Ben Harker

Ben Harker

Professor of Cultural Politics, Prof

Personal profile


I joined the Manchester Department in 2014; before that I worked at the University of Salford.  In 2016-17 I was an AHRC Leadership Fellow for a project entitled Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society, run in collaboration with Manchester's People's History Museum.  My books include Class Act: The Cultural and Political Life of Ewan MacColl (2007) and The Chronology of Revolution: Communism, Culture, and Civil Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (2021). My articles have appeared in journals including ELH, History WorkshopTextual Practice and Literature & History.  I’m Chair of the Raymond Williams Society and on the editorial board of Twentieth-century Communism

Research interests

My current work focuses on the following areas:

Culture in interwar Britain

Cultural periodicals in Britain, 1920-1980

Marxist theories of culture

Culture and Popular Front politics

The invention of modernism  

Late modernism

Virginia Woolf

Working-class writing

Writers and Communism in Britain


Culture and the Factory

Theatre and the political Left



I welcome enquiries from prospective doctoral students interested in any of my research specialisms.

External positions

Chair, Raymond Williams Society

Dec 2020Dec 2023

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester


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