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Dr James FreemanBA(Exon.), MA(Exon.), PhD(Exon.)

Lecturer in Digital Humanities

James Freeman

Dr James FreemanBA(Exon.), MA(Exon.), PhD(Exon.)

Lecturer in Digital Humanities

Member of

Research interests

I am a historian of contemporary british politics, economics and society with particular research interests in digital humanities methodologies, rhetoric, and the history of political concepts.

My research examines twentieth-century British political rhetoric at macro and micro scales using a methodology that combines close-readings of archival materials with rhetorical theory and quantitative techniques from corpus linguistics.

My doctoral thesis explored changes in, and the historical specificity of, the Conservative party’s emancipatory rhetoric between 1945-70. In so doing, it bifurcated the history of Tory freedom rhetoric from the history of ‘neoliberal’ influence within the party.

I am also Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded Thatcher's Pension Reform's Project which is using recently released materials to challenge existing interpretations of Thatcherism and the policy-making process.

Contact Details

Office: 26 St Michaels Park, Room 1.03 [Map]

Office Hours: Mon: 2-3pm; Tues 11-12pm [Book]

Phone: 0117 954 6946

Twitter: @jgfreeman  Email:

Personal website:  Pensions Project website: /

Research Supervision

I am currently co-supervising doctoral work on Thatcher's pension reforms, neoliberal concepts of risk, and the relation of these to the acturial profession in the 1980s. I also supervise a wide range of undergraduate dissertations and research projects covering both twentieth century british history and the digital humanities.

I welcome proposals from post-graduate students wishing to work on twentieth century British political, social or economic history. I would be especially interested in supervising contemporary party-political histories, histories political languages and rhetoric, and proposals that applied digital humanities methodologies. Please email to discuss your research plans.


I teach units on contemporary British history and the Digital Humanities. Decade of Discord, for example, examines the economic, political, social and cultural history of the 1970s. I blog with my students at Next year, I hope to run a unit entitled The Rise of Political Lying, which will encourage students to reexamine popular narratives about rhetoric and spin whilst introducing them to core digital methods. I also co-ordinate Arts Students Count unit on the Liberal Arts degree (which enables Arts students to engage with data science) and hope to launch an Introduction to Digital Humanities unit with Dr Leah Tether in 2016/17.


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Postal address:
13-15 Woodland Road
United Kingdom