Rebecca Searle is a historian who lectures in the humanities. Her work focuses on the ways in which the study of the past can be used to make critical interventions in the politics of the present. Her research interests include the history of the housing crisis; the global history of contemporary capitalism; and war and conflict in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She is the Course leader for BA (Hons) War, Conflict and Modernity degree within the Humanities programme.
Dr Rebecca Searle is a contemporary historian with particular research specialisms in the histories of housing, capitalism, resistance, terrorism and warfare. She is Course leader for BA (Hons) War, Conflict and Modernity degree within the Humanities programme and coordinates the first year of this programme. She is committed to interdisciplinary research and is excited by the potential of different disciplinary approaches to enrich historical practice. She is a member of the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories, and of the research cluster Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence.
Rebecca completed her BA and MA in Contemporary History at the University of Sussex. In 2006, she was awarded an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award and worked in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum and the University of Sussex in preparation of her DPhil entitled “Art, Propaganda and the Experience of Aerial Warfare in Britain, 1939-1945”. In 2013 she was awarded a Paul Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship with Yale University to develop her thesis into a monograph.
Subsequently Rebecca worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Economic History at the University of Sussex. She was first employed on the ESRC project The Living Standards of Working Households in Britain, 1904-1960. She was then part of a team who were awarded a £1.15m ESRC Grant for The Global Income Inequality Project.
Rebecca has worked at the University of Brighton since 2009 and in 2016 became a permanent member of staff, where she teaches across the Humanities programme. In her research she seeks to reintegrate economic perspectives into social, cultural and political history in order to critically interrogate the contemporary world. She is currently writing a history of the housing crisis with particular focus on the history of the private rented sector.
Gazeley, Ian, Gutierrez Rufrancos, Hector, Newell, Andrew, Reynolds, Kevin and Searle, Rebecca (2016) The poor and the poorest, 50 years on: evidence from British Household Expenditure Surveys of the 1950s and 1960s Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A, 180 (2). pp. 455-474. ISSN 0964-1998
Searle, Rebecca (2014) Is there anything real about real wages? A history of the official British cost of living index, 1914–62 Economic History Review, 68 (1). pp. 145-166. ISSN 0013-0117
Searle, Rebecca (2014) The War Artists' Advisory Committee and the Bombing of Germany Making History, Colombo Art Biennale, Sri Lanka.
Jones, Ben and Searle, Rebecca (2013) Humphrey Jennings, the Left and the Experience of Modernity in mid twentieth-century Britain History Workshop Journal, 75 (1). ISSN 1363-3554
'The Poor and the Poorest, Fifty Years on', IZA, (Discussion paper 7909, January)
'The War Artists’ Advisory Committee and the Bombing of Germany' in Ruhanie Perera and LeeAnn Deemar (eds.), Making History: The Colombo Art Biennale 2014 Catalogue, (Colombo, Sri Lanka: Colombo Art Biennale Publication)
Review of Black Market Britain by Mark Roodhouse, Economic History Review, (vol.67, 2).
Selected Conference Papers
‘The War Artists’ Advisory Committee and the Bombing of Germany’. Representation, Politics and Violence, University of Brighton. September 2013.
‘The 1953-4 Household Expenditure Enquiry: first results’ with Prof. Ian Gazeley and Andrew Newell.
Economic History Conference, University of York, April 2013.
‘London can take it? The Representation and Experience of Living through the Blitz’.
Social History Society Conference, University of Brighton, April 2012.
Invited Paper: ‘The Representation of Fighter Command during the Second World War’.
Image-Object-Text-Analysis seminar, University of Brighton. November 2011.
Invited Paper: ‘Aircraft Production and Industrial Propaganda during the Second World War’.
Air Power Research Workshop, University of Birmingham. September 2011.
Invited Paper: ‘Experience, Modernity and the Landscape: Representations of the Nation in Humphrey Jennings’ Family Portrait (1950)’ with Dr. Benjamin Jones.
ESRC Women and Gender in Focus Symposium, University of Sussex, May 2009.
‘British War Artists and Aviation’. Myths, Gender and the Military Conquest of Air and Sea at the University of Oldenburg, Germany. April 2009.