Frank Mort

Frank Mort

Prof

Personal profile

Opportunities

Postgraduate Students Present and Past

Postgraduate Students: Present and Past
I welcome applications for PhD research in all areas of twentieth-century British social and cultural history. I have particular research specialisms in: urban culture/ history of London; histories of sexuality; consumer and commercial culture; monarchy and the social elites.

Current PhD Students

Alexander Spacey, (since 2019) 'Representations of American Society and Culture in British Cinema and Television, 1960-1981,' self-funded, full-time. With Dr Max Jones.

Jennifer Haywood, (since 2019) 'Queer Beside the Sea: Male Homosexuality in British Coastal Resorts, 1918 - 1990,' AHRC-funded, full-time. With Dr Eloise Moss.

Completed PhD Students

Julia Maclachlan, (2020) ‘Male Homosexuality 1945-70: Transnational Scientific and Social Knowledge in British and west European contexts,’ ESRC/ AHRC Funded, full-time. Supervised with Dr Christian Goeschel,

Michael Potter, (2019) 'The Joke's on Who?': Comedy and the Construction of English Identities, c. 1945-1970, SALC Studentship, full-time. Supervised with Dr Max Jones.

Jacob Bloomfield, (2018) 'Heroines, Queens, Goddesses and Glamazons: Male Cross-Dressing Performance in Britain, 1918-1970,' Self-funded, full-time. Supervised with Prof Laura Doan,

Hannah Kershaw, (2016) ‘Children's Literature and AIDS/ HIV,’ ESRC funded, , full-time. Supervised with Dr David Kirby

Ian Field, (2015) ‘Dangerous Sexualities and the Cultural Geography of the North-West of England in the 1960s: the “Moors Murders,”’ self-funded, part-time. Supervised with Dr Max Jones.

Ed Owens, (2015) ‘Royal Emotions for the People: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public 1919-1953,’ AHRC Funded, full-time. Supervised with Dr Max Jones.

Clare Tebbutt, (2014) 'Popular and Medical Understandings of Sex Change in 1930s Britain,’ AHRC Funded, part-time. Supervised with Prof. Laura Doan.

Samantha Caslin Bell, (2013) 'The "Gateway to Adventure": Women, Urban Space and Moral Purity in Liverpool c. 1908-1957,' ESRC Funded, full-time. Supervised with Prof. Carol Smart.

Rebecca Conway, (2012) ‘Modernity and Popular Cultures of Holiday-Making in c. 1930s Blackpool,’ AHRC Funded, full-time. Supervised with Prof. Laura Doan.

Alexandra Mitchell, (2012) 'Masculinity in 19th century Clubs and Associations: Manchester and Liverpool, 1800-1914,' AHRC Funded, full-time. Supervised with Prof. Hannah Barker.

Alexandros Papadopoulos (2012) 'A Violent Archaeology of Dreams: The Aesthetics of Crime in Austerity Britain,’ State Scholarship I.K.Y., Greece, full-time. Supervised with Prof Jackie Stacey.

Ian Boutle, (2010) ‘Masculinity, National Identity and Modernity: English Land Speed Record-Holders 1907-1931,’ AHRC Funded, full-time. Supervised with Dr Max Jones. 

Michelle Johansen, (2006) ‘The Public Librarian in Modern London (1890-1914): the Case of Charles Goss, University of East London, with Dr John Marriott, Funded by the Bishopsgate Institute, full-time. Passed 2006. 

 

 

Other research

1 The British Monarchy in the Twentieth Century 

I am currently working on a major study of the British monarchy at home and abroad to be published as The People's Crown: The British Monarchy in the Twentieth Century by Oxford University Oress. Ordinary men and women remade the British monarchy across the twentieth century after European empires fell and publicity began to transform private life. Pressure from the working class, from soldiers and citizens in wartime, from women and media audiences modernized the monarchy, making it more accessible than its Victorian and Edwardian counterparts. This major book project will tell the story of royalty’s new role in an era of mass society and volatile news exposure. It reveals how constitutional monarchy was changed not just by political democracy but by a collective democracy of feeling, both in Britain and internationally.

This dynamic history of crown and people is set in the broadest context with a large cast of characters. Opening with the collapse of the old European order of kings and emperors in the turmoil of the Great War and ending with celebrity culture at the end of the century, it follows the royals as they responded to the challenges of socialism and republicanism, opposition to imperial rule, affluence, the impact of television, the permissive society and modern everyday life.

We are familiar with histories of the monarchy where kings and queens are the main actors. By contrast, the leading characters in this story are the crowds, listeners and viewers who met royalty in person or through the media. A succession of royal weddings, tours, jubilees and coronations loom large here, but so too do scandals that shook public opinion and threatened disaster for the crown. Ranging across Australia, Canada and India as well as Britain, the book draws on the widest range of sources, many of them seen for the first time. Letters and diaries from across the empire and Commonwealth, oral histories, social surveys, as well as revelations from the Royal Archives will bring to light the experience of monarchy ‘from below.’ Attitudes to the crown ranged from adulation, reverence and respect to envy and scorn. The project takes those conflicted feelings seriously, recognizing their importance in the history of cultural and emotional life across the twentieth century.

 

Other research

2 Capital Affairs

Capital Affairs: London and the Making of the Permissive Society (Yale University Press, 2010) asks the central question: how did sexuality transform postwar Britain? Countering the dominant historiography of the English sexual revolution, I show how a new phase of post-Victorian morality was forged out of the dramatic cultures of austerity and affluence that marked London life in the 1950s and 1960s. The metropolitan centred character of my research, together with its emphasis on long historical continuities as well as significant transformations, reflects both the spatial and environmental turn in modern cultural history and the active presence of nineteenth-century social morality into the postwar period. This major monograph was supported by a research grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (1999-2000), by a Benjamin Duke Fellowship at the National Humanities Center (2001-02), by a Fellowship at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies (2004-05) and by the John Hinckley Visiting Research Professorship in the History Department at Johns Hopkins University (2008-9). For more about Capital Affairs see here.

Other research

3 The Cultures of Consumption

I have worked on various aspects of commercial and consumer cultures and traced their impact on social life and gendered identity in twentieth century Britain. In 1996 I published Cultures of Consumption: Masculinities and Social Space in Late Twentieth-Century Britain (Routledge, 1996) which has also been published in China (Nanjing University Press, 2000) funded by an initial grant from the Polytechnic Funding Council. The book explores how the world of goods occupied a privileged place in the fabric of British society during the 1980s and how the culture of the marketplace dramatised a series of pressing questions about popular sexual politics and the meaning of masculinity. I also co-edited Commercial Cultures: Economies, Practices and Spaces, with Peter Jackson, Michelle Lowe and Daniel Miller (Berg, 2000), a book series on Consumption and Space for University College London Press (1998-2003) and I served on the Commissioning and Advisory Panels of the ESRC’s Consumer Cultures research programme (2001-07).
 

Other research

4 Histories of Sexuality and Modernity

My first book, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1800 (Routledge, 1987, second revised edition 2000) analyses how historically specific discourses of heath and disease are linked to moral and immoral ideas about sexuality. Beginning in the 1830s, I trace the formation of medico-moral systems of knowledge and power and the way they have targeted sensitive groups, generated networks of resistance and moulded pleasures and desires. Sexuality has been shaped as a component of the social project of modernity and the problems and possibilities produced by this formation continue to shape contemporary sexual politics. For my more general reflections on the modernity of Britain in the post-1945 period, see my co-edited collection Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain 1945-64 (Rivers Oram Press, 1999).
 

Biography

I became Professor of Cultural Histories and Director of our Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts (CIDRA) at the University of Manchester in October 2004. Previously I was Professor of Cultural History and Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre at the University of East London (1998-2004). A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, I have held visiting professorships in the history departments of a number of leading American Universities including Johns’ Hopkins, Columbia, and Michigan, together with major research fellowships at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center, Princeton University and the National Humanities Center. I am currently on the editorial board and advisory board of journals that include: Cultural and Social HistoryTwentieth Century British HistoryConsumer CultureJournal of Cultural EconomyNew Formations.

I am currently working on a major study of popular attitudes to the British monarchy across the twentieth century. The book argues that ordinary men and women remade the crown after European empires fell and publicity began to transform private life. Pressure from the working class, from soldiers and citizens in wartime, from women and media audiences modernized the monarchy, making it more accessible than its Victorian and Edwardian counterparts. This is the story of royalty’s new role in an era of mass society and volatile news exposure. It reveals how constitutional monarchy was changed not just by political democracy but by a collective democracy of feeling, both in Britain and globally. My recent articles 'Accessible Sovereignty: Popular Attitudes to British Royalty during the Great War' (Social History, 2020) and 'On Tour with the Prince: Monarchy, Imperial Politics and Publicity in the Prince of Wales's Dominion Tours 1919-20' (Twentieth Century British History, 2018) show how this research is shaping up. 

I am the author of a number of ground-breaking books of cultural and social history. These include Capital Aiffairs: London and the Making of the Permissive Society (Yale, 2010), Cultures of Consumption (Routledge, 1997) and  Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830  (Rouledge, 2002), along with edited collections and countless articles on these subjects. 

I broadcast regularly on TV and radio, including the recent Channel 4 series The Queen’s Lost Family (2019) and media commentary and interviews for CNN and Bloomberg Media on the death and funeral of Elizabeth II             

Supervision information

 

2019

'The Joke's on Who?': Comedy and the Construction of English Identities, c. 1945-1970

Author: Potter, M., 2019

Supervisor: Mort, F. (Supervisor) & Jones, M. (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

2018

'Heroines, Queens, Goddesses and Glamazons: Male Cross-Dressing Performance in Britain, 1918-1970'

Author: Jacob Bloomfield., 2018  

Supervisor: Prof Doan, L (Supervisor)  & Prof Mort, F (Co-supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

2016

Children's Literature and AIDS/ HIV: as above

Author: Kershaw, H., 2016

Supervisor: Kirby, D. (Supervisor) & Mort, F. (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

2015

Dangerous Sexualities and the Cultural Geography of the North-West of England in the 1960s : the 'Moors Murders'

Author: Field, I., 2015

Supervisor: Jones, M. (Supervisor) & Mort, F. (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

Royal Emotions for the People: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public 1919-1953

Author: Owens, E., 2015

Supervisor: Mort, F. (Supervisor) & Jones, M. (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Doctoral Thesis

 

2014

'Popular and Medical Understandings of Sex Change in 1930s Britain'

Author: Clare Tebbutt, 2014

Supervisor: Prof Doan, L (Supervisor) & Prof Mort, F (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

2013

'The "Gateway to Adventure": Women, Urban Space and Moral Purity in Liverpool c. 1908-1957,'

Author: Samantha Caslin Bell, 2013

Supervisor: Prof Mort, F (Supervisor) & Smart, C (Co-supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

2012

Modernity and Popular Cultures of Holiday-Making in c. 1930s Blackpool:

Author: Conway, R., 2012

Supervisor: Mort, F. (Supervisor) & Doan, L. (Supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

'Masculinity in 19th century Clubs and Associations: Manchester and Liverpool, 1800-1914,'

Author: Alexandra Mitchell, 2012

Supervisor: Barker H (Supervisor) & Prof Mort, F (Co-supervisor)

UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

2011

'A Violent Archeology of Dreams: The Aesthetics of Crime in Austerity Britain’

Author: Alexandros Papadopoulos

Supervisor: Prof Mort, F (Supervisor) & Prof Stacey, J (Co-supervisor)

 UoM administered thesis: Phd

 

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Keywords

  • Monarchy
  • Urban History
  • consumer behaviour
  • sexuality

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics where Frank Mort is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles