Centre for European and International Studies Research


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Dr Robert James

  • Qualifications: BA History (Hons) First Class (University of Portsmouth), MA History (Distinction) (University of Portsmouth), PhD in History (University of Portsmouth)
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer in History
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2277
  • Email: robert.james@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Dr Robert James is Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social History. He has taught at the University of Portsmouth since 2006.

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on the BA (Hons) History programme, running lectures and seminars on the following units:

Level 4:

  • Society and Culture in Twentieth Century Europe
  • History at University
  • Problems and Perspectives

Level 5:

  • Introduction to Historical Research
  • ‘The Way to the Stars’: Film and cinema-going in Britain, c. 1900-c. 2000.
  • Masses and Modernity: Dissertation preparation

Level 6:

  • Into the Archives
  • Archival Research project
  • Special Subject 2: Cinema-going in Wartime Britain, 1939-1945’
  • Dissertation


Research clusters

  • Social and Cultural History

Research Leadership

  • A founding member of the Port Towns, Urban Cultures project since 2010.
  • Leader of the History Research Cluster, 2012-15 and 2016-17, and Deputy Cluster Leader 2015-16.

My research interests centre on British society’s leisure habits, particularly the relationship between leisure provision and consumption in the early-mid twentieth century. I am the author of Popular Culture and Working-Class Taste in Britain 1930-39: a round of cheap diversions? (2010) and numerous articles on leisure and popular taste in Britain in the twentieth century. I have presented at both national and international conferences.

Public & community engagement

  • Collaborating with the University of the Third Age, Portsdown Branch, on ‘The impact of the Battle of Jutland on the People of Portsmouth’. The collaboration involves recording the details of the men lost in the First World War sea battle and adding the information on an online map, to be hosted by the Port Towns and Urban Cultures website.
  • I have given public talks and lectures at Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth Historical Association, and as part of the Westbourne History Series.

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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