Roger Spalding

Reader in History

Senior Lecturer in History & History Programme Leader


Roger Spalding, unable, at that stage to tear himself away from East Anglia, took his first degree at UEA. He then embarked on a career as a secondary school teacher, beginning during this period of employment a part-time research degree, again at UEA, Norwich. Before completing this degree he left teaching to form an independent film company, Praxis Films Ltd.

In the first four years of its existence the company made three documentaries funded by and screened on Channel 4. Two of these dealt with the demise of the Grimsby fishing industry and the other the changing fortunes of Hull Dockers, from the 1880s to the present-day. Unfortunately as Channel 4 began its slow slide towards  a diet of ‘reality’ shows and American ‘soaps’  Roger found it necessary to abandon this glamorous world in search of more regular employment.

The part-time research degree on the politics of the Labour Left 1931- 1945 was rapidly completed and awarded an M. Phil. Almost as rapidly an appointment at Edge Hill was secured, and the rest, as they say, is History….

Academic Interests

  • The History of 20th century left-wing movements.
  • Historiography – the history of history.
  • The Culture and politics of the 1930s.


  • Socialism and Communism (Hooder, 1999)
  • With Christopher Parker, Historiogrphy: An Introduction (Manchester University Press, 2007)
  • With Alyson Brown (co-ed) Entertainment, Leisure and Identities (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007)

Articles and chapters

My most recent include:

  • ‘Michael Foot and the Mythology of the Labour Left’, Socialist History, September 1996.
  • ‘Popular Historiography and the Second World War’ Socialist History, Spring 1999.
  • The Labour Party 1918-45:  An Archive Unit (Video compilation of newsreel clips) (Inter-University Film History Consortium, Summer 1999).
  • ‘A Critique of Living the Fishing’ Journal of Regional and Local Studies, Vol 20 No 1 Summer 1999.
  • ‘The Communist Manifesto’ in History Review No.36 Sept. 2000.
  • ‘Spinning History.  The Labour Party and its Centenary’ New Politics Vol VIII No 2. (New York) 2001
  • ‘Keir Hardie’ History Review No. 41 December 2001.
  • ‘Imagined Solidarities: Embracing the Workers in the 1930s’ Chapter in A.Brown (ed) Historical Perspectives on Social Identities (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006)
  • ‘Introduction: Entertaining Identities?’ in R. Spalding, A. Brown (eds.) Entertainment, Leisure and Identities (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007)
  • The Last Adventurers: a Case Study of British Cinema and the Creation of Identity in the 1930s’ in R. Spalding, A. Brown (eds.) Entertainment, Leisure and Identities (Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
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