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Michael Potter

Thesis: 'The Jokes on Who?': Comedy and the construction of English identities, c. 1945 – 1970.

This thesis is examining the diversification of English identities from 1945 to 1970 through an analysis of popular stage, radio and television comedy.  Humour provides a previously unexplored medium through which to study historical change but, as Vic Gatrell notes, can take us to the heart of a generation's 'shifting attitudes, sensibilities and anxieties'.  The research is analysing comedic representations of four aspects of English identity: class, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity and region and locality.  In so doing it is responding to the appeal from Bill Schwarz that more research is required on how the popular media constructed new narratives of Englishness after 1945, and builds on Peter Mandler's thesis that the different levels of identity within the nation need unearthing.


Expected submission date

Funding award

  • President's Doctoral Scholarship

Research interests

Englishness, identity, popular culture, and comedy.

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