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Dr Laura Carter

Dr Laura Carter

Research Associate, Secondary Education and Social Change in the UK since 1945

Research Fellow, Murray Edwards College

Faculty of History, West Road
Cambridge CB3 9EF
Office Phone: 01223767858


My research focuses on education, everyday life, and social change in Britain in the twentieth century. My PhD looked at popular social history in Britain between the 1920s and 1960s, focusing on how ‘ordinary’ people learnt about history through books, in schools, in museums, and via BBC radio. I am presently working on converting this thesis into my first book, provisionally entitled Histories of Everyday Life: The Making of Popular Social History in Britain, 1918-1979.

I am also employed as a postdoctoral researcher on the ESRC-funded project ‘Secondary Education and Social Change in the United Kingdom since 1945’. This project explores the ways in which the advent of mass, compulsory education after 1945 affected individual and class identities, and intersected with other processes of social change in late-twentieth century Britain. 


I teach Part I paper 11, Themes and Sources, HAP, and contribute to the MPhil in Modern British History. I also supervise undergraduate dissertations and the History and Politics paper 'Historical Project' (HP2)


  • Economic, Social History
  • Modern British History

Key Publications

Journal articles

‘Rethinking Folk Culture in Twentieth-Century Britain’, Twentieth Century British History 28 (2017), pp. 543-69. Available here

‘The Quennells and the ‘History of Everyday Life’ in England, c. 1918-69’, History Workshop Journal 81 (2016), pp. 106-34. Available here 

‘‘Experimental’ secondary modern education in Britain, 1948-1958’, Cultural and Social History 13 (2016), pp. 23-41

Book chapters

‘Women historians in the twentieth century’, in Heidi Egginton and Zoë Thomas (eds.), Precarious Professionals: Gender, Professional Identities and Social Change in Modern British Culture, c.1850-1970 (London: RHS, 2020 forthcoming)

‘The History of Girls’ Education and the Struggle to Access Higher Education’, in Polly Russell and Margaretta Jolly (eds.), Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights (London: British Library, 2020 forthcoming)

‘Higher Education and the Pedagogies of Communicating Elite Knowledge in 1970s Britain’, in Joaquim Moreno (ed.), The university is now on air, broadcasting modern architecture (Montreal: CCA, 2018)

Book reviews

'Review of Citizenship, nation, empire: The politics of history teaching in England, 1870-1930 by Peter Yeandle (Manchester University Press, 2015)’, History 101 (2016), pp. 147-9

‘Review of Broadcasting Buildings: Architecture on the Wireless, 1927-1945 by Shundana Yusaf (MIT Press, 2014)’, Institute of Historical Research Reviews in History series. Available here

A-Level guides

The Connell Short Guide to The General Strike 1926 (London: Connell Guides, 2016)