Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.
We came together as the new research centre Modern British Studies at Birmingham in February 2014. Our aim was to create an environment in which we could talk to, and learn from, each other – to begin a conversation about the ways in which we might think about 19th and 20th century Britain. Then, as now, it felt like we had a critical mass of MA students, postgraduate and early career researchers, and more established scholars, that created exciting opportunities to work together. Rather than simply pursue our own research interests and careers, we wanted to follow the example set by Birmingham’s important Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, and think about how we might also work collaboratively and in public. Thinking and working together makes us more than the sum of our parts.
We have thought and worked together for the past nine months. The…
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