Dr James Thompson

M.A.(Columbia), Ph.D.(Cantab.)

  • BS8 1TH


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Office: 1.37, 13 Woodland Road

Phone: +44 0117 928 9133

Email: james.thompson@bristol.ac.uk

Consultation Hours

Research interests

My primary research interests lie in the political and intellectual history of Britain since 1850. I've written on class, popular political economy, Victorian scandals and trade union legislation. My recent monograph British political culture and idea of 'public opinion', 1867-1914 examines how Britons understood 'public opinion' prior to the rise of polling, and what this tells us about the political culture of the period. My current research reconstructs the visual culture of British politics from the 1860s to the 1930s through posters, banners, films and photographs.  I also work on the history of numeracy, and on the impact of new technology on culture and society in modern Britain. I collaborate with colleagues in AI on 'big data' research using historical sources.    

Research supervision

Dr Thompson welcomes research proposals in all areas of modern British history. He is particularly interested in proposals addressing modern British intellectual history and political culture.

Research interests


I contribute to a number of team taught units on both the BA in History and the MA in History.  I offer the following units:

Political Culture and Communication in Modern Britain (Level 2 Special Field)

Sporting Identities (Level 2 Lecture Response Unit)

Sexualities (Level 3 Reflective History)

Modern Sexualities (MA Unit)






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BHSP: British Historical Statistics Project

Middleton, R. A. H. & Thompson, J.


Project: Other

Research Output

The Glasgow Herald

Thompson, J., Feb 2020, The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press: Volume 2 Expansion and Evolution, 1800-1900. Finkelstein, D. (ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Vol. 2. p. 545-548

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Review of Martin Thomas and Richard Toye, Arguing about Empire: Imperial Rhetoric in Britain and France, 1882-1956

Thompson, J., 2 Apr 2019, In : American Historical Review. 124, 2, p. 742-743

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review (Academic Journal)

The British left in European perspective, c. 1880–1914

Thompson, J., 12 Feb 2019, In : Global Intellectual History. 4, 1, p. 19-34 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 112 Downloads (Pure)


    FindMyPast Yearly N-grams and Entities Dataset

    Team, T. F. N. (Creator), Lansdall-Welfare, T. (Creator), Cristianini, N. (Creator), Sudhahar, S. (Creator), Thompson, J. (Contributor) & Lewis, J. (Contributor), University of Bristol, 16 Dec 2016



    • 25 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
    • 17 Participation in conference
    • 15 Invited talk
    • 5 External Examination and Supervision

    Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts, workshop ‘The final countdown: writing about numeracy and numbers

    James Thompson (Speaker)

    31 May 2028

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    The Will of the People: Constructions and representations of the popular voice from c.1500 to the present day

    James Thompson (Participant)

    6 Jun 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies

    James Thompson (Participant)

    23 Mar 201825 Mar 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference