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Dr Selina Todd

Lecturer in Modern British History
BA (Warwick), MA, DPhil (Sussex), FRHistS


After finishing my graduate work in Brighton, I held a Scouloudi Fellowship and subsequently an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research. Following a Junior Research Fellowship at Cambridge University, I joined the University of Warwick as a History Lecturer in 2005. I joined the University of Manchester in 2007.

Research interests

My research centres on late 19th and 20th century British social history. I am particularly interested in the history of the working-class, youth, and women (the history of these social categories, as well as the daily experiences and social relationships they have developed from). At the moment I hold an ESRC grant to research a history of the postwar English working class (c.1945-1970), ably assisted by Dr Hilary Young. The period is popularly recalled of one of New Look dresses and affluent teenagers  yet also as a golden age of a solidaristic, industrial working class. We're exploring the reasons for this apparent contradiction, drawing on life histories as well as social survey data to highlight the limits of affluence, and the need for a more inclusive history of working-class life. Manchester's status  as the heart of the industrial revolution, host to incredibly rich labour and community archives, and the home of numerous historians and sociologists with related interests - makes this an ideal location for me.

Select publications

Young Women, Work, and Family in England, 1918-1950 (Oxford University Press, 2005). Winner, Women's History Network Book Prize.

'Poverty and Aspiration', Twentieth Century British History (2004). Winner, TCBH/Oxford University Press Annual Essay Prize.
'Young women, work, and leisure in interwar England', Historical Journal (2005).

'Breadwinners and Dependants: young working-class people in England, 1918-55', International Review of Social History (2007).

'Domestic servants and social relations in England, 1900-1950', Past and Present (forthcoming).


I contribute to a range of undergraduate courses and to aspects of Manchester's MA programmes. I have a longstanding interest in research-led teaching.

Research Supervision

I've supervised a range of MA and PhD students working on aspects of 20th century social history. Projects have included lone motherhood in postwar Britain, Asians in the British labour movement, and the Irish community in Coventry since 1945. I welcome enquiries from interested potential students who want to take advantage of Manchester's internationally renowned libraries, archives and expertise.