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Saturday 20 September 2014 (booking now)
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Academic Staff

Dr Matthew Grant

Position in departmentGraduate Director Research (Autumn)
Staff positionLecturer
Telephone01206 872259

I studied history at Queen Mary, University of London, receiving my PhD in 2006. After this, I spent two years teaching at the University of Sheffield, a year as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manchester, before spending three years at Teesside University. I joined the History Department at the University of Essex in September 2013. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and serve on the Peer Review College of the Economic and Social Research Council. During the Summer Term of 2014 I was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Chanage (CRESC) at the Open University.

Current research

 I am currently working on a new book charting the impact of the cold war on concepts and experiences of citizenship, to be called The Cold War and the Remaking of British Citizenship. This will examine the changing ways the public interacted with the state in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, in particular the importance of uniformed service, peace activism, and the experience of communism and anti-communism. Along with my colleague, Dr Peter Gurney, I am conducting a oral history project on the experience of National Service in postwar war Britain. 

In addition to this research, I am preparing an edited collection, with Professor Benjamin Ziemann of the University of Sheffield, on international responses to nuclear conflict.

Research interests

My research covers the history of Britain since 1939, focusing on the cultural and political impact of war and conflict on the home front. I have written on cold war civil defence and security, the cultural impact of nuclear weapons, and murder in the Second World War. In general, I am interested in the transformation of British life in the mid-to-late twentieth century, and the way historical memory shapes people’s sense of the world.

Supervision interests:

  • British history since 1939
  • impact of war and conflict on the home front
  • The cold war
  • nuclear conflict

Teaching responsibilities

Undergraduate Modules

HR386: The People's War: Making the Home Front in Britain, 1939-1945

HR382: Cold War Britain (1945-1991)



  • M. Grant, After the Bomb: Civil Defence and Nuclear War in Britain, 1945-68 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 249+xiipp.
  • M. Grant (ed.), The British Way in Cold Warfare: Diplomacy, Intelligence and the Bomb (London: Continuum, 2009; paperback edition, 2011), 206+xipp.
  • Edited and introduced Lord Moran, Winston Churchill: The Struggle for Survival, 1945-60, (London: Robinson, 2006).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • M. Grant, 'Images of Survival, Stories of Destruction: Nuclear War on British Screens from 1945 to the Early 1960s', Journal of British Cinema and Television, 10:1 (2013), pp.7-26.
  • M. Grant, 'Citizenship, Sexual Anxiety and Womanhood in Second World War Britain: the Case of the Man with the Cleft Chin', in S. Nicholas and T. O’Malley (eds), Moral Panics, Social Fears and The Media: Historical Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2013), pp.177-90.
  • M. Grant, '"Civil Defence Gives Meaning to Your Leisure": Citizenship, Participation and Cultural Change in Cold War Recruitment Propaganda, 1949-53', Twentieth Century British History, 22:1 (2011), pp.52-78.
  • M. Grant, 'The Cold War and British National Interest', in his (ed.), The British Way in Cold Warfare: Diplomacy, Intelligence and the Bomb (London: Continuum, 2009), pp.1-13.
  • M. Grant, 'Civil Defence and British Deterrence, 1956-64: Strategic Imperative and Political Expediency', in his (ed.), The British Way in Cold Warfare: Diplomacy, Intelligence and the Bomb (London: Continuum, 2009), pp.51-68.
  • M. Grant, 'Home Defence and the Sandys Defence White Paper, 1957', Journal of Strategic Studies, 31:6 (2008), pp.925-49.
  • M. Grant, 'Historians, the Penguin Specials and the "State-of-the-Nation" Literature, 1958-64', Contemporary British History, 17:3 (2003), pp.29-54.

Other Publications

  • M. Grant, 'Flyers and their Traumas: the RAF in the Second World War' [Review Essay], Reviews in History, (Article No.1172, December 2011).
  • M. Grant, 'Upgrading Britain's Nuclear Deterrent: from V-Bombers to Trident Replacement', History & Policy, Paper No.91 (2009).

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