John Price is a social and cultural historian, specializing in nineteenth and twentieth-century British history, the history of London, and people’s history.
- PhD History, King’s College London (2010)
- BA History (First-class), University of Roehampton (2005)
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
John creates, convenes and teaches modules in all undergraduate year groups, from year-0 to year-3.
Concepts and Methods in History
Area of supervision
I would welcome inquiries from people who wish to undertake a research degree in any aspect of nineteenth- and/or twentieth-century British social and cultural history.
John Price is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a Member of the British Academy Hearth Tax Project Management Committee. He also sits on the Local History Committee of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and is the Chairman of the Friends of the Watts Memorial; an organization responsible for protecting an important piece of London’s history.
John’s research generates a high degree of public engagement and he is a member of the Goldsmiths Public Engagement Advisory Group which assists staff and postgraduates to understand and undertake public engagement linked to their research and teaching. He also participates in various public engagement activities including History Showoff, the Being Human Festival and various talks, presentations and activities around the Watts Memorial.
- Heroes of Postman's Park: Heroic Self-Sacrifice in Victorian London (London: The History Press, 2015)
- Everyday Heroism: Victorian Constructions of the Heroic Civilian (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014)
- John Price, ‘Octavia Hill’s Red Cross Hall and its mural to heroic self-sacrifice’ in Elizabeth Baigent and Ben Cowell, eds., ‘Nobler imaginings and mightier struggles’: Octavia Hill and the remaking of British society (London: Institute of Historical Research, 2016)
- John Price, ‘Everyday heroism in Britain, 1850-1939’ in Simon Wendt, ed., Everyday Heroism in the United States, Germany, and Britain from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, forthcoming 2016)
- John Price, ‘Bringing the past into the present: mobilising historical research through creative and digital collaboration’ in Morag Shiach, Tarek Virani & Jana Riedel, eds., Creative Collaborations: Arts and Humanities Research, Innovation, and the Creative Economy (London: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2016)
John’s primary area of research is ‘everyday’ heroism, acts of life-risking bravery, undertaken by civilians in commonplace surroundings. His 2014 book, Everyday Heroism: Victorian Constructions of the Heroic Civilian, was the first full-length study of the concept. John is also the leading expert on the Watts Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice in Postman’s Park in the City of London, a Victorian monument dedicated to acts of everyday heroism. He has published extensively on the subject, including the official history of the monument, Postman’s Park: G. F. Watts’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice, and Heroes of Postman's Park: Heroic Self-Sacrifice in Victorian London, which documents the lives and deaths of all sixty-two people commemorated.
In addition to heroism, John also pursues research in a number of other areas. He is interested in social movements and popular protest; in particular, how popular manifestations of contentious politics, such as marches, demonstrations, strikes and riots, can be better understood and analysed by historians. He is also interested in various aspects of public memory, memorialization, and commemoration with a particular emphasis on the reception of commemoration and popular memory.
Most recently, John has started research into urban walking and, more specifically, the relationships between historians, urban walking and urban/metropolitan history. Based on the premise that “those who walked about the city, talked about the city”, this research encompasses not only those in the past who explored cities on foot, but also urban walking and ideas such as psychogeography and mythogeography as methodologies for investigating and understanding the modern city in a historical context. This research works in tandem with another of John’s interests, the social, cultural and political constructions and uses of public spaces.
John also undertakes research into various aspects of learning and teaching in higher education and publishes his findings via his blog; Learning and Teaching about Teaching and Learning.
Grants and awards
In 2012, John received a grant from Creativeworks London to collaboratively create a mobile app based upon his research on the Watts Memorial in Postman’s Park and, in 2014 the app was a finalist in the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s Engage Competition. John has also received grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Marc Fitch Fund, and the Royal Historical Society.
John has undertaken a range of media appearances including interviews on BBC Radio London, BBC World Service, London Live TV, and Resonance FM. He has also contributed to a BBC History Magazine Podcast and pieces for the BBC News Magazine.
Price, John. 2015. Heroes of Postman's Park: Heroic Self-Sacrifice in Victorian London. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0750956437
Price, John. 2014. Everyday Heroism: Victorian Constructions of the Heroic Civilian. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781441106650
Price, John. 2008. Postman's Park: G. F. Watts's Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice. Compton: Watts Gallery. ISBN 0956102212
Price, John. 2017. Bringing the past into the present: mobilising historical research through creative and digital collaboration. In: Morag Shiach and Tarek E Virani, eds. Cultural Policy, Innovation and the Creative Economy. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 31-44. ISBN 978-1-349-95111-6
Price, John. 2016. Everyday heroism in Britain, 1850-1939. In: Simon Wendt, ed. Extraordinary Ordinariness: Everyday Heroism in the United States, Germany, and Britain, 1800-2015. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag Gmbh. ISBN 3593506173
Price, John. 2016. Octavia Hill’s Red Cross Hall and its mural to heroic self-sacrifice. In: Elizabeth Baigent and Ben Cowell, eds. ‘Nobler imaginings and mightier struggles’: Octavia Hill and the remaking of British society. London: Institute of Historical Research, pp. 65-90. ISBN 9781909646001
Price, John. 2007. 'Heroism in everyday life': the Watts Memorial for heroic self-sacrifice. History Workshop Journal, 61(1), pp. 255-278. ISSN 1363-3554