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Alex Riggs

History, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Democratic Party Presidential Primary Campaigns and the Left, 1980-1988

Research Area

  • History


'Book Review: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party', Midlands Historical Review, 4 (2020), http://www.midlandshistoricalreview.com/the-fight-for-the-soul-of-the-democratic-party/ 



''Moving Vigorously to the Left, the Right and the Centre, all at the same time?': Making Sense of Late Twentieth-Century American Politics', History Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminars, 10 March 2021, University of Nottingham (online). 


'The Uses of Comparative History'- History Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminars, 12 February 2020, University of Nottingham.

'Conflict and Consensus in 1980s America'- Contemporary Political History Seminar Series, 3 December 2020, University of Nottingham (online). 


''Part-time Athlete, Full-Time Serious Thinker': Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Arthur Ashe in the 'long 1970s''- East Midlands Centre for Learning and Teaching History in Higher Education: Undergraduate Dissertation Showcase, 7 June 2019, University of Derby.

Public Engagement & Impact

I co-founded The Contemporary Political History Seminar series with fellow PGRs in History and Politics at the University of Nottingham in October 2020. Since then, I have been a co-organiser of the series. 

I have been an assistant editor of the Midlands Historical Review, a student-run online journal, since February 2021. 

Other Research Interests

  • Twentieth-Century American History
  • History of Sport
  • African-American History
  • Comparative History


Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS)

Political Studies Association (PSA) 

Awards and Grants


I was awarded £196.14 by Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) as part of their COVID-19 Mini Research Grant award scheme in May 2021. This money will be put towards the reproduction of archival sources from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Smith College and the University of Michigan.


I was awarded £200 as part of the Sport in History Undergraduate Essay Prize from the British Society of Sports History in November 2019. 

Training and Professional Development


Assistant Editor- Midlands Historical Review (February 2021-) 


Co-organiser- Contemporary Political History Seminars (October 2020-)

Co-organiser- Midlands4Cities Research Festival (March 2021-June 2021) I was part of the organising team for the M4C Research Festival, particularly the Research Relays. This invovled writing the Call for Papers, assembling panels, and chairing one of the festival's panels ('Politics and Philosophy'). 


Starting Out as a Researcher- University of Nottingham Researcher Academy (October 2020)

Understanding your Research Degree- University of Nottingham Researcher Academy (February 2021)

University of Nottingham Faculty of Arts Teaching & Learning Mentoring Scheme (February 2021-May 2021) I was part of this Faculty of Arts organised scheme, which allowed me to shadow Dr Matthew Pethers of the Department of American and Canadian Studies during his module 'African-American History and Culture'. This involved practicing writing and recording lectures, organising seminars, and marking. 

Getting the Best Out of Your First Conference- University of Nottingham Researcher Academy (March 2021)

Drafting a Chapter of Your Thesis- University of Nottingham Researcher Academy (April 2021)