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Prof Richard Grayson

Staff details

PositionProfessor of Twentieth Century History
Department History
Email r.grayson (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7490
Twitter@ProfRGrayson
Prof Richard Grayson

Richard Grayson joined Goldsmiths in 2004, and spent six years in the Politics department before moving to History in 2010.  His main research interests are in Ireland and the First World War, with linked interests in the Irish revolution and the role of remembrance in contemporary society. He is the author of Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War (2009), editor of At War with the 16th Irish Division: The Staniforth Letters, 1914-18 (2012), and co-editor of Remembering 1916: The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland (2016).  He has engaged widely with community groups on First World War remembrance especially the 6th Connaught Rangers Research Project.  An associate member of the First World War Centenary Committee in Northern Ireland, he contributed to BBC NI’s television series Ireland’s Great War, co-edits www.irelandww1.org and chairs the Academic Advisory Group for the Digital Projects run by the Imperial War Museums.   He is now working on, Dublin’s Great Wars: Home Rule, The First World War, the Easter Rising and Ireland’s Fight for Independence, 1912-23. This major project is to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Prior to his current research, Richard Grayson published two books on British politics and foreign policy in the inter-war years, along with articles on a range of historical subjects across the twentieth century. He has also carried out research into a number of issues in public policy. These included a comparative study of secondary education systems in England, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands (co-authored with Nick Clegg and which led to the ‘pupil premium’ policy); a study of the fiscal systems OECD countries; and policies developed in Newark, New Jersey during Cory Booker’s tenure as Mayor.

Born and brought up in Hemel Hempstead, where he now lives, he has dual British and Irish citizenship.  His First Class BA (Hons) in English and American History was from UEA in 1991 (where he was also sabbatical General Secretary of the Students' Union), and his doctorate in Modern History was from Oxford University in 1995. Prior to coming to Goldsmiths Grayson spent five years working in Westminster politics as Director of Policy of the Liberal Democrats, including two years as Charles Kennedy's principal speechwriter. Previous to that, he was Director of the Centre for Reform, a public policy think tank, and between 1994 and 1999, he taught history/politics at Oxford University, UEA, Buckingham and the Open University. He was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Hemel Hempstead in the 2005 and 2010 general elections, but is now a member of the Labour Party.  The papers for his time involved in the Liberal Democrats are substantial and with an historian’s eye on preserving a broad collection relating to many different aspects of politics, Grayson has donated them to two historical archives. Those covering student politics at UEA are in the UEA Archive, with a listing available online. The main collection is at the London School of Economics.

Teaching

Richard Grayson convenes and teaches the following:

Life in the Trenches: Perspectives on British Military History, 1914-18 (Year Three Special Subject)

In addition, he also gives lectures as part of the first year course, Religion, Peace and Conflict.
 
Future planned modules are:
  • Nationalism and Unionism in Ireland, 1798-1998 (from 2018-19, subject to approval)
  • The Spanish Civil War: Politics, the Military and Culture (from 2018-19, subject to approval)
  • The USA in the Era of the Vietnam War, 1954-75 (from 2019-20, subject to approval)

Areas of supervision

Richard Grayson is currently willing to supervise research on the First World War and the Irish revolution.  Students he has supervised have successfully completed PhD theses on:

  • Feminist political thought during the First World War (Marc Calvini-Lefebvre)
  • Women's involvement in the Liberal Democrats (Elizabeth Evans)
  • Nostalgia in political parties: myths, members and activism (Emily Robinson)
  • Social enterprise policy under New Labour, 2001-2006 (Alibeth Somers)

He is currently the main supervisor for the following postgraduate MPhil/PhD students: 

  • Niamh Dillon, 'The British Diaspora: Race, Return Migration and Identity In 20th Century Britain'
  • Mary Ingham, 'Improper Relations: British Women and German POWs Held in the UK in the Immediate Postwar Years'
  • Erin Scheopner, 'British public opinion and the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921'
  • Andrew Whittaker, 'The effect of military participation in the FIrst World War on British public day school alumni: a study of Colfe's School'

Professional projects

Richard Grayson is involved in a number of First World War centenary projects. He chairs the Academy Advisory Group for the digital projects run by the Imperial War Museums, including Operation War Diary. He is an Associate Member of the First World War Centenary Committee in Northern Ireland. He contributed to the two-part Ireland's Great War made for the BBC by 360 Productions and broadcast in 2015. He co-edits IrelandWW1 and in 2014-2016 was a co-investigator of the AHRC-funded Living Legacies 1914-1918 First World War Engagement Centre. He is also a member of the Research Networks for two further Engagement Centres, Gateways and Everyday Lives in War. In 2015-16 he was principal investigator (working with Dr Charlotte Faucher) on the AHRC-funded project Francophones in London during the First World War.

Other interests

Beyond the First World War, Richard Grayson is developing an interest in the history of cricket across the British Empire in the inter-war years and tweets on the subject as @InterWarCricket. Earlier in his career, his research was focused on inter-war British foreign policy and he published two monographs in that field, while he has also published on subjects ranging from the history of the Channel Tunnel and youth culture in the 1960s, to the history of British liberalism.

Research Interests

His main research interests are in Ireland and the First World War, with linked interests in the Irish revolution and the role of remembrance in contemporary society. His book Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists fought and died together in the Great War, was published in August 2009 by Continuum, with a revised paperback following in 2010. It focused on two battalions with overt West Belfast connections in 1914-18, the 9th Royal Irish Rifles and the 6th Connaught Rangers, but also drew in other units of the army, navy and Royal Flying Corps in which West Belfast men served. It covered the stories of the men who fought in the war, the experiences of those who returned, the work of women and children on the home front, and the controversies which have surrounded remembrance of the war in Belfast. He has spoken widely about this book in many public lectures, one of which, at Boston College in the USA, was filmed and can be viewed online.

He is now working on, Dublin’s Great Wars: Home Rule, The First World War, the Easter Rising and Ireland’s Fight for Independence, 1912-23. This major project is to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2018, and he is also carrying out other work in this general subject area. He works closely with community groups, especially in Northern Ireland, as they tackle issues around remembrance. His edited volume, At War with the 16th Irish Division: The Staniforth Letters, 1914-18, was published by Pen and Sword in 2012. A volume co-edited with Fearghal McGarry, Remembering 1916: The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.

Prior to his current research, Richard Grayson published two books on British politics and foreign policy in the inter-war years, along with articles on a range of historical subjects across the twentieth century. He has also carried out research into a number of issues in public policy. These included a comparative study of secondary education systems in England, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands (co-authored with Nick Clegg and which led to the ‘pupil premium’ policy); a study of the fiscal systems OECD countries; and policies developed in Newark, New Jersey during Cory Booker’s tenure as Mayor.

Publications

Book

British Politics: A Beginner's Guide
Grayson, Richard S.. 2010. British Politics: A Beginner's Guide. Oxford: One World. ISBN 9781851687688

Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War
Grayson, Richard S.. 2010. Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War. London and New York: Continuum. ISBN 9781441105196

Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War
Grayson, Richard S.. 2009. Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War. London and New York: Continuum. ISBN 978-1847250087

Liberals, International Relations and Appeasement: The Liberal Party 1919-1939
Grayson, Richard S.. 2001. Liberals, International Relations and Appeasement: The Liberal Party 1919-1939. Frank Cass. ISBN 0714650927

Austen Chamberlain and the Commitment to Europe: British Foreign Policy, 1924-29
Grayson, Richard S.. 1997. Austen Chamberlain and the Commitment to Europe: British Foreign Policy, 1924-29. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 071464319X

Edited Book

Remembering 1916: The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland
Grayson, Richard S. and McGarry, Fearghal, eds. 2016. Remembering 1916: The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1316509272

At War with the 16th (Irish) Division, 1914-1918: The Staniforth Letters
Grayson, Richard S., ed. 2012. At War with the 16th (Irish) Division, 1914-1918: The Staniforth Letters. Barnsley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 9781848846340

Book Section

Veterans as Victims: The Experiences and Rediscovery of Irish Nationalists in the British Military in 1914-1918
Grayson, Richard S.. 2012. Veterans as Victims: The Experiences and Rediscovery of Irish Nationalists in the British Military in 1914-1918. In: Lesley Lelourec and Grainne O'Keeffe-Vigneron, eds. Ireland and Victims: Confronting the Past, Forging the Future. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 43-57. ISBN 9783034307925

The Historiography of Inter-war Politics: Competing Conservative World Views in High Politics, 1924-29
Grayson, Richard S.. 2010. The Historiography of Inter-war Politics: Competing Conservative World Views in High Politics, 1924-29. In: William Mulligan and Brendan Simms, eds. The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History, 1660-2000: How Strategic Concerns Shaped Modern Britain. Palgrave, pp. 277-290. ISBN 978-0230574724

Social liberalism
Grayson, Richard S.. 2009. Social liberalism. In: Kevin Hickson, ed. The political thought of the Liberals and Liberal Democrats since 1945. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 48-64. ISBN 978-0719079481

Liberal Environmentalism: A Liberalism that Matches the Age we're in
Randall, Ed J.. 2007. Liberal Environmentalism: A Liberalism that Matches the Age we're in. In: Duncan Brack; Richard S. Grayson and David Howarth, eds. Reinventing the State: Social Liberalism for the 21st Century. Politico's/Methuen, pp. 37-54. ISBN 1842752189

Austen Chamberlain
Grayson, Richard S.. 2002. Austen Chamberlain. In: Thomas G. Otte, ed. The Makers of British Foreign Policy: From Pitt to Thatcher. London: Palgrave, pp. 150-172. ISBN 0333915798

Article

A Life in the Trenches? The use of Operation War Diary and crowdsourcing methods to provide an understanding of the British Army’s day-to-day life on the Western Front
Grayson, Richard S.. 2016. A Life in the Trenches? The use of Operation War Diary and crowdsourcing methods to provide an understanding of the British Army’s day-to-day life on the Western Front. British Journal for Military History, 2(2), pp. 160-185. ISSN 2057-0422

Military History from the Street: New Methods for Researching First World War Service in the British Military
Grayson, Richard S.. 2014. Military History from the Street: New Methods for Researching First World War Service in the British Military. War in History, 21(4), pp. 465-495. ISSN 0968-3445

Ireland’s New Memory of the First World War: Forgotten Aspects of the Battle of Messines, June 1917
Grayson, Richard S.. 2014. Ireland’s New Memory of the First World War: Forgotten Aspects of the Battle of Messines, June 1917. British Journal for Military History, 1(1), pp. 48-65.

Ireland
Grayson, Richard S.. 2014. Ireland. 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War,

From Genealogy to Reconciliation: Public Engagement with Remembrance of the First World War in Ireland
Grayson, Richard S.. 2014. From Genealogy to Reconciliation: Public Engagement with Remembrance of the First World War in Ireland. Nordic Irish Studies, 13(2), pp. 99-114. ISSN 1602-124X

The Place of the First World War in Contemporary Irish Republicanism in Northern Ireland
Grayson, Richard S.. 2010. The Place of the First World War in Contemporary Irish Republicanism in Northern Ireland. Irish Political Studies, 25(3), pp. 325-345. ISSN 0790-7184

Social Democracy or Social Liberalism? Ideological Sources of Liberal Democrat Policy
Grayson, Richard S.. 2007. Social Democracy or Social Liberalism? Ideological Sources of Liberal Democrat Policy. Political Quarterly, 78(1), pp. 32-39. ISSN 0032-3179

Analysing the Liberal Democrats
Grayson, Richard S.. 2007. Analysing the Liberal Democrats. Political Quarterly, 78(1), pp. 5-10.

Leo Amery's imperialist alternative to appeasement in the 1930s
Grayson, Richard S.. 2006. Leo Amery's imperialist alternative to appeasement in the 1930s. Twentieth century British history, 17(4), pp. 489-515. ISSN 0955-2359

Imperialism in Conservative defence and foreign policy: Leo Amery and the Chamberlains, 1903-1939
Grayson, Richard S.. 2006. Imperialism in Conservative defence and foreign policy: Leo Amery and the Chamberlains, 1903-1939. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 34(4), pp. 505-527.

Change and continuity in the Liberal Democrat election campaign of 2005
Grayson, Richard S.. 2005. Change and continuity in the Liberal Democrat election campaign of 2005. Political quarterly, 76(3), pp. 393-401. ISSN 0032-3179 ; 1467-923X (online)

The Liberal Party and International Affairs, c.1919-1988
Grayson, Richard S.. 1999. The Liberal Party and International Affairs, c.1919-1988. Contemporary British History, 13(1), pp. 186-197.

Mods, Rockers, and Juvenile Delinquency in 1964: The Government Response
Grayson, Richard S.. 1998. Mods, Rockers, and Juvenile Delinquency in 1964: The Government Response. Contemporary British History, 12(1), pp. 19-47.

The British Government, the Channel Tunnel and European Unity, 1948-64
Grayson, Richard S.. 1996. The British Government, the Channel Tunnel and European Unity, 1948-64. European History Quarterly, 23(3), pp. 415-436.

The British Government and the Channel Tunnel, 1919-39
Grayson, Richard S.. 1996. The British Government and the Channel Tunnel, 1919-39. Journal of Contemporary History, 31(1), pp. 125-144.

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