Dr Timothy Cooper
Head of Humanities Penryn, Senior Lecturer
I am a social historian of modern Britain. Much of my research has explored the ways in which environmental concerns became a significant part of British culture and politics in the twentieth century. I use a range of methodological and theoretical approaches to explore these themes, including oral history, and my work typically blends empirical historical practice and social theory. My current research grapples with the problem of the "greening" of modern Britain, and its limits.
I am presently Head of the Discipline of Humanities at the Penryn Campus.
My research explores the social and cultural history of attitudes towards the environment in modern Britain. At the present time much of my work is inspired by attempts to explore the meaning and limits of the "greening" of British popular culture in the twentieth century. Current research I am conducting on this theme includes an exploration of the popular novel and neoliberal environmentalism, and an attempt to apply ecofeminist theory to understand caring for wild animals in twentieth-century Britain.
Recent Conference Papers:
- 'Time, Memory and Environmental Activism', University of Paris-Sorbonne, 2017
- 'The Oral History of the Torrey Canyon Disaster', University of Valencia, 2016
- 'Popular Scepticism of Science in Modern Britain', Technology, Environment and Modern Britain, UCL, 2016
- 'An Oral History of the Torrey Canyon Disaster', Historical Association, Plymouth University, 2016
- 'Narrating Catastrophe: Oral and Fictional Histories of the Torrey Canyon Oil Disaster', Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, University of Cambridge, 2015
- 'Boffins and Bureaucrats: Contested Environmental Knowledge in the Torrey Canyon Disaster', Oral History Society Annual Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2015
- 'Capitalism and the Antinomies of Everyday Environmentalism: The Case of the Torrey Canyon', Capitalism and the Environment, University of Chicago, Paris, 2015
- 'The Contradictions of Victorian Sustainability', BAVS Annual Conference, University of Kent, 2014
- 'Wasting, Urban Rhythym and Everyday Environmentalism in Modern Britain', The Urbanisation of Nature, TU University, Darmstadt, 2014
I am always keen to discuss possible PhD or Master by Research supervisions across the broad field of modern social, cultural and environmental history. I have supervised students on topics ranging from creative writing and the archive to sociological studies of modern Cornish identity.
As a diverse group of scholars in literary and historical studies, the Department of Humanities at the Penryn Campus offers an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for postgraduate students in the humanities.
- Annabel Banks, Poetry and the Archive (completed 2016)
- Richard Harris, Civil Society in Cornwall (completed 2016)
- Blog commentary on Big Ideas Change the World for Friends of the Earth, Make Tomorrow's World, Today, 2014
- Article for New Left Project, Historical Storytelling and the Present, 2013
- Article for The Conversation website, In Defence of Litter, 2013
- Short contribution on environmental policy and problems of everyday life, FOE Policy Review Submission, 2013
- Blog of the uses of history by the New Home Front Project for History and Policy, A New Home Front, 2011
- BBC History coverage of my critique of the New Home Front Project, Wartime Spirit, 2011
- Interview and report on the history of landfill with The Independent newspaper, Landfill, 2010
- History and Policy Select Committee Memorandum on the evolution and politics of modern techniques of refuse disposal, Waste Strategy for England, 2007