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Labour and Society

We develop new research into the histories of labour. We look at this through the context of cultural representation and collective memory.


Labour and Society defines its research agenda in an inclusive and dynamic way. We're concerned with new, and established, directions into the histories of labour:

  • oral and written
  • labour subjectivities (the senses, emotions, cognition and memory)
  • place, the state and transnationalism
  • ideas (socialism, nationalism, politics, religion)
  • labour institutions (press, trade union, parties and cooperatives)
  • labour and the everyday (class, gender, death, work and leisure)
  • labour and social theory
  • the contentious politics of labour (biographical and mobilisation approaches)
Worker and Kolkhoz Woman. Rabochiy i Kolkhoznitsa sculpture was originally created to crown the Soviet pavilion of the World

Collaborative approach

The strand has an outward-facing orientation, encouraging inter- and multidisciplinary collaborations. It draws together researchers across the School. It has strong links across the HaSS Faculty via the Labour and Society Research Group (LSRG). It has led to major collaborative publications. These include issues of Labour History Review on unemployment (2007) and bombing (2011).

Research-informed teaching

Undergraduate teaching reflects our research strengths. The themes of labour and society are an integral part of all stages of the degree.

Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3
  • Evidence and Argument
  • Aspects of British History
  • Varieties of History
  • Themes in European History
  • Oral History and Memory
  • Twentieth Century France
  • A History of Contemporary Britain
  • Twentieth Century Spain
  • History and Memory in the United States
  • The Soviet Experiment 1917-1991
  • Colonialism and Post-colonialism in Egypt and Sudan
  • Jarrow Crusade
  • May 68
  • Northern Ireland Since 1969
  • Civil Rights in America 1948-1975
  • Fascism in Italy
  • The Nazi New Order in Europe
  • Reconstruction and the New South
  • The Spanish Second Republic and Civil War
  • Popular Politics and Reform in Britain, 1811-1850
  • An oral history of health and medicine in Britain, c.1948-2000
  • Dissertation
  • History and Society

They feed through into the PG taught provision on:  

Labour and Society in Newcastle

Newcastle University is one of the top places to research labour history in the country.

It fits with the University’s commitment to social justice and to global challenges. Labour history is a connecting thread through the undergraduate and postgraduate provision.

The appointment of a Chair in Oral History, Professor Graham Smith, has enhanced this area. Labour history is an area of distinctive provision and research excellence.

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    Our People

    Key staff and interests