BA (University of Roehampton), MA, PhD (University of Leeds)
Vic Clarke is a lecturer in Modern History, specialising in 19th-century British political cultures. She received her PhD from the University of Leeds in 2020, where her thesis explored the role of the Northern Star newspaper in the organisation, literary, and cultural community-building of the Chartist movement (c. 1835-1855). Vic is an interdisciplinary historian, having originally trained in English Literature and English Language and Linguistics, and is particularly interested in the use of rhetorical motifs across radical political histories from the late 18th century to the present day.
In 2021 her doctoral research received an honourable mention in the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) Sally Mitchell Dissertation Prize. She has previously won funding from the Royal Historical Society Early Career Fellowship grant scheme to support a book chapter on fashion history to be published in late 2021. Before joining the History department at York, Vic taught on the English and Liberal Arts programmes at the University of Leeds, and most recently worked as a Research Assistant on National Archives-funded projects on community engagement with and inclusive language use in archives at the Brotherton Special Collections and Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute, both at the University of Leeds.
Vic's current research focusses on the use of (slave trade) abolitionist rhetoric in labour reform movements of the 19th century, and its parallels in current campaigns against fast fashion. Her forthcoming publications include a contribution on political iconography of 'fustian jackets' and Scottish tartan in the Chartist movement; and is currently researching an article on 'Yorkshire Slavery' abolitionist and factory reform campaigner Richard Oastler, and his use of private and periodical correspondence to improve the working conditions in Yorkshire textile mills. She is also interested in the history of publishing and print cultures of the 19th and 21st centuries, particularly the parallels between 19th-century newspaper correspondence and short-form social media use in engaging with political issues.
Vic has published in Victorian Periodicals Review and a number of academic collections and community history zines. At present she is preparing her thesis for publication as a monograph on the biography of the Northern Star (1837-1852) newspaper as the longest-running title in the Chartist press.
Political Communities in World History
John Stuart Mill and Victorian Britain
Comparative History: Empires
Parliament, People, and Representation (MA module)