which will be published in 2024. It is the first academic study of the infamous Welsh Not and examines how the Welsh language was treated and viewed in schools in the nineteenth century.

His current project is Beyond Borders: The Second World War, National Identities and Empire in the UK. Funded by the AHRC, it explores how ordinary people understood and navigated ideas of national identity and Empire during the Second World War. It seeks to further historicize understandings of the UK's wartime diversity and show how imperial and national identities were informed through lived experiences rather than just media, institutional and political narratives.

Professor Johnes is committed to the place of history in public culture. He is a regular speaker at schools and public events and a commentator and contributor to the media on historical and political issues. He was the author and presenter of the 2019 BBC television series Wales: England's Colony?  A selection of his essays, newspaper articles, podcast interviews and his blog can be found at

Areas Of Expertise

  • Sport
  • Wales
  • National identity
  • Masculinity
  • Popular culture

Languages Spoken

  • Welsh