The Evolution of Modern British Advertising, 1923 - 1954
By considering advertising as a syndrome of modernity, but also as an industry itself grappling with modernity, my research places advertising in Britain in a wider social context. Drawing on a diverse range of historiographical debates, it questions how the advertising industry in Britain encountered psychology, new technology, women, Americans, economic depression, Empire and world war; how it embraced and changed them, and, in the process, was changed by them. In doing so, it seeks to understand how, and by whom, cultural power and influence were exercised in the changing modern world. The years between 1923, which saw the foundation of the Women’s Advertising Club of London and preparations for the International Advertising Convention at Wembley, and 1954, which marked both the end of war-time rationing and the advent of commercial television, provided the social and cultural conditions under which the modern advertising industry crystallized in Britain. Building on scholarship by Terence Nevett, Stefan Schwarzkopf and Sean Nixon, my research investigates the industry as it negotiated its now dominant cultural position. This is not simply a history of advertising, however: in its examination of the modern industrial and cultural processes it contributes to the wider cultural and social history of Britain between 1923 and 1954
‘Edwardian Advertising’s pursuit of professionalism (1900 – 1914)’, paper given at the Institute of Communications Studies, Leeds, conference on Identity, June 2011
‘Renewal, frustration and nostalgia: East German plastic material culture’ paper given at IHR History-Lab North East seminar, November 2010
Progress and degeneration: Europe 1848 - 1918
2010 – 2012: Editor of Symeon, the History department’s alumni magazine (with Ben Pope and Lindsay Varner).
May 2012: Convenor of the Annual Early Modern and Modern History Discussion Group Conference (with Lindsay Varner and Reetta Humalajoki).
July and August 2011: Teacher on the Durham University Gifted and Talented Summer School.
2011-2012: Convenor of the Modern History Postgraduate Discussion Group (Reetta Humalajoki).
Prizes and awards:
JWT Research fellowship (2012), Duke University, N.C. USA
Durham University History department PhD scholarship
Beresford Award for MA students.