Laura Harrison

Laura Harrison

PhD Student and Postgraduate Tutor

Summary: Leisure, Courtship and Space in York, c.1880-1920.

My Research

A detailed study of York in the forty year period from 1880 – 1920, my research seeks to explore how, through their leisure and courtship activities, young working-class men and women both shaped and responded to their environment.

An exploration of the connection between space, leisure and courtship in a small county city, my research contributes to a wider understanding of working-class youth culture at a time when young people experienced increasing opportunities for leisure and sociability. The streets, markets and parks of York provided a place for young people to socialise with friends and potential partners, and in the neighbourhoods and public spaces of the city young people walked out together, congregated in the streets and paraded up and down Coney Street on the “monkey run”. My thesis investigates how young wage earners met and socialised in different parts of the city, and how they engaged with the space around them.

Supervisor: Professor Malcolm Chase

About Me

After graduating from the University of Glasgow in July 2008, I spent the summer working as a research intern for the Glasgow Women’s Library. This project was undertaken in partnership with the Glasgow University history department, and I was required to act as a consultant and researcher to the Library, advising them on the feasibility of recording historical resources and archives on women in Scotland. I began a taught MA in History and Politics at the University of York in 2009, for which I received a distinction. My dissertation explored courtship and prostitution in late nineteenth century York, providing the starting point for my current research which I started here at the University of Leeds in 2011, after a year spent living and teaching in Thailand.


I currently teach on the first year module HIST1210: The Modern World, 1750 – 2000.

I have also been involved in the undergraduate dissertation mentoring scheme.


I have completed the following University of Leeds training courses; Starting your Research Degree; Preparing for your Transfer and Induction for Postgraduate Tutors.


2005: David Kerr Thom Endowed Prize for the best modern history student, University of Glasgow.