Research

Emily specialises in modern British cultural and political history and is particularly interested in ideas about tradition, heritage, progress and modernity.

Her latest book, The Language of Progressive Politics in Modern Britain (Palgrave, 2017) traces the word 'progressive' through modern British history, from the Enlightenment to Brexit, exploring both its shifting meanings and the contradictory political projects to which it has been attached. The book shows that popular understandings of the term have often been very far indeed from the Lib-Lab 'progressive tradition' which has dominated political and historical accounts. 

Her first book, History, Heritage and Tradition in Contemporary British Politics: Past Politics and Present Histories was published by Manchester University Press in 2012. It explored the ways in which history is used and understood within British political parties, and how the political present is continually constructed as 'historic'.

Emily has also published work looking at the attractions of 'pastness' and the affective nature of historical research. She is now beginning a project looking at the emotional politics of conservatism.