• Who am I?

    Who am I?

    I was the first in my family to receive a university education and I’ve never lost the desire to teach, research and spread the word about learning to as many people as possible. My early research focussed on the role of working-class women in the family economy, particularly their use of credit and the pawnbroker. It subsequently explored gossip networks in working class neighbourhoods and institutions. More recently, I’ve been researching and teaching the history of youth and exploring its implications for young people growing up in the present day.

    You only have to speak to me to know that I’m only an adopted northerner, but I’ve lived in and loved the North West for many years. Manchester and northern England are wonderful places in which to live and learn. I’ve written about the moorlands of the north and think these great open spaces are in many ways the real landscapes of England, although I retain a soft spot for the rural settings of the East Midlands, the landscapes of my childhood.

    My career has not always been within universities. I’ve also taught and developed outreach and guidance provision in adult, community and further education. These experiences shaped my views of the importance of breaking down barriers to learning, opening up access and opportunities across communities and age groups, and researching radical histories which test and challenge accepted wisdom.

    We’re lucky in the North West to be able to draw upon the cultural richness of many different organisations, groups and individuals who have a common enthusiasm and curiosity about local histories and heritage. History is for everyone and finding ways to share research and ideas by breaking down academic barriers and communicating our work is an important part of what we do in the Manchester Centre for Regional History.

  • Academic Biography

    Academic and professional qualifications

    I have published books on the history of pawnbroking and working-class credit, gossip and social relationships in working-class neighbourhoods, and on the leisure identities of youth in the 1920s and 1930s. University/AHRC research leave in 2009/10 enabled me to complete Being Boys: Youth Leisure and Identity in the Inter-war Years (Manchester University Press, 2012; paperback, April 2014).

    AHRC Follow-on Funding, The Passions of Youth, 2014-15, is enabling me to apply some of the findings of this work, by working with local artists, youth work practitioners and educationalists to explore changes and continuities of working-class boys and young men over the past sixty years. This inter-generational project around the shared leisure passions of working-class young men and older men involves Manchester Histories, FC United, Belle Vue Aces (Speedway) and Salford Youth Hub and aims to challenge negative popular stereotypes and enhance public understanding of the value of humanities research.

    I’m also researching a new book, provisionally entitled Writing, Asking, Advising: Teens, Young Adults and Personal Advice Columns, 1920s-1970s, which is supported by a British Academy Small Grant.

    Other academic service (administration and management)

    Postgraduate Admissions

    Director, Manchester Centre for Regional History

    Co-director, Manchester Centre for Youth Studies

  • Teaching & Research Supervision

    Why study History?

    History is about what makes us human, what roots us in time and what shapes the future. It’s about identifying patterns, developing critical abilities and making sense of the messiness of past lives. It’s about learning to interpret, debate and challenge on a basis of evidence, to acquire skills which will allow you not only to understand the past but also how to critique the present.

    Studying History is about rigour, but also about developing your confidence, ability and humanity. Whatever type of history you study, after three years, you’ll emerge as a different individual with a deeper awareness of both yourself and the society around you.

    Undergraduate courses

    Many aspects of my research inform my teaching and I’m currently completing a new book, Making Youth: A History of Youth in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Britain (London: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming), which will support my third year unit.


    Year 2: Sex, Society and the Family, 1800-1960s
    Year 3: History of Youth in the 19th and 20th Centuries

    Postgraduate teaching

    MA History 

    Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)

    Andrew, Rebecca, 'An examination of young working-class women's leisure in three Cumbrian rural communities between the 1930s and the 1950s'

    Hulme, Michaela, ‘Death in the world’s first industrial city, 1800-1850’

    Ngo, Hga Nan, ‘Fatherhood and masculinity in rural and urban Vietnam: a comparative study of generational and class differences in men’s attitudes and experiences’. (On supervisory panel. Director of Studies, Dr Susie Jacobs, is in the Department of Sociology)

    Jackson, Veronica, ‘Technical and vocational training of young women in the North-West, 1950-1965’: Underachievement and opportunities missed?'

    James, Gary, 'The Emergence of an Association Football Culture in Manchester 1850-1904' (On supervisory panel. Director of Studies, Dr Dave Day, is at the Crewe campus)

    Jones, David, 'Power and powerlessness in inter-war rural England'

    Nuttall, Pamela, 'Corruption in public life: a study of the exercise of power in Manchester and Salford in the late-Victorian period, 1871-1902

    Whitfield, Matthew, ‘Multi-storey public housing in England during the inter-war years’

    External examiner roles

    External PhD examining since 2008: University of York; University of Wolverhampton; Edith Cowan University, Western Australia; University of Lancaster. I have examined many MA and M.Res dissertations on regional history and youth topics.

  • Research Expertise, Publications & Grants

    Research expertise

    My research interests include the history of childhood and youth; gender and working-class masculinities; sense of place and regional identities; landscape and the outdoor movement; working-class communities; history of emotions.

    Academic collaborations

    2014: Co-investigator, 'World War One Engagement Centre: Voices of War and Peace', University of Birmingham

    2013/14: Co-investigator, AHRC Development Grant, 'Nottingham lace: Capturing and Representing Knowledge in People, Machines and Documents', Nottingham Trent University

    • Publications

      • Books (authored/edited/special issues)

        M. Tebbutt, A. Kidd (2016). People, Places and Identities: Themes in British Social and Cultural History, 1700s-1980s. MJ. Tebbutt. Manchester University Press.

        M. Tebbutt (2016). Making Youth: A History of Youth in Modern Britain. Palgrave Macmillan.

        M. Tebbutt (2012). Being Boys. Manchester University Press.

        MJ. Tebbutt (2004). Rural and Urban Encounters in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Regional Perspectives. Manchester: Conference of Regional and Local Historians.

        M. Tebbutt (1995). Women's talk?. Scolar Pr.

        M. Tebbutt (1983). Making Ends Meet. Taylor & Francis.

      • Refereed journal articles

        M. Tebbutt (2017). Listening to youth? BBC youth broadcasts during the 1930s and the Second World War. History Workshop Journal.

        M. Tebbutt, D. Bourne (2014). Shebeens and black music culture in Moss Side, Manchester, in the 1950s and 1960s. Manchester Region History Review. 25, pp.21-34.

        M. Tebbutt (2012). Imagined Families and Vanished Communities: Memories of a Working-class Life in Northampton. History Workshop Journal. 73(1), pp.144-169.

        MJ. Tebbutt (2011). Special edition, Manchester Region History Review. Manchester Region History Review. 22,

        MJ. Tebbutt (2011). Introduction, ‘Growing up in the North West, 1850s- 1950s. Manchester Region History Review. 22,

        MJ. Tebbutt (2011). Teen “angst” in the 1930s. Manchester Region History Review. 22,

        M. Tebbutt (2006). Rambling and manly identity in Derbyshire's dark peak, 1880s-1920s. Historical Journal. 49(4), pp.1125-1153.

        MJ. Tebbutt (2004). Landscapes of Loss: Moorlands, Manliness and the First World War. Landscapes. Autumn, pp.114-127.

        MJ. Tebbutt (1999). Centres and peripheries: reflections on place identity and sense of belonging in a North Derbyshire cotton town, 1880-1990. Manchester Region History Review. Summer,

        M. Tebbutt, M. Marchington (1997). 'Look before you speak': Gossip and the insecure workplace'. Work, Employment and Society. 11(4), pp.713-735.

        MJ. Tebbutt (1997). 'Look before you speak': Workers’ words in the insecure workplace. Work, Employment and Society. December(1997),

        M. Tebbutt (1992). 'You couldn't help but know': public and private space in the lives of working class women, 1918-39. Manchester Region History Review. V1, pp.72-79.

      • Chapters in books

        MJ. Tebbutt (2016). From “Marriage Bureau” to “Points of View”. Changing patterns of advice in teenage magazines: Mirabelle, 1956-1977. A. Kidd, M. Tebbutt. In: People, Places and Identities: Themes in British Social and Cultural History, 1700s-1980s. Manchester University Press,

        MJ. Tebbutt (2013). Healing landscapes: psychology and the outdoor movement in the 1920s. D. Day. In: Sport and Leisure Histories. Crewe: Manchester Metropolitan University,

        MJ. Tebbutt (2011). Exhibition and inhibitions: new narratives of working-class boys and leisure in the 1920s and 1930s. R. Snape. In: Recording Leisure Lives.

        MJ. Tebbutt (2004). 'Men of the Hills and Street Corner Boys’: Northern Uplands and the Urban Imagination’,. In: Rural and Urban Encounters in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Regional Perspectives. Manchester: Conference of Regional and Local Historians,

        MJ. Tebbutt (2004). Gendering an upland landscape: masculinity and place identity in the Peak District, 1880s - 1920s. In: Society, Landscape and Environment in Upland Britain. Birmingham: Society for Landscape Studies,

        MJ. Tebbutt (2000). In the Midlands but not of them’: Derbyshire’s Dark Peak, An Imagined Northern Landscape. In: Northern Identities: The Construction of Identity in Northern England from 1800 to the present. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp.163-194.

        MJ. Tebbutt (1997). Workplace Gossip: Management Myths in Further Education. In: Languages of Labour. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp.131-152.

        MJ. Tebbutt (1992). Women’s Talk? Gossip and women’s words in working class communities, 1880-1939. In: Cultures and Communities in Manchester and Salford, 1880-1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp.49-73.

    • Invited keynotes and conference contribution

      • Invited papers

        (2014) 'Reading the family through family letters and diaries'. Day Symposium, Making histories through diaries and letters: how do we engage with personal materials?, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1 November

        (2014) 'The passions of youth: Anthony Burgess and Richard Hoggart'. Interdisciplinary colloqium, Day of the Droogs, International Anthony Burgess Foundation', 29 January

        (2013) 'Northern identities: constructions of space, place and region', University of Huddersfield, 27 September (Keynote)

        (2013) 'The trouble with boys, Industrialism and masculinity in compararative regional context'.  Symposium, History Research Wales, 17th - 18th September

        (2013) 'Advice pages in popular newspapers', Manchester Historical Association, April

        (2013) 'Women and the pawnshop', Lancashire Record Office, March

        (2012) 'Healing landscapes: psychology and the outdoor movement in the 1920s', British Society of Sports History Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, November (Keynote)

        (2012) 'Young men seeking advice in inter-war Britain', New Directions in the Humanities, Montreal, Canada, 14th-16th June 2012

        (2012) 'Trends in personal advice pages on British newspapers and magazines, 1930s-1990s', Day Symposium, University of Worcester, April 2012

        (2012) 'Miserable Blue Eyes: Dorothy Critchlow and the Manchester Evening News', Manchester Histories Festival

        (2011) 'Shy suitors and baffled romeos: young men’s letters to “agony aunts” in the 1930s', Historical Association Annual conference, May

        (2011) ‘Rational Recreation: Histories of Travel, Tourism and Leisure’, University of Manchester, February (Keynote)

        (2011) 'Working-class lads and leisure in the inter-war years'. AGM Lecture. Friends of the Manchester Centre for Regional History, Manchester Metropolitan University (27 January)

        (2010) 'Becoming a man: daily life in a 1930s diary', Day School on diaries, Chethams Library, Manchester, Saturday 13 March

        (2009) 'Lounge lizards, gigolos and “flighty pieces”: young people and dancing in the interwar years', Day School, Youth Histories and the North West, jointly organized by the Manchester Centre for Regional History, MMU and the Antiquarian Society, September

        (2009) 'Dancing the night away’: dancing and dance-halls in the interwar years', Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Liverpool, April

        (2009) ‘Exhibition and inhibitions: working –class boys and leisure in the 1920s and 1930s’, Recording Leisure Lives, Annual Conference of the Leisure Studies Association, April (Keynote Plenary)

      • Invited roundtable discussions

        Seminar papers (since 2008)

        (2012) 'Writing, Asking, Advising’, Leeds Modern History Seminars, March

        (2010) 'Being Boys? Young men’s letters to Agony Aunts in the Interwar Years', British History 1815-45 seminar, Institute of Historical Research, (28 October)

        (2010) 'Where were the Agony Uncles?', History Seminar Series, De Montfort University, 17 March

        (2009) ‘Re-thinking Working-class Young Males and Leisure in the Interwar Years’, seminar series, Department of History, Manchester University, 1 October

        (2007) 'Claiming Place and Mapping Difference: Gender and Walking the Interwar Countryside’ AHRC Landscape and Environment Network, University of Sheffield

        (2008) 'Regional iIdentity and northern consciousness: defining Derbyshire’s Dark Peak', Institute of Northern Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University

    Conference organisation

    (2014) 'Making histories through diaries and letters: how do we engage with personal materials?'. Day symposium, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1 November, co-organised with Dr Hilda Kean, Visiting Professor, University of Greenwich.

    Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

    Reviewer/referee international journals and publishers, including the following in the last five years: Agricultural History Review, Contemporary British History, English Historical Review, Economic History Review, Human Relations, Journal of British Studies, Journal of the Early Republic (University of Pennsylvania Press), Journal of Intercultural Studies, Journal of Social History, Journal of Tourism History, Journal of Urban History, National Identities, Twentieth Century British History, Women’s History Review

    Reader for Oxford University Press, Manchester University Press, Ashgate and Routledge


    Since 2008: 

    2014-15: Principal Investigator, AHRC Follow-on Funding Award, 'The Passions of Youth'

    2014-16: Co-investigator, 'World War One Engagement Centre: Voices of War and Peace', University of Birmingham

    2013: Co-investigator, AHRC Development Grant, 'Nottingham lace: Capturing and Representing Knowledge in People, Machines and Documents', Nottingham Trent University

    2011 British Academy Small Grant, 'Writing, Asking and Advising'

    2009-10 AHRC Research Leave Award, 'Working-class Masculinities in the Interwar Years'

  • Engagement & Knowledge Exchange
  • Awards, Honours & Distinctions

    Prizes and awards

    Since 2008: 

    2014: AHRC Follow-on Funding Award, The Passions of Youth

    2013: Co-investigator, AHRC Development Grant, Nottingham lace: Capturing and Representing Knowledge in People, Machines and Documents, Nottingham Trent University

    2011 British Academy Small Grant, Writing, Asking and Advising

    2009-10 AHRC Research Leave Award, Working-class Masculinities in the Interwar Years

    Editiorial Board membership

    International Journal of Regional and Local Studies (Editorial Advisory Board, 2007-

    Manchester Region History Review (co-editor, 1999-present)

    Membership of professional associations

    Since 2008

    2012 - Board member, Manchester Histories

    2008-14: Council member, Chetham’s Society

    2008-9: Executive Committee, Manchester Histories