James Brennan


James Brennan is a Lecturer in the Foundation Year at Newman University. He holds a Masters degree in Contemporary History from the University of Birmingham and is currently in the final stages of completing his PhD at Liverpool Hope University and Newman University. James’s research revolves around provincial political culture during the inter-war period in Britain, with a particular emphasis on examining the use of gendered political languages in the press and politics of Birmingham between 1918 and 1929. Moreover, he has completed his Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE).


Research Interests

James’ research interests lie in twentieth-century British history, with a particular focus on provincial political cultures, the relationship between gender and political language, and the dynamics of modernity.


James teaches in the Foundation Year program at Newman University and coordinates the January start route. Furthermore, he contributes to teaching in both the History and Applied Humanities programmes. He is also keenly interested in leveraging new learning technologies, including artificial intelligence, and actively incorporates them into his teaching methods.

Membership of Professional Organisations

Fellow of the HEA

Other Activities

Conferences and Other Research Activity

Conference Administrator for “From “Old Corruption” to the New Corruption? Public Life and Public Service in Britain, C.1780-1790”, held at Oxford Brookes University, 2019.

Conference and Seminar Papers

‘Politics and the Press in Inter-war Britain’, seminar led by James Brennan (University of Central Lancashire, History Research Seminar Series, 2020).

‘The representation(s) of women in the politics of the West Midlands, 1918-1929’, Humanities Research Seminar, Newman University, 2019).

“One of the most promising features of the fight is the awakening interest of the women, in municipal politics”: Female Municipal Candidates, the Birmingham Press and Regional Political Culture, 1918-1929”, Women’s Suffrage, Politics and the Public Sphere (Women’s History Network, University of Worcester, 2018).

‘We Must get in front of these Blighters: The Birmingham Labour and Unionist press war 1919-1926’, Midland History Postgraduate Conference, University of Worcester, 2017.



Brennan, J., Cawood, I. (2019) ‘We Must Get In Front Of These Blighters’: Political Press Culture in the West Midlands, 1918-1925’, in Cawood, I., Peters, L. Print, Politics and the Provincial Press in Modern Britain. Oxford: Peter Lang, 119-155.

Book reviews

Brennan, J (2020) ‘Review of David J.A. Hallam, Taking on the Men: the First Women Parliamentary Candidates 1918’, Midland History, 45:1, pp.128-129.

Brennan, J (2019) ‘Review of Andrew Reekes, The Birmingham Political Machine: Winning Elections for Joseph Chamberlain’, Journal of Liberal History, Issue 104, pp. 44-45.