skip to primary navigationskip to content

David Cowan


My PhD examines how social change was discussed in everyday speech in Britain between the 1930s and the 1980s. It is funded by a Vice Chancellor's Scholarship, awarded by the Cambridge Trust in conjunction with Wolfson College. I have completed an MPhil in Modern British History (also at the University of Cambridge); my dissertation explored parenting and individualism in post-war England. An article based on this research is forthcoming in Social History. My undergraduate degree in History was at the University of Oxford. 

Research Interests

The social, cultural, and political history of Britain in the twentieth century. I research class, gender, emotions and selfhood, and associated theoretical approaches; the history of the social sciences; vernacular political cultures; and how people read, listened to, viewed - and interpreted - the mass media.

Research Supervision

My PhD is supervised by Lucy Delap and Jon Lawrence.


I teach Part I papers 6 (British political history, since 1880) and 11 (British economic and social history, since c. 1880).

Other Professional Activities

I am co-convenor of the Modern British History graduate workshop, 2017-2018.


  • Modern British History

Key Publications

'"Modern" parenting and the uses of childcare advice in post-war England', Social History, 43, 3 (forthcoming August 2018)