Mr James Broun

Post:Doctoral Tutor (History)
Other posts:Research student (History)
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I have been an AHRC-funded PhD student at the University of Sussex since 2018, having previously studied at the University of Oxford and King's College London. I am interested in exploring the way that people relate ideas about social class and community with the places they live in. My research focuses on England in the late twentieth-century, a period of enormous social transformation involving the rise of the service sector and the decline of manufacturing, changes in access to housing, and the formation of new class relations, identities and cultures. I am keen to uncover how people have experienced these potentially dislocating changes, and if and how they have emerged with a new sense of place and identity in postindustrial England.

My PhD research explores these changes as they played out in a specific arena: the private housing estate. Long overlooked by historians, the new-build estate provided space for communities to form and ideas about class and distinction to play out; they allowed for the literal rebuilding of identities and social relations during this period - offering residents a seemingly blank canvas to create new understandings and expressions of themselves, their families and their place in post-industrial society. These estates also sat along the often fluid boundaries between modernity and tradition, the rural and urban, and public and private spheres. My aim is to study the experiences of people moving into these estates and explore how they negotiated with those complex ideas. I am hoping to shed light on class identities, ideas about modernity and processes of community formation.


  • "Place, Identity and Social Conflict in Post-industrial England: Cases from South Lincolnshire in the 1980s", Contemporary British History (Taylor & Francis, forthcoming).
  • "The Social Origins of a Colonial Governor: The Ancestry of Sir Henry Hesketh Joudou Bell (1864–1952)", Notes & Queries (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Teaching and mentoring

  • 2019–2020Associate Tutor, Department of History, University of Sussex
  • 2019–present: Student Mentor, School of History, Art History and Philosophy, University of Sussex


  • 2018–present: PhD History, University of Sussex.
    • Supervisors: Dr Hester Barron (90%) and Prof. Martin Francis (10%).
    • Awarded an AHRC Doctoral Studentship (via the CHASE DTP, 2018).
  • 201718: MRes History (Distinction), King's College London 
    • Supervisor: Prof. Richard Vinen.
    • Awarded the MRes in History Prize for achieving the highest score in my cohort.
  • 201417: BA History and Politics, University of Oxford.


  • Current (since March 2019): Senior Editor and Finance Officer, Brief Encounters (CHASE DTP's postgraduate, peer-reviewed journal).
  • November 2017–July 2018: Student Ambassador, King's College London.
  • September 2016–December 2016: Deputy Editor, The Oxford Student (previously News Editor and Deputy News Editor).