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Module Reading List

Death, Dying and the Dead in Twentieth-Century Britain, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr Claire Martin
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week 1: Introduction

Please read two of the following three pieces and one or two further pieces of your choice from the additional reading list:

Cannadine, David, 'War, Death and Mourning in Modern Britain', in J. Whaley (ed.), Mirrors of mortality : studies in the social history of death (London, 1981) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva  

Clark, David, 'Between Hope and Acceptance: The Medicalisation of Dying', British Medical Journal (13 Apr 2002)  

Jalland, Pat, ’Bereavement in the English family 1850-1980: Exploring change over time’, Family Science, Vol. 4, No. 1 (July 2013), pp. 4-11 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva   OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (PR 28/09/2021) 

Additional reading – this is a selection of different types of research into death, dying and the dead. Please read at least one item you’re interested in (from below, the Radical Death Studies reading list, or another item of your choice) and be ready to talk about it to the rest of the seminar group:

Ariès, Philippe, The Hour of Our Death (London, 1981)

Bauman, Zygman, Mortality, immortality & other life strategies (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992)

Borgstrom, Erica, and Ellis, Julie, ‘Introduction: researching death, dying and bereavement’, Mortality. ISSN: 1357-6275 22:2 (2017), pp.93-104 (part of a journal special issue that may be of interest)

Clark, David, 'Between Hope and Acceptance: The Medicalisation of Dying', British medical journal. ISSN: 0959-8138; 1468-5833; 0959-8146; 0959-8154; 0959-535X; 1756-1833 (13 Apr 2002)

Brennan, Michael, and Letherby, Gayle, ‘Auto/biographical approaches to researching death and bereavement: connections, continuums, contrasts’, Mortality 22:2 (2017), pp.155-169

Ellis, Julie, ‘Thinking beyond rupture: continuity and relationality in everyday illness and dying experience’, Mortality 18:3 (2013), pp.251-69

Gorer, Geoffrey, Death, Grief and Mourning (New York, 1977)

Griffiths, Clare and Anita Brock, ‘Twentieth Century Mortality Trends in England and Wales’, Health statistics quarterly. ISSN: 1465-1645, 18, Summer 2003

Hallam, Elizabeth, and Hockey, Jenny, Death, Memory and Material Culture (Berg, 2001)

Herbert, Amanda, ‘Queer Intimacy: Speaking with the Dead in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, Gender and History 31:1 (2019), pp.25-40

Jalland, Pat, Death in war and peace : a history of loss and grief in England, 1914-1970 ISBN: 9780199651887 (pbk.) : £24.95; 0199651884 (pbk.) : £24.95 (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Klass, Dennis, Phyllis R. Silverman and Stephen L. Nickman (eds), Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief (Routledge, 1996)

Kellehear, Allan, A social history of dying ISBN: 9780521694292 (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Langhamer, Claire, ‘“The Live Dynamic Whole of Feeling and Behaviour”: Capital Punishment and the Politics of Emotion’, Journal of British Studies 51:2 (2012), pp.416-441

Laqueuer, Thomas, The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton University Press, 2015)

Litten, Julian, The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral Since 1450 (London, 1991)

Palladino, Paolo, ‘Caveat Emptor: On Time, Death and History in Late Modernity’, Rethinking history ISSN: 1364-2529 8:3 (2004), pp.403-16

Maddrell, Avril, and Sidaway (eds), Deathscapes : spaces for death, dying, mourning and remembrance ISBN: 9780754679752 (hbk.); 0754679756 (hbk.); 9780754699354 (ebk.) (Routledge, 2010)

Ranum, Orest, ‘A Skeleton Comes Out of the Closet: Historians Explore Attitudes Toward Death’, Bulletin of the history of medicine. ISSN: 0007-5140 57:3 (1983), pp.450-7

Strange, Julie-Marie, ‘Death and Dying: Old Themes and New Directions’, Journal of contemporary history. ISSN: 0022-0094 35:3 (2000), pp.491-99

Vincent, David, ‘Love and Death and the Nineteenth-Century Working Class’, Social history. ISSN: 0307-1022 5:2 (1980), pp.223-247

Have a look at the Radical Death Studies group too:

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Week 2: Death, grief and remembrance at the turn of the century

Core reading – please reading the following two pieces:

Jalland, Pat, ‘Death, Grief and Mourning in the Upper-Class Family, 1860-1914’ in Ralph Houlbrooke (ed.), Death, ritual and bereavement ISBN: 0415011655 (London, 1988), pp.171-87 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva OR Jalland, Pat, Death in the Victorian family ISBN: 0198201885 (Oxford, 1996) – both available in Online Course Readings folder Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva  

Strange, Julie-Marie, ‘'She Cried a Very Little': Death, Grief and Mourning in Working-Class Culture, c. 1880-1914’, Social history. ISSN: 0307-1022 27:2 (2002), pp.143-61 OR Strange, Julie-Marie, Death, grief and poverty in Britain, 1870-1914 ISBN: 9780521168625 (pbk.); 0521168627 (pbk.) (Cambridge University Press, 2005) – Introduction available in Online Course Readings folder Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva  

Additional reading – please read one to two pieces from the following list:

Curl, James Steven, The Victorian Celebration of Death (Sutton, 2000)

Dyhouse, Carol, ‘Working-Class Mothers and Infant Mortality in England, 1895-1914’, Journal of Social History. ISSN: 0022-4529 12:2 (1978), pp.248-267

Goldin, G., ‘A Protohospice at the Turn of the Century: St Luke’s House, London, from 1893 to 1921’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. ISSN: 0022-5045 36:4 (1981), pp.383-415

Helm, David, ‘‘The Beauty of the Sick Room’: Family Care for the Dying in the English Upper and Middle-Class Home’, Family and Community History 16:2 (2013), pp.100-112

Hurren, Elizabeth, ‘Whose body is it anyway? Trading the dead poor, coroner’s disputes, and the business of anatomy at Oxford University 1885-1929’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 82:4 (2008), pp.775-818

Linkman, Audrey, ‘Passing Trade: Death and the Family Album in Britain, 1860-1900’, The Photohistorian 123 (1998), 18-28 OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (KR 11/01/2019) 

Lutz, D., ‘The Dead Still Among Us: Victorian Secular Relics, Hair Jewelry and Death Culture’, Victorian literature and culture. ISSN: 1060-1503 39:1 (2011), pp.127-42

Roberts, B., ‘A tale of two funerals: Civic ritual, public mourning and community participation in late nineteenth-century Middlesborough’, Cultural and social history. ISSN: 1478-0038; 1478-0046 13:4 (2016), pp.467-82

Roberts, Elizabeth, 'The Lancashire Way of Death', in Ralph Houlbrooke (ed.), Death, ritual and bereavement ISBN: 0415011655 (London, 1989), pp.199-207

Strange, Julie-Marie, ‘Only a Pauper Whom Nobody Owns: Reassessing the Pauper Grave c. 1880-1914’, Past & present. ISSN: 0031-2746 178 (2003), pp.148-75

Tarlow, Sarah, "Landscapes Of Memory: The Nineteenth-Century Garden Cemetery". European journal of archaeology. ISSN: 1461-9571 3.2 (2000): 217-239

Tarlow, Sarah, ‘An Archaeology of Remembering: Death, Bereavement and the First World War’, Cambridge Archaeological Journal 7:1 (1997), pp.105-21

Vincent, David, ‘Love and Death and the Nineteenth-Century Working Class’, Social history. ISSN: 0307-1022 5:2 (1980), pp.223-247

Wall, R., ‘Elderly widows and widowers and their coresidents in late 19th- and early 20th-century England and Wales’, The history of the family ISSN: 1081-602X 7:1 (2002), pp.139-55

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Week 3: Child mortality, infanticide and baby farming scandals in the early twentieth century

Core reading:

Grey, Daniel, ‘‘Liable to Very Gross Abuse’: Murder, Moral Panic and Cultural Fears Over Infant Life Insurance, 1875-1914’, Journal of Victorian Culture 18:1 (2013), pp.54-71  


Grey, Daniel, ‘Murder, Mental Illness and the Question of Nursing ‘Character’ in Early Twentieth Century England’, History Workshop Journal 80:1 (2015), pp.183-200  


Kilday, Anne-Marie, and Watson, Katherine D., ‘Infanticide, Religion and Community in the British Isles, 1720-1920: Introduction’, Family and Community History 11:2 (2008), pp.84-99. (Part of a journal special issue – see the rest of the journal issue too).  

Additional reading – please select at least one to two of the following:

Arnot, Margaret, ‘Infant Death, Child Care and the State: the Baby-Farming Scandal and the First Infant Life Protection Legislation of 1872’, Continuity and Change 9:2 (1994), pp.271-311

Connor, Dylan, ‘Poverty, Religious Differences, and Child Mortality in the Early Twentieth Century: the case of Dublin’, Annals of the American Association of Geographers 107:3 (2017), p.625-646

Drake, Michael, ‘Surely they made a difference? Health visitors and infant mortality in the 1900s’, Local Population Studies 76 (2006), pp.63-69

Durbach, Nadja, ‘Dead or alive? Stillbirth registration, premature babies and the definition of live in England and Wales, 1836-1960’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 94:1 (2020), pp.64-90

Dyhouse, Carol, ‘Working-class mothers and infant mortality in England, 1895-1914’, Journal of Social History 12:2 (1978), pp.248-267

Frost, Ginger, ‘“Such a Poor Finish”: Illegitimacy, Murder and War Veterans in England, 1918-1923’, Historical Reflections 42:3 (2016), pp.91-111

Grey, Daniel, ‘‘Agonised Weeping’: Representing Femininity, Emotion and Infanticide in Edwardian Newspapers’, Media History 21:4 (2015), pp.468-480

Grey, Daniel, ‘‘Almost Unknown Amongst the Jews’: Jewish Women and Infanticide in London, 1890-1918’, London Journal 37:2 (2012), pp.122-135

Grey, Daniel, ‘‘More Ignorant and Stupid than Wilfully Cruel’: Homicide Trials and ‘Baby-Farming’ in England and Wales in the Wake of the Children Act 1908’, Crimes and Misdemeanours 3:2 (2009), pp.60-77 Available online 

Grigg, Russell, ‘Getting away with murder? Infanticide in Wales 1730-1908’, Local Historian 44:2 (2014), pp.115-133

Haines, Michael, ‘Socio-Economic Differentials in Infant and Child Mortality during Mortality Decline: England and Wales, 1890-1911’, Population studies. ISSN: 0032-4728 49:2 (1995), pp.297-315

Moore, Francesca, ‘Governmentality and the maternal body: infant mortality in early twentieth-century Lancashire’, Journal of Historical Geography 39 (2013), pp.54-68

Shepherd, Jade, ‘One of the best fathers until he went out of his mind’: Paternal child-murder, 1864–1900’, Journal of Victorian Culture 18:1 (2013), pp.17-35

Strange, Julie-Marie, Death, Grief and Poverty in Britain, 1870-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2005), chapter 8: ‘Grieving for Dead Children’

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Week 4: The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919

Core reading:

Honigsbaum, Mark, Living with Enza: The Forgotten Story of Britain and the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918 (Macmillan, 2009) Chapter 4 or a chapter of your choice. Available online as an e-book.  

Phillips, Howard, ‘The Recent Wave of ‘Spanish’ Flu Historiography’, Social History of Medicine 27:4 (2014), pp.789-808  

Additional reading – please read at least one or two of the following:

Bresalier, Michael, ‘Uses of a Pandemic: Forging Identities of Influenza and Virus Research in Interwar Britain’, Social History of Medicine 25:2 (2012), pp.400-424

Bresalier, Michael, ‘Fighting Flu: Military Pathology, Vaccines, and the Conflicted Identity of the 1918-19 Pandemic in Britain’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (2013), pp.87-128

Cohn, Samuel, ‘Pandemics: waves of disease, waves of hate from the Plague of Athens to AIDS’, Historical Research 85:230 (2012), pp.535-555

Van Hartesveldt, Fred R., ‘The Doctors and the ‘Flu’: The British Medical Profession’s Response to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19’, International Social Science Review 85:1/2 (2010), pp.28-39

Honigsbaum, Mark, ‘Regulating the 1918-19 Pandemic: Flu, Stoicism and the Northcliffe Press’, Medical History 57:2 (2013), pp.165-185

Humphries, Mark Osbourne, ‘Paths of Infection: The First World War and the Origins of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic’, War in History 21:1 (2014), pp.55-81

Johnson, Niall, ‘Scottish ‘Flu – the Scottish Experience of the ‘Spanish Flu’, Scottish Historical Review 83:2 (2004), pp.216-226

Johnson, Niall, Britain and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic: a dark epilogue (Routledge, 2006)

Killingray, David, ‘A New “Imperial Disease”: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 and its Impact on the British Empire’, Caribbean Quarterly 49:4 (2003), pp.30-49

Outka, Elizabeth, ‘”Wood for the Coffins Ran Out”: Modernism and the Shadow Afterlife of the Influenza Pandemic’, Modernism/Modernity 21:4 (2014), pp.937-960

Phillips, Howard, Frankema, Ewout, and Tworek, Heidi, ‘’17, ’18’, ’19’: religion and science in three pandemics, 1817, 1918, and 2019’, Journal of Global History 15:3 (2020), pp.434-443 

Reid, Alice, ‘The Effects of the 1918-19 Infleunza Pandemic on Infant and Child Health in Derbyshire’, Medical History 49:1 (2005), pp.29-54

Tanner, Andrea, ‘The Spanish Lady Comes to London: The Influenza Pandemic 1918-1919’, London Journal 27:2 (2002), pp.51-76

Tomkins, Sandra, ‘The Failure of Expertise: Public Health Policy in Britain During the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic’, Social History of Medicine 5:3 (1992), pp.435-454

Vanneste, Sarah Frances, ‘Medical Progress and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918’, Michigan Academician 41:1 (2012), pp.68-91

This reading list is a fantastic resource from Edna Bonhomme – a decolonized approach to studying global pandemics:

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Week 5: Spiritualism, religion and faith: the afterlives of the dead

Core reading:

Hazelgrove, Jennifer, ‘Spiritualism after the Great War, Twentieth Century British History 10 (1999), pp.404-430  

Additional reading – please choose two or three items from the following list:

Ansari, Humayun, ‘Burying the Dead: Making Muslim Space in Britain’, Historical Research 80:210 (2007), pp.545-566

Buell, Denise Kimber, ‘The afterlife is not dead: Spiritualism, Postcolonial Theory and Early Christian Studies’, Church History 78:4 (2009), pp.862-872

Ferguson, Christine, ‘Eugenics and the Afterlife: Lombrose, Doyle, and the Spiritualist Purification of the Race’, Journal of Victorian Culture 21:1 (2010), pp.64-85 

Firth, Shirley, Dying, Death and Bereavement in a British Hindu Community (Peeters, 1997), especially chapter 3

Gildart, Keith, ‘Séance Sitters, Ghost Hunters, Spiritualists, and Theosophists: Esoteric Belief and Practice in the British Parliamentary Labour Party c.1929-51’, Twentieth Century British History 29 (2018), pp.357-387

Gutierrez, Cathy, 'Spiritualism: Communication with the Dead', Religion Compass 4.12 (2010), 737-745

Harrington, Peter, ‘Religious and spiritual themes in British academic art during the Great War’, First World War Studies 2:2 (2011), pp.145-164

Micheal, Pamela, and Hirst, David, ‘Recording the many faces of death at the Denbigh Asylum, 1848-1938’, History of Psychiatry 23:1 (2012), pp.40-51

Jalland, Pat, Death in the Victorian Family (Oxford, 1996) chapter 2 ‘The Revival and Decline of the Good Christian Death’ or chapter 13 ‘Christian Consolations and Heavenly Reunions’

Gorer, Geoffrey, Death, Grief and Mourning (New York, 1977), chapter 2: ‘Religion and the Bereaved’

MacLeod, James Lachlan, ‘“Greater Love Hath No Man Than This”: Scotland’s Conflicting Religious Responses to Death in the Great War’, Scottish Historical Review 81:1, 2002, pp.70-96

Saha, Jonathan, ‘Murder at London Zoo: Late Colonial Sympathy in Interwar Britain’, American Historical Review 121:5 (2016), pp.1468-1491

Winter, Jay, Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History, Cambridge, 1998, ch.3.

Wolffe, John, Great Deaths: Grieving, Religion, and Nationhood in Victorian and Edwardian Britain (Oxford University Press, 2000)

Other useful literature on religious and cultural practices around death:

The Jewish Joint Burial Society | Jewish Funeral Practices:

Friends, Families and Travellers, ‘Cemetery Culture and Traditions’,

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Week 6: The Holocaust: reactions in British society

Core reading:

Please be warned the following piece includes discussion of racial and xenophobic discrimation towards Jewish people, including offensive language, as well as broader discussion of the Holocaust.

Kushner, Tony, ‘The impact of the Holocaust on British Society and Culture’, Contemporary British History 5:2 (1991), pp.349-375 - available in Online Course Readings folder Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva  

Additional reading – please select two to three items from the two following sections – make sure to read at least one from the section on the British empire and genocide:

Caven, Hannah, ‘Horror in Our Time: images of the concentration camps in the British media, 1945’, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 21:3 (2001), pp.205-253

Cesarani, David, ‘How post-war Britain reflected on the Nazi persecution and mass murder of Europe’s Jews: A reassessment of early responses’, Jewish Culture and History 12:1-2 (2010), pp.95-130 

Cohen, Josh, ‘Never Forget? The Holocaust and British communist anti-fascism, 1945-1951’, Twentieth Century Communism 14 (2017), pp.115-137 OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 07/12/2020) 

Hammel, Andrea, ‘‘I believe that my experience began in the womb and was later absorbed through my mother’s milk’: Second Generation Trauma Narratives’, German Life and Letters 72:4 (2019), pp.556-569

Hirsch, Marianne, ‘The Generation of Postmemory’, Poetics Today 29:1 (2008), pp.103-128

Hobbs, Mark, ‘‘The men who rewrite history’: Holocaust denial and the British far right from 1967’, in N. Copsey and M. Worley (eds), Tomorrow Belongs To Us: The British Far Right Since 1967 (Routledge, 2018)

Holtschneider, Hannah, ‘Narrating the Archive? Family collections, the archive, and the historian’, Shofar 37:3 (2019), pp.331-360

Kushner, Tony, ‘The Holocaust in the British Imagination: The Official Mind and Beyond, 1945 to the Present,’ Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History, 23.3 (2017), pp.364-384

Kushner, Tony, ‘Observing the ‘Other’: Mass Observation and Race’, Mass Observation Archive Occasional Paper 2, University of Sussex Library 1995 (available here)

Kushner, Tony, ‘Holocaust Survivors in Britain: An Overview and Research Agenda’, Journal of Holocaust Education 4:2 (1995), pp.147-166 

Kushner, Tony, ‘‘It’s a Bastard When You Come to Think of It’: Anglo-America and the End of Auschwitz’, Jewish Quarterly 41:4 (1994), pp.10-14

Little, Duncan, ‘‘No One Believed What We Had Seen’: British Soldiers Who Witnessed Mass Murder in Auschwitz’, moral audit british empirein C. Sharples and O. Jensen (eds), Britain and the Holocaust: Remembering and Representing War and Genocide (Springer, 2013)

Pearce, Andy, ‘Marginalisation through commemoration: trends and practices in Holocaust education in the United Kingdom’, War and Society 39:2 (2020), pp.215-220 

Sharples, Caroline, ‘Reconstructing the Past: Refugee Writings on the Kindertransport’, Holocaust Studies 12:3 (2006), pp. 40-62

Sharples, Caroline, and Jensen, Olaf, (eds),  Britain and the Holocaust: Remembering and Representing War and Genocide (Springer, 2013)

Wallis, Russell, Britain, Germany and the Road to the Holocaust (Bloomsbury, 2014)

Yuval-Davis, Nira, and Silverman, Max, ‘Memorializing the Holocaust in Britain’, Ethnicities 2:1 (2002), pp.107-123

 The Holocaust and how it has been remembered since has its own significant literature. For more on this, see ART3034 reading list.

It’s worth thinking about the Holocaust in the context of the longer history of genocide, and in particular, Britain’s role as a perpetrator of massacres and atrocities, many of which are considered to be genocide. For an introduction, see:

A brief Open Democracy article by Martin Shaw 

A History Workshop interview with Dan Stone 

Anderson, David, ‘Mau Mau in the High Court and the ‘Lost’ British Empire Archives: Colonial Conspiracy or Bureaucratic Bungle?’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 39:5 (2011), pp.699-716

Bomholt Nielsen, Mads, ‘Selective Memory: British Perceptions of the Herero-Nama Genocide, 1904-1908 and 1918’, Journal of South African Studies 43:2 (2017), pp.315-330

Van Heyningen, Elizabeth, ‘The Concentration Camps of the South African (Anglo-Boer) War, 1900-1902’, History Compass 7:1 (2009), pp.22-43 

Van Heyningen, Elizabeth, ‘A Tool for Modernisation? The Boer Concentration Camps of the South African War, 1900–1902’, South African Journal of Science 106:5/6 (2010)

Kaba, Lansiné, 'The Atlantic Slave Trade Was Not a "Black-on-Black Holocaust"', 44:1 (2001), pp.1-20

Khan, Yasmin, The Great Partition: the Making of India and Pakistan (Yale University Press, 2007)

Lawson, Tom, ‘Memorializing colonial genocide in Britain: the case of Tasmania’, Journal of Genocide Research 16:4 (2014), pp.441-461 

McVeigh, Robbie, ‘“The balance of cruelty”: Ireland, Britain and the logic of genocide’, Journal of Genocide Research 10:4 (2008), pp.541-561 

Mukherjee, Janam, Hungry Bengal: War, Famine, Riots, and the End of Empire 1939-1946 (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Mukherjee, Madhusree, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II (Basic Books, 2010)

Nally, David, Human Encumbrances: Political Violence and the Great Irish Famine (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011)

Wagner, Kim, ‘Calculated to Strike Terror: The Amritsar Massacre and the Spectacle of Colonial Violence’, Past & Present 233:1 (2016), pp. 185-225

Wagner, Kim, 'Savage Warfare: Violence and the Rule of Colonial Difference in Early British Counter-Insurgency', History Workshop Journal 85 (2018), pp.217-237

See also Kim Wagner’s History Workshop podcast on this topic:

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Week 7: The Cold War, nuclear technology and the threat of mass death

Core reading:

Please note that the Hogg piece contains discussion of suicide, and parents killing their children. 

Hogg, Jonathan, ‘“The family that feared tomorrow”: British nuclear culture and individual experience in the late 1950s’, British Journal for the History of Science 45:4 (2012), pp.535-549  

Langhamer, Claire, ‘Mass Observing the atom bomb: the emotional politics of August 1945’, Contemporary British History 33:2 (2019), pp.208-225  

Additional reading – please select at least one or two further pieces:

Barnett, Nicholas, ‘“No Protection against the H-Bomb”: Press and Popular Reactions to the Coventry Civil Defence Controversy, 1954’ Cold War History 15, no. 3 (2015): 277–300.

Bingham, Adrian, ‘‘The monster?’ The British popular press and nuclear culture, 1945 – early 1960s’, British Journal for the History of Science 45:4 (2012), pp.609-624

Douthwaite, Jessica, ‘…what the hell’s this?’ Rehearsing nuclear war in Britain’s Civil Defence Corps’, Contemporary British History 33:2 (2019), pp.187-202

Grant, Matthew, ‘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

Grant, Matthew, After the Bomb: Civil Defence and Nuclear War in Britain, 1945-68 (Palgrave, 2010)

Grant, Matthew, ‘The imaginative landscape of nuclear war in Britain, 1945-65’, in M. Grant and B. Zieman (eds), Understanding the Imaginary War: Culture, Thought and Nuclear Conflict 1945-90 (Manchester University Press, 2016)

Hogg, Jonathan, and Laucht, Christoph, ‘Introduction: British nuclear culture’, British Journal for the History of Science 45:4 (2012), pp.479-493

Laucht, Christoph, ‘The Politics of the Unknown: Uncertainty and the Nuclear Threat in Britain, 1979-85’, History Compass 16:12 (2018)

Maguire, Richard, ‘‘Never a credible weapon’: nuclear cultures in British government during the era of the H-bomb’, British Journal for the History of Science 45:4 (2012), pp.519-533

Noakes, Lucy, Dying for the Nation: Grief and Bereavement in Second World War Britain (Manchester University Press, 2020) chapter 3 ‘Planning: imagining and planning for death in wartime’

Smith, Melissa, ‘“What to Do if It Happens”: Planners, Pamphlets and Propaganda in the Age of the H-Bomb’, Endeavour 33:2 (2009), pp.60–64

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Week 8: The police, murder, violence and race

Core reading – please read two of the following. Unsurpringly, these readings include discussion of racial discrimination, violence and murder. Please email me if you have concerns.

Perry, Kenyetta Hammond, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford University Press, 2016), chapter 4: Are We To Be Mauled Down Just Because We Are Black? - available online.  

Farrar, Max, ‘David Oluwale: Making His Memory and Debating His Martyrdom’, in K. Laybourn and Q. Outram (eds), Secular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland: from Peterloo to present (Palgrave, 2018). Available here 

Ghettani-Erfani, Ryan, ‘The defamation of Joy Gardner: press, police and black deaths in custody’, Race and Class 56:3 (2015), pp.102-112  

Additional reading: please read/explore one or two of the following pieces:

Aspden, Kester, The Hounding of David Oluwale (Vintage Books, 2008) 

Athwal, Harmit, and Burnett, Jon, ‘Investigated or Ignored? An analysis of race-related deaths since the Macpherson report’, Institute of Race Relations, Briefing Paper, available here

Cottle, Simon, ‘Mediated public crisis and civil society renewal: The racist murder of Stephen Lawrence’, Crime, Media, Culture 1:1 (2005), pp.49-71

David Oluwale Memorial Association Website 

Ghettani-Erfani, Ryan, ‘Racism, the Press, and Black Deaths in Police Custody in the United Kingdom’, in M. Bhatia, S. Poynting and W. Tufail (eds), Media, Crime and Racism (Palgrave, 2018), pp.255-275

Inquest and Unison, ‘Black deaths in police custody: the story of Roger Sylvester 1968-1999’ (March 2020). Available here

Institute of Race Relations website, ‘Deaths with a (known or suspected) racial element 2000 onwards’ - here

Institute of Race Relations/multiple authors, ‘Racism, Liberty and the War on Terror’, Race and Class 48:4 (2007), pp.45-96

Phillips, Caryl, Foreigners: Three English Lives (Random House, 2008), chapter on Northern Lights 

Phillips, Caryl, with MacLeod, John, ‘The City by the Water’, Interventions 17:6 (2015), pp.879-892

Phillips, Ron, ‘The Death of One Lame Darkie’, Race Today (Jan 1972). Available here.

Runnymede Trust, ‘Justice, Resistance and Solidarity: Race and Policing in England and Wales’, (2015) Available here

It’s also worth reading more widely about this topic. As Ryan Ghettani-Erfani points out, it’s been activists, artists and journalists who have brought to light these issues. For example, as well as the above, see:

Diane Taylor’s journalism – e.g. 

Tanika Gupta’s play Gladiator Games – see

Ken Fero’s film Injustice – see

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Week 9: The AIDS crisis of the 1980s/1990s

Core reading - please note, these article include, unsurprisingly, discussion of AIDS related deaths, and discrimination and prejudice against homosexual men.

Berridge, Virginia, ‘Researching Contemporary History: AIDS’, History Workshop Journal 38 (1994), pp.228-234  


Cook, Matt, ‘‘Archives of Feeling’: the AIDS crisis in Britain in 1987’, History Workshop Journal 83:1 (2017), pp.51-78  


Cook, Matt, ‘AIDS, Mass Observation, and the Fate of the Permissive Turn’, Journal of the History of Sexuality 26:2 (2017), pp.239-272  

 Additional reading - please read one or two of the following:

Andersson, Johan, ‘Homonormative aesthetics: AIDS and ‘de-generational unremembering’ in 1990s London’, Urban Studies 56:14 (2018), pp.2993-3010 

Beharrell, Peter, ‘AIDS and the British press’, in J. Eldridge (ed.), Getting the Message: News, Truth and Power (Routledge, 1993)

Berridge, Virginia and Strong, Philip (eds), AIDS and Contemporary History (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Berridge, Virginia, AIDS in the UK: The Making of a Policy, 1981-1994 (Oxford University Press, 1996)

Berridge, Virginia, ‘The history of AIDS’, AIDS 7 (1993), pp.S243-248

Fee, Elizabeth, and Fox, Daniel M. (eds), AIDS: The Burdens of History (California Digital Library, 1988)

Holland, Janet, Ramazanoglu, Caroline, and Scott, Sue, ‘AIDS: From Panic Stations to Power Relations: Sociological Perspectives and Problems’, Sociology 25:3 (1990), pp.499-518 

National Lesbian and Gay Survey, Proust, Cole Porter, Michelangelo, Marc Almond and Me: Writings by Gay Men on their Lives and Lifestyles from the Archives of the National Lesbian and Gay Survey (Routledge, 1993)

Rickard, Wendy, ‘Oral history – ‘More Dangerous than Therapy? Interviewees’ reflections on recording traumatic or taboo issues’, Oral History 26:2 (1998), pp.34-48

Severs, George, ‘The ‘obnoxious militarized minority’: homophobia and homohysteria in the Britsih national party, 1982-1999’, Gender and Education 29 (2017), pp.165-181

Weston, Janet, and Berridge, Virginia, ‘AIDS Inside and Out: HIV/AIDS and Penal Policy in Ireland and England & Wales in the 1980s and 1990s’, Social History of Medicine 33:1 (2020), pp.247-267

The AIDS charity Avert has a timeline exploring the history of AIDS globally, here:

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Week 10: Princess Diana: celebrity deaths and the media

Core reading:

Thomas, James, ‘From people power to mass hysteria: Media and popular reactions to the death of Princess Diana’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 11:3 (2008), 362-376  

Wolffe, John, ‘Royalty and Public Grief in Britain: an historical perspective, 1817-1997’, in Tony Walter (ed.), The Mourning for Diana (Oxford: Berg, 1999), pp. 53-65     

Additional readings – please read one or two of the following pieces:

Becker, Karin, and Joke Hermes, ‘The Diana Debate’, Screen, 39:3 (1998), 289–95

Bennett, Gillian, and Anne Rowbottom, ‘“Born a Lady, Died a Saint”: The Deification of Diana in the Press and Popular Opinion in Britain’, Fabula, 39 (1998), 197-208

Biddle, Lucy, and Tony Walter, ‘The Emotional English and Their Queen of Hearts’, Folklore, 109 (1998), 96–99

Black, Jack, ‘The reification of celebrity: global newspaper coverage of the death of David Bowie’, International Review of Sociology, 27:1 (2017), 202-224

Brennan, Michael, ‘Condolence Books: Language and Meaning in the Mourning for Hillsborough and Diana’, Death Studies, 32:4 (2008), 326-351

Cohan, Alvin, ‘The Spatial Diana: The Creation of Mourning Spaces for Diana, Princess of Wales’ in Jeffrey Richards, Scott Wilson, and Linda Woodhead (eds.), Diana: the Making of a Media Saint (London: IB Tauris, 1999), pp.163-176

Gibson, Margaret, ‘Death and mourning in technologically mediated culture’, Health Sociology Review, 16:5 (2007), 415-424

Hearsum, Paula, ‘A musical matter of life and death: the morality of mortality and the coverage of Amy Winehouse's death in the UK press’, Mortality, 17:2 (2012), 182-99

Helmers, Marguerite, ‘Media, Discourse, and the Public Sphere: Electronic memorials to Diana, Princess of Wales’, College English, 63:4 (2001), 437-456

Kear, Adrian, and Deborah Lynn Steinberg (eds), Mourning Diana: Nation, Culture and the Performance of Grief (London: Routledge, 1999)

McGuigan, Jim, ‘British Identity and “the People’s Princess”’, Sociological Review, 48:1 (2000), 1–18

Merck, Mandy (ed.), After Diana: Irreverent Elegies (London: Verso, 1998)

Merrin, William, ‘Crash, bang, wallop! What a picture! The death of Diana and the media’, Mortality, 4:1 (1999), 41-62

Range, Matthias, British Royal and State Funerals: Music and Ceremonial since Elizabeth I (Martlesham: The Boydell Press, 2016)

Roseneil, Sasha, ‘A Moment of Moral Remaking: the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales’, in Frank Webster (ed.), Culture and Politics in the Information Age: a new politics? (London: Routledge, 2001), pp. 96–114

Teodorescu, Adriana, and Michael Hviid Jacobsen (eds.), Death in Contemporary Popular Culture (London: Routledge, 2019)     

Thomas, James, Diana’s Mourning: a People’s History (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002)

Thomson, Dorothy, ‘Mourning for a Better Monarchy’, in Mandy Merk (ed.), After Diana: Irreverent Elegies, (London: Verso, 1998), pp. 33-41   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Turnock, Robert, Interpreting Diana: Television Audiences and the Death of a Princess (London: BFI, 2000)

Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Ina, ‘Royal death and living memorials: the funerals and commemoration of George V and George VI, 1936–52’, Historical Research, 89 (2016), 158-175

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Week 11: Grievable lives - whose lives and deaths matter?

Butler, Judith, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (Verso, 2010) - available in Online Course Readings folder 

This week, please read the introduction to Judith Butler’s book, and think about the concept of ‘grievable lives’. This is quite a tough read, so spend a bit of time on it. Then select a reading of your own that focuses on this topic of whose lives get to count, and whose do not.

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Additional readings: The hospice movement and the welfare state: caring for the dying 

Armstrong, David, 'Silence and Truth in Death and Dying', Social Science & Medicine 24:8 (1987), pp.651-657 

Buck, Joy, 'Reweaving a Tapestry of Care: Religion, Nursing, and the Meaning of Hospice, 1945-78', Nursing History Review 15 (2007), pp.113-45 

Clark, David, Small, N., Wright, M., Winslow, M., and Hughes, N., A Bit of Heaven for the Few? An Oral History of the Hospice Movement in the United Kingdom (Observatory Publications: Lancaster, England, 2005)

Clark, David, 'Between Hope and Acceptance: The Medicalisation of Dying'British Medical Journal  (13 Apr 2002)

Clark, David, 'Cradled to the grave? Terminal care in the United Kingdom, 1948-67'Mortality, 4:3, (1999), pp.225-247 

Dowbiggin, Ian, ‘A Prey on Normal People: C. Killick Millard and the Euthanasia Movement in Great Britain, 1930-55’, Journal of Contemporary History36:1 (2001), pp.59-85

Ellis, Julie, ‘Thinking beyond rupture: continuity and relationality in everyday illness and dying experience’, Mortality 18:3 (2013), pp.251-69

Ellis, Julie, Winslow, Michelle, and Noble, Bill, ‘Social Policy and the Care of Older People at the End of Life’, in K. Woodthorpe and L. Foster (eds), Death and Social Policy in Challenging Times (Palgrave, 2016), pp.17-34 

Fang, Mei Lan, ‘A knowledge synthesis of culturally and spiritually sensitive end-of-life care: findings from a scoping review’, BMC Geriatrics 16:107 (2016)

Firth, Shirley, 'Minority Ethnic Communities and religious groups', in Oliviere and Monroe (eds), Death, Dying and Social Differences (OUP, 2004), pp.25-41

Goldin, G., ‘A Protohospice at the Turn of the Century: St Luke’s House, London, from 1893 to 1921’, Journal of the History of Medicine36:4 (1981), pp.383-415

Gorsky, Martin, Creating the Poor Law Legacy: Institutional Care for Older People Before the Welfare State’Contemporary British History26:4 (2012), pp.441-65

Gunaratnam, Yasmin, Death and the Migrant: Bodies, Borders and Care (Bloomsbury, 2013)

Jalland, Pat, Death in War and Peace: A History of Loss and Grief in England, 1914-1970 (Oxford University Press, 2010), chapter 9: Hidden Death: Medicine and Care of the Dying 1945-1970

Kemp, N.D.A., Merciful Release: the History of the British Euthanasia Movement (Manchester, 2002)

Lutz, Stephen, ‘The History of the Hospice and Palliative Care’, Current Problems in Cancer, 35 (2011), pp.304-309  

Mahar, C., Easing the Passing: R v Adams and Terminal Care in Postwar Britain’Social History of Medicine 28:1 (2015), pp.155-71

Rawlings, Deb, ‘End-of-life care considerations for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals’, International Journal of Palliative Nursing 18:1 (2012), pp.29-34 

Read, Sue, and Cartlidge, Deborah, 'Critical reflections on end-of-life care for people with intellectual disabilities: a single case study approach', International Journal of Palliative Nursing 18:1 (2012), pp.23-27

Saunders, Cicely, ‘The Evolution of Palliative Care’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 94 (2001), 430-432

Smaaje, Chris, and Field, David, ‘Absent Minorities? Ethnicity and the use of palliative care services’, in D. Field, J. Hockey, and N. Small, Death, Gender and Ethnicity (Routledge, 1997), pp.142-165 

Townsend, Peter, Last Refuge: A Survey of Residential Institutions and Homes for the Aged in England and Wales (Routledge, 1964)

Wall, Richard, ‘Elderly widows and widowers and their coresidents in late 19th- and early 20th-century England and Wales’, The History of the Family 7:1 (2002), pp.139-55

Winslow, Michelle, and Clark, David, St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney: A century of caring in the East End of London (Lancaster: Observatory Publications, 2005)

This list was last updated on 21/10/2021