About me

Patrick Joyce

Work previous to my state and city books took up the history of popular politics and culture, the culture of the industrial factory, the nature and meanings of work, and the history and theory of individual and collective social identities.  My interests were then, and are still, in the nature of class and its relationship to demotic/popular forms of collective identity. The publications page lists this earlier work. I am also interested in the theory and the practice of the writing of history, having written on the subject of history, postmodernism and the cultural turn (see my most recent article in this area, on the shift away from the cultural turn, in the Feb., 2010 edition of Past and Present “What is the social in social history?”, which is available on this site [   Download (210.9 KiB)] ).


I was Board Chair and a founder of the AHRC Network on Inequality, Social Science and History, which ran between 2012-15. This took up the subject of inequality in historical fashion, something which has not characterised public discourse in Britain. The network aimed with a variety of workshops and seminars to link the study of inequality with current social theory and new historiographies. It was also linked to questions of policy, particularly in Britain. Pedro Ramos Pinto of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, is the organizer of this initiative, which has a web presence at www.histecon.magd.cam.ac.uk/inequality

For my current intellectual and political interests see the Research page

Street sceneI was born in west London and grew up in Paddington and Notting Hill in the post-war years. This was a Catholic and Irish upbringing, my parents being immigrants from Co. Mayo and Co. Wexford in Ireland. The two flanking figures in Koudelka’s great picture of Ireland on the homepage are two close family relations of mine. I was born and brought up near Harrow Road, and on the homepage there is a photograph of this area by the brilliant (though misleading) street photographer Roger Mayne. My street was marginally posher than this one, and Brindley Road, photo to the left, these margins being very important for us locals. I attended a Secondary Modern school, even though I passed the notorious 11-plus examination, this kind of school being almost the lowest level of the class-driven state schooling then available. After school from the age of 16 I worked in a variety of jobs, more or less menial, and then attended the University of Keele in the 1960s (University motto: “Thanke God for All”). I did my graduate work at Balliol College, Oxford and then taught in London, followed by a long period at Manchester University, to 2007. After this, retiring in order to get some work done, I have been peripatetic. For those who wish to have further information see my articles “More Secondary Modern Than Postmodern”, which is available on the site, and the Field Day Review essays of 2014 and 2015. MY background is a major presence in Going to my father’s house (Verso, 2021)

Photo credit: Roger Mayne, Street Cricket, Clarendon Crescent 1957

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Update April 2018 IY e-Solutions