Robert’s research interests have long centred on British society’s leisure habits, paying particular attention to the relationship between leisure provision and consumption in the early twentieth century. He is author of Popular Culture and Working-Class Taste in Britain 1930-39: a round of cheap diversions? (2010), and numerous articles on aspects of popular taste and cinema-going in Britain in the twentieth century. He is a member of the Port Towns and Urban Cultures project team, and his current research project investigates leisure provision and consumption in the port towns of Portsmouth, Liverpool and Hull in the first half of the twentieth century. The project examines the growing number of leisure activities on offer in the towns, and assesses the responses of the towns’ civic leaders, the local press, sailors and local inhabitants towards them.
Dr Robert James is Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social History. He has taught at the University of Portsmouth since 2004.