Martin F. Francis

Henry Winkler Professor of Modern History

Professional Summary

Martin Francis received a BA from the University of Manchester and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He held several positions in the United Kingdom, most notably at Royal Holloway, University of London, before coming to Cincinnati in 2003. His interests are in the histories of twentieth-century British politics, gender (especially masculinity) in modern Europe and the United States, the cultural impact of modern war, and British cinema between the 1930s and 1960s. He has published on (among other things) ideology and the 1945-51 Labour government, the "emotional economy" of 1950s politics, domesticity and male fantasy in 1940s feature film, the synthesis of repressed political and sexual desires in World War Two British photography, imperial motifs in 1950s British war films, and the rewards of applying post-structuralist conceptions of hauntology to historiographcal conventions surrounding the First World War.  His book The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2009) was runner-up for the 2009 Longman-History Today Book of the Year prize.  Francis is currently North American editor of the journal Twentieth Century British History and chair of the AHA's Herbert Baxter Adams Prize committee.  His current major research project is a cultural history of the British war effort in North Africa between 1940 and 1943.  Other current teaching and research interests include the histories of fashion and of romantic love. 


BA (Hons): University of Manchester 1985 (Modern HIstory)

D Phil: University of Oxford 1994 (Modern History)

Positions and Work Experience

1991 -1993 Lecturer in History and Politics, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford,

1993 -1996 Lecturer in History and Politics, University of Wales Aberystwyth,

1996 -1997 Fulbright-Robertson VIsiting Professor of British History, Westminster College Fulton Missouri,

1997 -2003 Lecturer in History , Royal Holloway University of London,

2003 -2011 Henry R. Winkler Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Cincinnati,

2011 -2014 Henry R. Winkler Professor of Modern History, University of Cincinnati,

Abbreviated Publications


Ideas and Policies under Labour, 1945-1951: Building a New Britain (Manchester University Press, 1997).
Co-editor of, and contributor to, M. Francis and I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska (eds.), The Conservatives and British Society, 1880-1990 (University of Wales Press, 1996).  My contribution to this volume was a co-authored introduction and the chapter ‘”Set The People Free”: Conservatives and the State, 1920-1960’.
The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2008, paperback edition, 2011)
(Runner-Up for Longman Pearson – History Today Book of the Year Prize 2009)

Peer Reviewed Publications

‘Old Realisms: The Labour Party Policy Review in Historical Perspective’, Labour History Review vol.56 part 1 (May 1991).
‘Economics and Ethics: the Nature of Labour’s Socialism, 1945-51’, Twentieth Century British History vol.6 no.2 (September 1995).
‘A Socialist Policy for Education? : Labour and the Secondary School, 1945-1951’, History of Education vol.24 no.3 (December 1995).
‘“Not Reformed Capitalism, but ... Democratic Socialism”: The Ideology of the Labour Leadership, 1945-51’, in H. Jones and M. Kandiah (eds.), The Myth of Consensus (Macmillan, 1996).
‘”Mr. Gaitskell’s Ganymede”?: Reassessing Crosland’s Future of Socialism (1956)’, Contemporary  British History vol.11 no.2 (Summer 1997).
‘The Labour Party: Modernisation and the Politics of Restraint’, in F. Mort, B. Conekin and C. Waters (eds.), Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain, 1945-64 (New York University Press, 1999).
‘Labour and Gender’, in D. Tanner et al. (eds.), Labour’s First Century: A Centenary History of the Labour Party (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
‘Leisure and Popular Culture’, in I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska (ed.), Women in Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural Change (Longman, 2001).
‘Tears, Tantrums and Bared Teeth: The Emotional Economy of Three Conservative Prime Ministers, 1951-1964’, Journal of British Studies vol.41 no.3 (July 2002).
‘The Domestication of the Male?  Recent Research on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century British Masculinity’, Historical Journal vol.45 no.3 (2002).
‘Cecil Beaton’s Romantic Toryism and the Symbolic Economy of Wartime Britain’, Journal of British Studies vol.45 no.1 (January 2006).
(abridged version published as ‘Cecil Beaton’s Wartime Art’ in Wm. Roger Louis (ed.), Penultimate Adventures with Britannia (I.B. Tauris, 2008)
‘A Flight from Commitment?  Domesticity, Adventure and the Masculine Imaginary in Postwar Britain’, Gender and History vol.19 no.1 (April 2007).
‘Men of the Royal Air Force, the Cultural Memory of World War Two and the Twilight of the British Empire’, in S. Grayzel and P. Levine (eds.), Gender, Labour, War and Empire: Essays on Modern Britain in honour of Sonya Rose (Palgrave, 2009).
 ‘Remembering War, Forgetting Empire?  Representations of the North African Campaign in 1950s British Cinema’, in L. Noakes and J. Pattinson (eds.), British Cultural Memory and the Second World War (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).
‘Attending to Ghosts: Some Reflections on the Disavowals of British Great War Historiography’, Twentieth Century British History vol.25 no.3 (September 2014)
Numerous book reviews in The English Historical Review, The Journal of Modern History, The Times Literary Supplement, Twentieth-Century British History, The Welsh History Review, International Labor and Working-Class History, Journal of American Studies, Parliamentary History, Journal of the History of Sexuality, The Times Higher and The International History Review.

Courses Taught

Belonging: Identities in Europe since the Eighteenth Century (graduate)

The Experience and Memory of War in Europe since 1870 (graduate)

Gender and Sexuality in Britain since 1850

Masculinities in Britain and the United States since 1850

Film and History in Twentieth-Century Britain

Twentieth-Century Britain

15-HIST-400 JUNIOR TOPICS SEM London: A Cultural History 1945-2000 Level:Undergraduate

Beauty and Fashion in Europe and the United States since 1870 Level:Both