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William Noble

History, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

'Our poor, tired little island just can't cope': race, immigration and 'decline' in the post-war English Midlands, c.1958-1981

I am a second-year PhD student in modern British history at the University of Nottingham, and my thesis is provisionally entitled ‘”Our poor, tired little island just cannot cope”: race, immigration and decline in the post-war Midlands, c.1958-1981’. In my research, I use several case studies drawn from the Midlands to examine how popular conceptions of ‘race’ and ‘decline’ in post-war Britain were intertwined. The concept of ‘decline’ was frequently invoked in popular and academic discourses in this period and necessarily relies on particular notions of both the past and the future, which often focused on immigration and were deeply racialised.

Research Area

  • History

Conferences

2021

  • 'Leicester and the Collapse of the Post-war Consensus?', 1st October 2021, Change in the Postwar World Conference (online).
  • '"Race" and "Decline" in the Midlands, c.1958-1981', 16th June 2021, SWW DTP 'Futures' Summer Research Festival (online).
  • 'Immigration and conceptions of decline in 1970s Leicester' (updated and abridged version), 7th June 2021, M4C Research Festival (online).
  • 'Immigration and conceptions of decline in 1970s Leicester' (updated version), 21 April 2021, University of Nottingham, History Department Research Seminar (online).
  • 'Immigration and conceptions of decline in 1970s Leicester', 24 March 2021, University of Nottingham, History Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar (online). 

2020

  • 'Popular conceptions of post-war British "decline"', 3 December 2020, University of Nottingham, Postgraduate Contemporary Political History Seminar (online).
  • '"Our poor, tired little island just can't cope": race, immigration and ideas of 'decline' in the post-war English Midlands, c.1958-1981', 17 June 2020, University of Nottingham, History Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar (online).

Public Engagement & Impact

In October 2020 I co-founded the Contemporary Political History Seminar series with fellow PhD students in history and politics at the University of Nottingham. The co-founders of this series, along with M4C researchers at Coventry and Birmingham, are also organising a one-day conference for PGRs and early-career researchers, due to take place on 1st October 2021, on 'Change in the Postwar World'.

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

I was a member of the 2021 M4C Digital Research Festival planning team, working with others in particular on the research relays component of the Festival.