Photograph of Dr Siân Nicholas.Dr Siân Nicholas

Reader in Modern British History
MA (Cantab)
MA (Chapel Hill)
DPhil (Oxon)
FRHistS

Contact

Email: shn@aber.ac.uk
Office: C51
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622668

Profile

Dr Sian Nicholas is Reader in Modern British History at Aberystwyth. She studied History at the University of Cambridge and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before completing her DPhil thesis (on the BBC’s role on the home front during the Second World War) at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Lord (Asa) Briggs. She has taught at Aberystwyth since 1992, where she specialises in modern British history (in particular the British home front in the First and Second World Wars) and the history of the mass media, especially the press and broadcasting.

Teaching Areas

Research

Siân's main research specialism is the history of the mass media in twentieth century Britain, with specific reference to the press and broadcasting in the Second World War.  Her doctoral thesis was a study of the BBC’s role in maintaining home front morale in the Second World War.  Since then her research interests have expanded to include the social role of broadcasting in the early years of the BBC, the history of the British press in war and peace, media and the construction of national identity, and ‘intermediality’, i.e., the institutional, personal and creative links between different mass media in the first half of the twentieth century. Siân is currently completing a major research project on the British press in the Second World War, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Additionally, Siân is co-founder and co-Director of the Aberystwyth Centre for Media History, an Honorary Associate of the Macquarie University Centre for Media History and a Life Member of the International Association of Media and History (IAMHIST); she is also a former editor and current Advisory Board member of the journal Twentieth Century British History, and on the Editorial Board of the journal Media History.  Most recently, she was Principal Investigator on the major three-year team research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust: A Social and Cultural History of the British Press in the Second World War.

Publications

2016

Medhurst, J.L., Nicholas, S., O'Malley, T. (eds) 2016. Broadcasting in the 1950s in the UK and US: Historical Perspectives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne

2014

Nicholas, S. 2014. The Reithian legacy and contemporary public service ethos. In M. Conboy, J. Steel (eds), The Routledge Companion to British Media History. Taylor & Francis pp. 323-333. Other

Nicholas, S. 2014. ‘Broadcasting carries on!’ Asa Briggs and the history of the wartime BBC. In M. Taylor (ed), The Age of Asa: Lord Briggs, Public Life and History in Britain since 1945. Palgrave Macmillan pp. 165-166. Other

2013

Nicholas, S. 2013. Fifth columnists, collaborators and black marketeers: Fearing the “enemy within” in the wartime British media. In S. Nicholas, T. O'Malley (eds), Moral Panics, Social Fears and the Media: Historical Perspectives. Taylor & Francis pp. 162-176.

Nicholas, S., O'Malley, T. (eds) 2013. Moral Panics, Social Fears and the Media: Historical Perspectives. Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies 1st edn, Taylor & Francis, London

Nicholas, S. 2013. Newspapers, history and the memory of WW2. Gregynog/Aberystwyth Modern History Colloquium, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/03/2013.

2012

Nicholas, S. 2012. 'There will be no war': The Daily Express and the approach of war 1938-39. In D. Welch, J. Fox (eds), Justifying War: Propaganda, Politics and the Modern Age. Taylor & Francis, London pp. 200-217.

Nicholas, S. 2012. Laura Beers, Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party. Media History 18 (1) pp. 96-100. 10.1080/13688804.2011.627244 Other

Nicholas, S. 2012. Media history or media histories? Re-addressing the history of the mass media in inter-war Britain. Media History 18 (3-4) pp. 379-394. 10.1080/13688804.2012.727289

Nicholas, S. 2012. Researching the history of the British press in WW2: Approaches and methods. Huddersfield University History Research Seminar, Huddersfield, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/11/2012.

Nicholas, S. 2012. The armchair economy: Sport and the television audience in twentieth-century Britain. Perspectives on the Sport, Leisure and Creative Industries in the 20th Century: Third Conference in the Pay and Play Series on the Business History of Leisure in Britain, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/09/2012.

Nicholas, S. 2012. Writing the history of the British press in WW2. 4th Aberystwyth Media History conference, Tregynon, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 04/07/2012 - 06/07/2012. pp. 4-5. Other

2011

Nicholas, S. 2011. Broadcasting Carries On: Reflections on the BBC in WW2. "Asa Briggs: A Celebration" A day of invited lectures to mark the life and work of Lord (Asa) Briggs on the occasion of his 90th birthday, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 19/05/2011. Other

Nicholas, S. 2011. Now the war is over: Negotiating the BBC’s wartime legacy in post-war Britain. Broadcasting in the 1950s, Tregynon, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 24/07/2011 - 27/07/2011. Other

Nicholas, S. 2011. Towards an integrated history of the British media: The case of the newspaper radio column in the 1930s. Nottingham Trent University History Research Seminar, Nottingham, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/03/2011.

Nicholas, S. 2011. Writing the history of the British press in WW2. University of Sheffield History Research Seminar, Sheffield, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/11/2011.

2010

Bailey, M., Holmes, S., Nicholas, S., O'Malley, T.P., Curran, J. 2010. 'Roundtable: Narrating Media History edited by Michael Bailey': Michael Bailey (Ed.), Narrating Media History . Media History 16 (2) pp. 233-251. 10.1080/13688801003656322

Nicholas, S. 2010. Policing tonal boundaries: constructing the Nazi/German enemy on the wartime BBC. In W. Steinmetz (ed), Political Languages in the Age of Extremes. Oxford University Press pp. 169-194.

Nicholas, S. 2010. The BBC and its critics: The radio column in the British press in the 1930s. Symposium on Broadcasting in the 1930s, University of Wisconsin, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/07/2010. Other

Nicholas, S. 2010. The history of broadcasting and the history of the BBC. Symposium on Media Historiography, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/07/2010.

Nicholas, S. 2010. Towards an integrated history of the mass media: The radio page in the British press in the 1930s. Aberystwyth University History Research Seminar, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/10/2010.

2009

Nicholas, S., Miskell, P. 2009. Don't trust the messenger? The emergence and evolution of media brands in news and entertainment. ESCR Conference on 'A New Kind of Property – an Old Perspective on Trade Marks', York, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 20/11/2009. pp. 3. Other

Nicholas, S. 2009. Fifth columnists, collaborators and black marketeers: “Enemies within” in the wartime British media. 3rd Aberystwyth Media History conference, Tregynon, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 08/07/2009 - 11/07/2011.

Nicholas, S. 2009. The BBC and the people. Symposium on 'The day we went to war....', London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/09/2009.

Nicholas, S. 2009. “There will be no war”: The Daily Express and the approach of war 1938/39. St Andrew's University History Research Seminar, St Andrew's, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 25/02/2009.

2008

Nicholas, S., O'Malley, T., Williams, K. (eds) 2008. Reconstructing the Past: History in the Mass Media, 1890–2005. Taylor & Francis

Nicholas, S. 2008. “There will be no war”: The Daily Express and the approach of war 1938-39. Conference on Justifying War, Canterbury, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 01/07/2008.

2007

Nicholas, S. 2007. American commentaries: News, current affairs and the limits of Anglo-American exchange in inter-war Britain. Cultural and Social History 4 (4) pp. 461-479. 10.2752/147800407X243460 Other

Nicholas, S. 2007. History, revisionism and television drama: Foyle’s War and the Myth of 1940. Media History 13 (2/3) pp. 203-220. 10.1080/13688800701611704 Other

Nicholas, S. 2007. Keeping the news British: the BBC, the British United Press and Reuters in the 1930s. In J. Wiener, M. Hampton (eds), Anglo-American Media Interactions, 1850-2000. Palgrave Macmillan pp. 195-214. Cadair

Nicholas, S. 2007. The good servant: The origins and development of BBC Listener Research 1936-50. Introduction to BBC Audience Research Reports Collection, Part I: BBC Listener Research Department 1937-1950. British Broadcasting Corporation

2005

Nicholas, S. 2005. War Report (1944-5) and the birth of the BBC war correspondent. In M. Connelly, D. Welch (eds), War and the Media: Reportage and Propaganda 1900-2003. I.B. Tauris pp. 139-161. Cadair Other

2004

Nicholas, S. 2004. History and psychoanalysis. In P. Lambert, P. Schofield (eds), Making History: An Introduction to the History and Practices of a Discipline. Taylor & Francis pp. 125-137. 10.4324/9780203645024

Nicholas, S. 2004. War Report (1944-45) and the birth of the BBC war correspondent. In D. Welch, M. Connolly (eds), War and the Media: Reportage and Propaganda, 1900-2003. I.B. Tauris pp. 139-161.

2003

Nicholas, S. 2003. “Brushing up your Empire”: Dominion and colonial propaganda on the BBC's home services, 1939-45. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 31 (2) pp. 207-230. 10.1080/03086530310001705676 Cadair

Nicholas, S. 2003. “Brushing up your Empire”: Dominions and colonial propaganda on the BBC’s home services, 1939-45. In C. Bridge, K. Fedorowich (eds), The British World: Diaspora, Culture and Identity. Taylor & Francis pp. 207-230.

2001

Nicholas, S. 2001. Being British: Creeds and cultures. In K. Robbins (ed), The Shorter Oxford History of the British Isles: The Twentieth Century, vol I: 1900-1950. Oxford University Press pp. 103-135.

2000

Nicholas, S. 2000. “All the news that’s fit to broadcast”: The popular press versus the BBC, 1922-1945. In P. Catterall, A. Smith, C. Seymour-Ure (eds), Northcliffe’s Legacy: Aspects of the British Popular Press 1896-1996. Contemporary History in Context Palgrave Macmillan pp. 121-148.

1999

Nicholas, S. 1999. Gareth Davies. In H. Richards, P. Stead, G. Williams (eds), More Heart and Soul. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press pp. 149-162.

Nicholas, S. 1999. The People's Radio? The BBC and its audience 1939-45. In N. Hayes, J. Hill (eds), Millions Like Us? British Culture in the Second World War. Liverpool University Press pp. 62-92.

1998

Nicholas, S. 1998. From John Bull to John Citizen: Images of national identity and citizenship on the wartime BBC, 1939-1945. In R. Weight, A. Beach (eds), The Right to Belong: Citizenship and National Identity in Britain 1940-1960. I.B. Tauris pp. 36-58.

Nicholas, S. 1998. Jonathan Davies. In H. Richards, P. Stead, G. Williams (eds), Heart and Soul: The Character of Welsh Rugby. University of Wales Press - Writers of Wales Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press pp. 161-178.

1996

Nicholas, S. 1996. Radio. In B. Brivati, J. Buxton, A. Seldon (eds), The Contemporary History Handbook. Manchester University Press pp. 366-379.

Nicholas, S. 1996. The construction of a national identity: Stanley Baldwin, "Englishness" and the mass media in inter-war Britain. In M. Francis, I. Zweiniger-Bargielowska (eds), The Conservatives and British Society 1880-1990. Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press pp. 127-146.

1995

Nicholas, S. 1995. "Sly demagogues" and wartime radio: J. B. Priestley and the BBC 1939-45. Twentieth Century British History 6 (3) pp. 247-266.

1992

Nicholas, S. 1992. "Partners now": Problems in the portrayal by the BBC of the Soviet Union and United States of America, 1939-45. Diplomacy and Statecraft 3 (2) pp. 243-271. 10.1080/09592299208405855 Other