Carnegie Trust funds three History projects

Three historians in the School of History have been awarded Carnegie Trust Grants.

Tommy Steele

Tommy Steele in 1957

Dr Gillian Mitchell has been awarded a Carnegie Trust Grant for a project on Reactions of the Older Generation to Rock ‘n’ Roll Music in Britain, 1955-1965. The grant will fund a lengthy research trip to London to consult resources in various libraries and archives, including the British Library’s oral history collections, the Church of England Record Centre in South London and the V&A Collections.

The project aims to analyse the reactions of adults to rock ‘n’ roll music in Britain between 1955 (when the genre first became popular in the country) and 1965 (the height of the ‘beat group’ era). It is widely assumed that adults reacted to rock ‘n’ roll with uniform horror, and that the music, often linked to contemporary anxieties concerning cultural Americanisation and juvenile delinquency, represented the ultimate symbol of ‘the generation gap’. Dr Mitchell will challenge this impression by demonstrating that the reactions of adults (including parents, teachers, journalists, religious leaders and representatives of entertainment establishments) to rock ‘n’ roll, far from being overwhelmingly negative, were more varied than has hitherto been supposed.

Germantown, Philadelphia

Germantown, PA

Dr Emma Hart has been awarded a Carnegie Grant for her project Trading Places: The British Atlantic Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism. Dr Hart’s grant will fund the final phase of research for this project, during which she will visit Northumberland, Glasgow, the National Archives in London and South Carolina. The Trading Places project is a history of the British Atlantic market place from 1660 to the American Revolution. Dr Hart will investigate where people traded and who set the terms and places of buying and selling. She is interested in how the creation of Britain’s American empire affected market practices and created diverse economic cultures.

File:Eglinton Tournament Jug.JPG

An Eglinton Tournament Jug, 1839.

Dr Katie Stevenson has been awarded a Carnegie Grant that will assist the publication of a substantial new volume, Chivalry and the Vision of the Medieval Past, to appear in the series ‘Medievalism’ with Boydell & Brewer. The volume is co-edited by Katie and Barbara Gribling (formerly of the School of History and now a postdoctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University) and includes essays by Dr David Allan, and former St Andrews postgraduates Rachael Whitbread (Mediaeval History) and Peter Lindfield-Ott (Art History).

Spotlight on Gillian Mitchell

gillianmitchellGillian Mitchell is a lecturer in Modern American History in the School of History. She studied at the University of Glasgow (MA Hons in English Literature and History, MPhil in American Studies) and obtained her doctorate from the University of Toronto. She also has a licentiate diploma in piano recital from the London College of Music (LLCM). Her first teaching post was at the University of Wales Bangor where she gained her Teaching in Higher Education certificate. She joined the School of History at St Andrews in 2007.

Bill Haley and Franny Beecher

Bill Haley and Franny Beecher

Gillian’s research interest is post-war popular music in North America and Britain. Her first monograph, The North American Folk Music Revival: Nation and Identity in the United States and Canada, 1945-1980, was published by Ashgate in 2007. Since then she has developed a particular enthusiasm for rock ‘n’ roll music and its reception in Britain during the period 1955-1962. She has recently published articles on various aspects of this field, including an examination of the early career of pioneering British rock ‘n’ roll icon Tommy Steele, a reappraisal of the much-maligned popular music culture of Britain in the ‘pre-Beatles’ period of 1958-1962, and a study of American rock ‘n’ roller Bill Haley’s first British tour of 1957. She is currently undertaking research for a monograph on the subject of adult reactions to early rock ‘n’ roll music in Britain, and hopes that this work will challenge the commonly-held assumption that parents and authorities responded to such music with uniform and unstinting disapproval during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the longer term, she aims to expand this research further to conduct a comparative study of reactions to rock ‘n’ roll in the United States and Britain.

Cliff Richard and the Shadows

Cliff Richard & the Shadows

Gillian currently offers two third-year Honours option modules – MO3422 (The United States in Depression and War, 1929-1945) and MO3421 (Making People’s Music: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1900-1970) – and the fourth-year Special Subject module MO4938 (Progress and Reform: The United States, 1880-1930). She also co-teaches the MLitt module MO5605 (Themes in American History) and co-ordinates MO1008 (Themes in Late Modern History).