Dr Emma Barrett

Dr Emma Barrett

Arts and Law Teaching Fellow (BIA)

Contact details

Birmingham International Academy
46 Priorsfield
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach the BIA Foundation module Understanding Law: A Critical Reflection and am a former Partner and Head of Finance and Administration of a corporate law firm. I have a PhD in Modern British History and I am an Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Birmingham. I am writing a book on Thatcherism and the City of London. My latest research project is on women’s experiences of working in finance from 1970-2008.  


PhD in Modern British History (2020) University of Birmingham

MA with Distinction in Contemporary History (2016) University of Birmingham

BA in History, Cardiff University


I have been studying and working at the University of Birmingham since 2014. In addition to my work with the BIA, I am an Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Birmingham. I also hold a Visiting Fellowship at Queen Mary University of London and an Early Career Fellowship with the Women’s History Network. In 2020-21 I was a By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.


BIA Foundation Programme, Understanding Law: A Critical Reflection

BA History module, The Making of the Contemporary World

I have supervised undergraduate research scholars working on the Douglas French Archive, at the Cadbury Research Library over several years.

Other activities

Research interests

I am an historian of modern Britain, with an interest in politics and the cultural history of finance.

  • My PhD research was on the Thatcher government and the financial history of the City of London.
  • My research on Gender and the City of London examines women’s experiences of work and financialisation from 1970-2008 and addresses workplace inequalities.
  • Oral histories: I have conducted dozens of oral histories.
  • The Douglas French Archive: Acquisition of Westminster and City Programmes speeches and conference records, promoting research into the intersection between politics and finance from 1979-2005.


Barrett, E. ‘King Caz: Cazenove, Thatcherism, and the 1980s financial revolution’, Twentieth Century British History, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2019, pp. 108-131.

Barrett, E. Review of Philip Begley, The making of Thatcherism: The Conservative Party in opposition, 1974–79, (Manchester University Press, 2020), for Journal of Contemporary History, 56. 3, July 2021, pp. 836-838.

Barrett, E. ‘The Big Bang: A fairy tale in London’, MBS WordPress, 2016.

Barrett, E. ‘Power and Resistance: The PGR Long Read’, MBS WordPress, 2016.

Research papers presented

Barrett, E. and Murphy, C. ‘The Douglas French Archive and the 1981 Budget Debate: Ways of knowing and thinking about Thatcherism’, Thatcher Network Conference, 2021.

Barrett, E. ‘Rethinking Thatcherite Political Economy’, Political Studies Association Politics and History Group, 2021.

Barrett, E. ‘Bang! Introducing the Douglas French Archive’, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 2020 (cancelled).

Barrett, E. ‘Mind Games: Lloyd’s, Conservatism and the New Right’, North American Conference on British Studies, Providence, USA, 2018.

Barrett, E. ‘The Long Goodbye: The Persistence of Gentlemanly Capitalism’, Modern British Studies Conference (MBS), 2017.

Barrett, E. ‘Deregulation and Democracy’, MBS postgraduate conference, 2016.

Barrett, E. ‘Political Bankers, Financial Politicians’, University of Birmingham, 2016.


Barrett, E. History and Policy webinar discussion (chair) ‘Marking the forty years since the 1981 Budget’, Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London.

Barrett, E. Mile End Institute podcast, ‘The Aristocracy of Talent’, Queen Mary University of London.

Barrett, E.Is the current government Thatcherite?’ Thatcher Network Conference, 2021, with Professor Martin Farr and former MP Neil Carmichael.

Barrett, E. ‘Must Bankers be Bad?’, Being Human Festival 2017, in collaboration with University of Birmingham Business school Lloyd’s Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business.