People

Professor Peter Gurney

Professor
Department of History
Professor Peter Gurney
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873946

  • Location

    5NW.7.12, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    By appointment only

Profile

Biography

I was introduced to'history from below' bymy maternal grandmother, a seamstress and single mother, who toldme stories about the life of the poorin Edwardian Britain whenI was growing up.I developed this interestat the University of Sussex in the 1980s whereI took my DPhil.I have taught at Sussex, Brighton, Glamorgan and Huddersfield Universities and the Northern College, the residential adult education college near Barnsley.I held the Knoop Research Fellowship in social and economic history at the University of Sheffield before coming to Essex in 1999. Mypublished work represents anattempt tocombinelabour history withthe social and cultural history of the common people.I amcurrently editor ofLabour History Reviewand serve as an external examiner at the University of Leicester (BA) and the University of Limerick (MA). Previous PhD supervision The Fairtrade movement in modern Britain (Dr Kathryn Wheeler) Disability and masculinity in World War One (Dr Wendy Gagen) The provincial department store in Britain (Dr Susan Lomax) Race, femininity and nation in Caribbean beauty contests (Dr Rochelle Rowe) The history of the London brewing trade, 1750-1850 (Dr Alan Pryor) Drug cultures in London, 1930-70 (Dr Elliott Hicks) British support for the Spanish Republic, 1936-39 (Dr Emily Mason) War, crime and popular politics in Essex and Kent, 1790-1820 (Dr Joe Cozens) Post-war tourism in north-east Essex (Dr Sean O'Dell) Current PhD students Joanna Crosby: A social and cultural history of the apple in Victorian England Christopher Timms: The culture of International Development in the United Kingdom, 1945-2000 Andrew McIntosh: Representations of Communism in interwar Britain Angela Miller: The implementation of the New Poor Law in Suffolk Percy Lomax: The decline of the Co-operative movement in postwar London

Qualifications

  • BA (Sussex)

  • MA (Sussex)

  • DPhil (Sussex)

  • PGCE (Leeds)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Consumerism and consumer movements

Popular politics and popular protest

Working-class culture and autobiography

Current research

Principal Investigator on an oral history research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (£223k) entitled, 'National Service life stories: masculinity, class and the memory of conscription in Britain.'

the history of consumption and consumer movements

Conferences and presentations

'The Co-op and the Cold War', Socialism and the Cold War Conference, Queen's University Belfast, 2015.

'From pacifism to a new world order: the Women's Co-operative Guild and the home front in Britain, 1939-45', Women's History Network Conference, University of Worcester, 2014.

'The economy in the popular mind in Britain, 1840-1914', British Association of Victorian Studies Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2013.

'History and Commitment', Conference marking 50 years of E.P. Thompsons The Making of the English Working Class, Peoples History Museum, Manchester, 2013.

'The democratic idiom: languages of democracy in Britain, 1830-48', Contested Democracy Conference, Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, 2012.

'Dickens and Consumer Culture', Royal College of Art, London, 2012.

'Languages of democracy in England, 1830-48', Two Eras of Democracy Conference, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, 2010.

Co-operation and the new consumerism in Britain between the wars, Co-operative Movements in Interwar Europe Conference, University of Bologna, 2009.

'The iconography of hunger in England during the Hungry Forties,' North American Victorian Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Victoria, B.C., 2007.

'The politics of consumption in England during the Hungry Forties,' British Association for Victorian Studies Conference, University of Liverpool, 2006.

'Consuming politics in post-war Britain', Cultures of Labour Conference, University of Ghent, 2003.

'Scarcity, excess and consumer organising in mid-Victorian England', Nineteenth Century Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Florida, 2003.

'The Crystal Palace, the working classes and consumer culture in Victorian England', Victorian Exhibitions Conference, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2001.

'Mass consumption and the post-war working-class', Material Politics Conference, University of Cambridge, 1999.

'Thomas Frost and the art of escapology in Victorian England', Representing Victorian Lives Conference, University of Leeds, 1999.

'Observing working-class sexuality in England in the 1930s', Sex, State and Society Conference, University of Umeå, Sweden, 1998.

'The politics of working-class consumption in England, 1906-1926', Economic History Society Annual Conference, University of Lancaster, 1996.

'Languages of co-operation in Britain, 1860-1914', XI International Economic History Congress, Università Bocconi, Milan, 1994.

'Co-operators, history and the nation', History Workshop 25, Ruskin College, Oxford, 1991.

Teaching and supervision

  • British Social History 1830-1950 (HR352)

Publications

Books (1)

Gurney, PJ., (2017).The Making of Consumer Culture in Modern Britain. Bloomsbury Academic. 9781441137210

Journals (19)

Gurney, PJ., (2017). 'Voice of Civilisation': advertising and its critics in austerity Britain. Contemporary British History

Gurney, PJ., (2015). 'The Curse of the Co-ops?: Co-operation, the Mass Press and the Market in Interwar Britain. English Historical Review. 130 (547)

Gurney, PJ., (2015). The Age of Veneer?: Charles Dickens and the antinomies of Victorian consumer culture. Dickens Quarterly. 32 (3)

Gurney, PJ., (2014). The Democratic Idiom: Languages of Democracy in the Chartist Movement. The Journal of Modern History. 86 (3)

Gurney, PJ., (2013). History and Commitment: E.P. Thompson's Legacy. Labour History Review. 78 (3)

Gurney, PJ., (2012). Co-operation and the "new consumerism" in interwar England. Business History. 54 (6)

Gurney, PJ., (2009). Cooperazione, consumismo di massa e modernità. Gran Bretagna fra le due guerre, Revista della Cooperazione, Terza Serie Trimestrale. 2

Gurney, PJ., (2009). Exclusive Dealing in the Chartist Movement. Labour History Review. 74 (1)

Gurney, PJ., (2009). "Rejoicing in Potatoes": The Politics of Consumption in England during the "Hungry Forties". Past and Present. 203 (1)

Gurney, PJ., (2009). Une remise en question de l’ “opulence”: le movement coopérative britannique après la Seconde Guerre mondiale [Contesting “affluence”: The British cooperative movement after the Second World War]. Revue Internationale de l’Économie Sociale. 318

Gurney, PJ., (2009). Wanting and Having: New Histories of Scarcity and Excess in Modern Britain. Twentieth Century British History. 20 (1)

Gurney, PJ., (2006). "The sublime of the bazaar": A moment in the making of a consumer culture in mid-nineteenth century England. Journal of Social History. 40 (2)

Gurney, P., (2006). Working-class writers and the art of escapology in Victorian England: The case of Thomas Frost. Journal of British Studies. 45 (1)

Gurney, P., (2005). The battle of the consumer in postwar Britain. Journal of Modern History. 77 (4)

Gurney, PJ., (1997). "Intersex" and "dirty girls": Mass-observation and working-class sexuality in England in the 1930s. Journal of the History of Sexuality. 8 (3)

Gurney, PJ., (1997). Le debat sur la co-operation dans l'Angleterre Victorienne et Edwardienne. Histoire, économie et société. 16 (2)

Gurney, PJ., (1997). The politics of public space in Manchester, 1896-1919. Manchester Region History Review. XI

Gurney, PJ., (1994). Heads, hands and the co-operative utopia: an essay in historiography. North West Labour History. 19

Gurney, PJ., (1994). The Middle Class Embrace: language, representation and the contest over co-operative forms in Britain, 1860-1914. Victorian Studies. 37 (2)

Chapters (10)

Gurney, PJ., (2015). A house divided: the Labour Party and the organised consumer in post-war Britain. Consuming Behaviours: identity, politics and pleasure in twentieth-century Britain. Consuming Behaviours: identity, politics and pleasure in twentieth-century Britain. 237. 251

Gurney, PJ., (2009). Entries on 'Co-operative Press' and 'G. J. Holyoake'. Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. 142. 3, 285-6

Gurney, PJ., (2007). '"A Palace for the People"? The Crystal Palace and consumer culture in Victorian England. Victorian Prism. Refractions of the Crystal Palace. Victorian Prism. Refractions of the Crystal Palace. 138. 150. 9780813926032

Gurney, PJ., (2001). An appropriated space: the Great Exhibition, the Crystal Palace and the working class. The Great Exhibition of 1851: New Interdisciplinary Essays. The Great Exhibition of 1851: New Interdisciplinary Essays. 114. 145. 9780719055928

Gurney, PJ., (2000). Observing working-class sexuality in England in the 1930s. Sex, State and Society. Comparative Perspectives on the History of Sexuality. Sex, State and Society. Comparative Perspectives on the History of Sexuality. 301. 328. 9789171918710

Gurney, PJ., (1999). Labor's great arch: Co-operation and cultural revolution in Britain, 1795-1926. Consumers against Capitalism? Consumer Co-operation in Europe, North America and Japan, 1840-1990. Consumers against Capitalism? Consumer Co-operation in Europe, North America and Japan, 1840-1990. 135. 171. 9780847686490

Gurney, PJ., (1997). Measuring the distance: D. H. Lawrence, Raymond Williams and the quest for "community". Social Conditions, Status and Community, c.1860-1920. Social Conditions, Status and Community, c.1860-1920. 60. 83. 9780750910705

Gurney, PJ., (1995). L'abbraccio della bourghesia: linguaggi e modi di rappresentare la cooperazione in Gran Bretagna, 1860-1914. La Federconsorzi tra Stato liberale e fascismo. La Federconsorzi tra Stato liberale e fascismo. 231. 268. 978-8842048060

Gurney, PJ., (1988). "A Higher State of Civilisation and Happiness": Internationalism in the British Co-operative Movement c.1869-1917. Internationalism in the European Labour Movement: 1830-1940. Internationalism in the European Labour Movement: 1830-1940. 543. 564. 9789004085558

Gurney, PJ., (1988). George Jacob Holyoake: Socialism, association and co-operation in nineteenth century England. New Views of Co-operation. New Views of Co-operation. 52. 72. 978-0415025232

Grants and funding

2015

National Service Life Stories: masculinity, class and the memory of conscription in Britain

Leverhulme Trust

Contact

pjgurney@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 873946

Location:

5NW.7.12, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

By appointment only