Dr Keith Vernon
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
Keith’s research involves several inter-related strands. Central to it is a concern with the history of higher and technical education, focussed on the history of our own institution UCLan and particularly concerned with student experience and opportunity. He has written a scholarly but accessible account of the recent history of the university A History of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Publishing, 2018). A project on the Harris Institute during the First World War, supported with an AHRC grant, analyses the changing educational opportunities, especially for women, that arose during the war. A related strand is an oral history of students at the Harris Institute in the post-war period. Education in the Co-operative and Labour Movements in the early twentieth century also considers debates around how to provide opportunities for the working classes, whether through their own efforts or state initiatives. A different kind of project is looking at how Humanities subjects can offer opportunities for life-long learning and healthy ageing among a more mature population. Working with local U3A groups, this work draws on the inspiration and aspirations of the Centenary Commission on Adult Education
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- Education and opportunity in mid-C20 Preston
- History of the Co-operative College
- Active Ageing in a Humane Society
- AHRC Research Grant £12,000, 2016
Use the links below to view their profiles: