Pushpa Kumbhat

PG Researcher in Modern History

Summary: Thesis: Education, social mobility and the inter-war labour movement: Building socialism or conforming to tradition? A British case study

Location: Michael Sadler Building

Teaching Commitments: Mentor to 3rd year undergraduate history students

How did people access higher education in an era before it was free, and when it was only available to the upper classes? And what was the connection of such Independent Working Class Adult Education (IWCE) with the growing Labour movement in Britain?

I am a social and political historian, with a strong interest in the evolution of the Labour movement and socialism in Britain. My PhD explores how independent working class adult education (IWCE) connected with social mobility and socialist ideology in Britain between the Wars. 

To date I have used several archives to support my MA and BA dissertations (both on different aspects of IWCE). The archives that I have used include the Brotherton special collections (Leeds), the Robin Page Arnott and Horrabin Papers held in the Hull History Centre, Trade Union Congress and the National Council of Labour Colleges records held at the modern Records Centre (University of Warwick). I have also delved into the archive at Ruskin College (Oxford) and Relwley House (Oxford) to study primary source material about the foundation of Ruskin College and the genesis of the IWCE movement in Britain.

Supervisors: Richard Whiting (School of History) and Malcolm Chase (School of History).