Max Long

Research Fellow, Modern British History
Jesus College

I am a Research Fellow in History at Jesus College, having recently completed my PhD in the Faculty of History under the supervision of Prof. Peter Mandler. 

My doctoral research explored the intersections between popular culture, science and mass media in early-twentieth century Britain. My principal focus is on natural history and biology films and BBC radio productions from the inter-war period; I am interested in how these were made, the different individuals involved in creating them, and their place in contemporary scientific knowledge production. I am particularly interested in audiences, and how new media representations of the natural world were understood within popular culture, especially in the series of short films 'Secrets of Nature' (1924-1933) and 'Secrets of Life' (1934-1946). I am currently working on transforming my PhD research into a book, with the provisional title of Everyday Science: natural history and popular biology in interwar Britain

My next project is entitled Cultivating Media: agricultural communication and the British empire, 1880-1960. This aims to reconsider the history of British agriculture and rural life in the context of the twentieth-century empire, focussing especially on how new media like film and radio were used to communicate knowledge about agricultural science.

Before beginning my PhD, I completed a BA in History at Oxford, and then came to Cambridge to do an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature. I also spent a year as a William Alexander Fleet Fellow at Princeton University. I am a former member of the New York-Cambridge Training Collaboration (NYCTC), and have also been a Prize Research Student at the Centre for History and Economics.

- Modern British History

- History of Science and Technology

- Popular Culture

- Media history, including film and radio

- Environmental History

- History of Emotions

I am available to supervise the following papers in the new History tripos:

Part IA:

- Outline 7: Modern Britain and Ireland since 1750

- Outline 11: The Twentieth Century World

Part IB:

- Research Project (Themes in Modern British and Irish History)

Together with Dr. Caitlin Harvey, in Michaelmas 2023 I am introducing a new MPhil option in the Modern British History stream, 'Labour and Environment in Britain and the empire, 1850-1975'. 

I am also available to supervise undergraduate dissertations in the cultural and social history of modern Britain.

‘Tuning into nature in interwar Britain: the life sciences on film and radio’, Practicing Evidence, Evidencing Practice Conference, Technische Universität München, 18-21 February, 2020.

‘Secrets of Nature: Natural history films, education and the Middlesex Experiment’. NYCTC Graduate Training Workshop, Cambridge, 22 March 2019.


Tags & Themes


Key Publications

Other Publications

'Secrets of Nature', Viewfinder, 117 (2021)

‘Review: James G. Mansell, The Age of Noise in Britain’, Cultural History, 7.1 (2018).

‘Review: Andrew Gaedtke, Modernism and the Machinery of Madness’, Rethinking History, 22.4 (2018)

‘Uncivilised Mountaineers’, The Cambridge Humanities Review, 17 (2018).

‘Review: Brian Hochman, Savage Preservation’, History of Anthropology Newsletter (2017).

‘Patrick Leigh Fermor, Memory and the process of revision’, in Patrick Leigh Fermor: The Journey Continues. Mouseio Benaki Journal, 9th Supplement (2017).