Matthew Hilton's background is in the social and cultural history of modern Britain. His first book was on the history of smoking in British popular culture. Since then he has examined many different aspects of the history of consumer society and the politics of consumption in Britain, Malaysia and at the global level. He is currently associated with three main research projects
I have recently completed a history of non-governmental organizations in Britain in collaboration with Professor Nicholas Crowson. to research the role of non-governmental organizations in Britain since 1945. This was a Leverhulme Trust funded project built on the online Database of Archives of Non-Governmental Organisations and was made up of the same team of researchers: Dr James McKay and Dr Jean-Francois Mouhot. Its principal findings are contained in The Politics of Expertise and A Historical Guide to NGOs in Britain, though all the data from the project is freely available on the project website.
Matthew talks about his research into Non-Governmental Organisations
In this AHRC project, working with Kieran Connell , we will create an archive of the world-famous Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. Set up in 1964 and led by figures such as Richard Hoggart and Stuart Hall, the CCCS was one of the first academic bodies to take ‘mass’ culture – pop music, television programmes, fashions – seriously. By creating an archive of Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies material, as well as staging an exhibition and conference to mark the 50th anniversary, this project seeks to learn more about the Centre’s research and practices and the way it helped to shape the development of an international discipline.
From the actions of nineteenth century missionaries and colonial officials to the recent food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, non-state humanitarianism has become one of the defining characteristics of international action. In collaboration with Kevin O’Sullivan at the National University of Ireland, Galway, we have created a ‘Non-state humanitarianism’ network, funded by the AHRC, which will investigate humanitarianism’s past and the uses of that past in a pan-European framework. We are hosting a series of workshops in 2013 and 2014 in Birmingham, Galway, the ZZF in Potsdam and the HCRI, Manchester.