Patrick Joyce (3)Welcome to this website. I am a historian who is also interested in the social sciences. I am a Honorary Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh, and an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Manchester.


I have in recent years partly turned away from academic writing towards writing in forms that cross and combine genres. I  combine history, memoir,  and photography in my new book called  Going to my Father’s House: a History of My Times. It will be published by Verso, Spring 2021. Parts of this have appeared in Field Day Review as “The Journey West”, in Field Day Review, 10, 2014 and “Time Thickens, Takes on Flesh: The Other West” in  Field Day Review 11, 2015. See on the right for a download of both essays.


In recent years I have been a Moore Fellow at the National University Galway, a Long Room Hub Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European Research Institute in Florence. Previously I was a Visiting Professor in both sociology and history at the LSE and the Univ. of California Berkeley. The principle areas of academic work I am interested in are: freedom and liberalism; the nature of the state; power and materiality. I  write about the history of power and social relations in Britain and elsewhere from the 18th century onwards.


In 2015-7  with Colin Gordon I organized a study group called “Foucault, political life and history”. The group considered neoliberal and postcolonial governmentalities as well as the history and current state of the political. The group met  at the LSE and the Institute of Historical Research.  Apply to myself for more information.

Two interviews about my work as an historian, conducted by the Universities of Padua and Bologna Cultural History Centre, 2009, are available on video, “Patrick Joyce. The Politics of History and History of the Political” and “Cultural History and the Necessity of the Social”.

A printed interview 2015, in English, conducted by the Portuguese journal Práticas da História may be had here http://www.praticasdahistoria.pt/en.


“For over thirty years Patrick Joyce has challenged orthodoxies in history and the social sciences. Through his engagements with cultural Marxism, the linguistic turn, Foucault’s work on governmentality, and material culture, his has been a consistently radical voice in the successive debates over the future and politics of social and cultural history since the later 1970s. While his research has ranged widely from the politics of class in Victorian England to the formation of the modern self, it has always shown a preoccupation with liberalism, modernity and the discipline of history. Although his work has concentrated on Britain, its influence has registered widely, not only in Britain and North America, but across much of the world.”

From the conference in honour of Patrick Joyce, Manchester, March 2008 (see the Festschrift, The Peculiarities of Liberal Modernity in Britain Book on the Publications page)

Photo credits: Top: Roger Mayne, Footballer Jumping, Sunny Brindley Road, Harrow Road 1957

Above: Josef Koudelka Ireland 1972:

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The State of Freedom

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Field Day Review

Essays 2014, 2015.

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For video interviews click here video.

Material Powers

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Update April 2018 IY e-Solutions