Dr Grace Huxford

BA Hons (Warw.), MA(Warw.), PhD(Warw.)

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a social and oral historian of modern Britain, with particular interests in the Cold War (1945-1991), the aftermath of the Second World War, the Korean War (1950-1953) and the social history of warfare in the twentieth century.

I am also interested in the histories of people affected by war and miltiaries, such as military families and children, as well as the long-term impact of conflict on memory, gender and selfhood.  

Prior to my arrival at Bristol in 2015, I was Research Fellow in Oral History at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Warwick. I received my PhD from the University of Warwick.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy.

Research

My research explores the social history of the Cold War in Britain. My first book, The Korean War in Britain: Citizenship, Selfhood and Forgetting (Manchester University Press, 2018), explores the social and cultural impact of the Korean War (1950-1953) on Britain. Assessing the impact of the war from 1950 to the early twenty-first century, my research uncovers the different ways in which British people responded to the Korean War and how it came to be known as the ‘Forgotten War’ of the twentieth century. 

My current research project looks at the social history of British military bases in Germany (1945-2000). This project, funded initially by the British Academy Small Grants Programme (Leverhulme Trust) and by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2019-21), conducted interviews with a wide range of former base residents. 

Life-writing and oral history feature prominently in my work, and I have organised the Bristol Oral Histories Research Cluster with Professor John Foot (Italian Studies) and the 'Reimagining the Diary' project (funded by the Brigstow Institute and working with creative media company Stand + Stare). 

Teaching 

I teach across all levels of the BA, MA and PhD courses here at Bristol. My teaching has included units on Britain’s Cold War, the global aftermath of the Second World War, war and society in the twentieth-century Britain and Europe, oral history, the 'voice' in social history, public history, and histories of life-writing and selfhood. 

Research Supervision

I greatly enjoy supervising PhD and MPhil students and currently supervise doctoral research on: British communities in Berlin during the Cold War (AHRC funded with Imperial War Museum); the modern history of tattoos and tattooing in the British Army; humanitarianism and the BBC External Services during the Cold War; and the militarised landscapes in Britain during the long Second World War. 

My past doctoral research students include: 

  • Dr Theresa McKeon, 'Public Services, Private Values: The Society of the Merchant Venturers of Bristol and the Changing World of Welfare Service Provision in England, 1975-2017', 2020.  
  • Dr Thomas Larkin, '“Truly I am Changed”: American traders in nineteenth-century Hong Kong', 2021. Winner of the Faculty of Arts Doctoral Prize. 
  • Dr Amy Gower, 'Schoolgirls, Identity and Agency in England, 1970-2004', 2022. University of Reading/SWWDTP.

I welcome applications from prospective postgraduate history students interested in researching modern British or European social history, Cold War history, and the social history of warfare in the twentieth century. I also welcome projects using oral history or life-writing methodologies. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via email if you would like to discuss your research plans.

 
Media and Engagement
 
I have been interviewed about many different aspects of my research, including on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 3, and History Extra, and I have written for the BBC History Magazine and other publications.
 
I have worked with several museums, charities and organisations, including the Royal British Legion, the BBC and the Historical Association (part of the 'Exploring and Teaching the Korean War' fellowship and publication).  
 
I welcome contact from media or external organisations about possible future collaborations. 

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