Dr Laura Harrison

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  • Qualifications:MA (Hons), University of Glasgow; MA, University of York; PhD, University of Leeds
  • Position:Senior Lecturer in Modern History & Programme Leader for History
  • Department:Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries, and Education (ACE)
  • Telephone:+4411732 84521
  • Email:Laura2.Harrison@uwe.ac.uk

About me

I am a social and cultural historian of modern Britain, with a particular interest in the histories of youth and youth culture, and young people's experiences of urban and rural environments. 

I am a Fulbright scholar, and began teaching at UWE in 2016 following my Fulbright year at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, as the 2015-16 Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor in British History.

I completed my PhD in History at the University of Leeds in 2015, and my doctoral research focused on regulation, resistance, and young working-class behaviour in public space. 

I have published on urban poverty and the attempts made by reformers to understand and 'map' the slums of the Victorian and Edwardian city, and institutional attempts to informally police young women's behaviour in public. My latest article for Rural History looks at memories of growing up in the countryside in the early twentieth century, as recalled in memoirs and oral history interviews. I am currently revising my doctoral research for publication as my first monograph. 

Dangerous Amusements: Leisure, the young working class, and urban space in Britain, c.1870-1939 traces the beginnings of a distinct youth culture in streets and neighbourhoods across Britain, and will be published by Manchester University Press in 2021. 

I am one of the editors of the Routledge History of the Working Class in the West, currently under contract.

You can hear me speaking to Jane Garvey on BBC Radio 4's 'Woman's Hour' about the history of the school summer holiday here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007k5n

I also recently spoke to Doctor Who and Broadchurch actor Jodie Whittaker about her family history as part of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? You can see further details about the episode here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000nh4f

Area of expertise

  • ​​Nineteenth and twentieth century British social and cultural history
  • Histories of young people and youth culture
  • History of women, sexuality and gender relations​
  • Urban history and social geography
  • ​Working-class history in Britain
  • ​​History of leisure 
Research supervision: I welcome enquires from anyone interested in these areas.


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