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Dr Keith Vernon

Principal Lecturer in History
School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies

Keith is Academic Team Lead for English Literature and Creative Writing, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Liberal Arts, and teaches modules on modern British social and cultural history. He is the school lead for Heritage development and Digital Humanities and works extensively with outside organisations. He researches and writes on a range of topics in the history of higher and technical education.

Keith has a wide-ranging role, connecting with a diverse set of colleagues and activities. As an Academic Team Lead, he helps with the co-ordination of staff teaching in English Literature and Creative Writing. The BA (Hons) Liberal Arts is a new programme bringing together subjects across the Humanities and Social Sciences to allow students to construct an almost bespoke course of study, suitable to their individual interests and expertise. Heritage is an area of teaching, research and public engagement of interest to colleagues across the university, from a wide range of perspectives. Keith is seeking to bring together elements of this work and to connect it with organisations outside the university.

Keith started out as a historian of science, which led to wider interests in the history of higher and technical education. Within this field, he has conducted a variety of projects, most notably on the relationships between universities and the state, which resulted in a monograph Universities and the State in England, 1850 – 1939 (Routledgefalmer, 2004); and on the connections between universities and their local communities. Students form a key link between universities and communities and the history of student life, experience and opportunities in the twentieth century has been another key strand. Inspired by the International Year of Co-operation in 2012, Keith became interested in the history of education in the Co-operative Movement, especially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A forthcoming joint authored book provides an account of the history of the Co-operative College. Following from this work, Keith was invited to become a Trustee of the Co-operative Heritage Trust. Teaching has always been the main priority, and Keith has taught a range of modules on the social and cultural history of Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth century. This has covered urban history, the history of medicine, history of education, local history and general modern British history, from Foundation to Post-graduate level. He has a particular interest in skills development for historians and co-ordinates the Work Placement in History module. Keith has written about this aspect in the co-authored work Teaching and Learning History (Sage, 2005). The concern with employability development has led to working with numerous outside agencies, in Preston and across the region. He leads on Heritage development across the school and has chaired the Preston History Network and University Heritage Network. He has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Lancashire and Harris Library.

  • PhD History of Science, University of Manchester, 1987
  • MSc History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leicester, 1986
  • BSc Biological Sciences, University of Leicester, 1984
  • Education and opportunity in the twentieth century
  • A History of the Co-operative College
  • Humanities for life-long learning and active ageing