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History - United-Kingdom

Research topics



This is a book project underpinned by two deceptively simple research questions:
1) What was it like to be a child in wartime France? The answer must take into account the diversity of experience. Age matters, and Dodd focuses on school-age children; but age is not the main determinant of experience. Children in the country, city, separated from or with their families, well off, poor, persecuted, hunted, orphaned, bombed, but also children playing, working, eating, thinking, doing and feeling: the book reflects such multiplicity. Its chapters intersect, each building bridges of theme and method and provoking analytical synergies and dissonances. Such points of articulation create a non-linear narrative, looping and returning, reflecting and refracting the research questions. As such, the structure of the book echoes the structure of memory narration.
2) How can historians get at childhood experience in the past, from the ‘inside out’? Here, Dodd draws on a heterogeneous corpus of 200 recorded oral histories, which contains various obstacles. The project thus contributes to the scholarship on the re-use of archived oral history. It is experimental, seeking to generate scientific knowledge from unstable sources. Oral history shifts the epistemological base of any study: it changes how we know what we know, and what it is possible to know. With retrospect comes the benefit of interpretation and analysis performed by the interviewee, democratising and invigorating the historical process, and permitting reflection on the intersections between individual and collective memory. Oral evidence seeks to challenge power, offer alternative discourses, and re-establish polyphonic narratives of life.
Much scholarship in the field returns to certain orthodoxies in memory studies: Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nora, Paul Ricoeur, Henry Rousso. These sociologically-inspired frameworks focus on structure, institution and transmission. Dodd’s work occupies an innovative position because it starts from the individual, not the collective.

Activities / Resume


Lindsey Dodd is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Huddersfield, UK. She studied a BA in History with French & European Studies and an MA in Life History Research: Oral History & Mass-Observation at the University of Sussex (1996-2001), and then worked for several years in museums, archives, academic publishing and education. She completed a PhD at the University of Reading in 2011, which became her first monograph French Children under the Allied Bombs, France 1940-1944 (Manchester University Press) in 2016. She has taught at the Universities of Reading, Nottingham, Leicester and Westminster, and has been at the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire since 2012. She received funding (2014-15) from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a collaborative research project called ‘Agents of Future Promise: the ideological use of children in culture and politics (Britain and France, c.1880-c.1950’, and again (2016-2018) for a Franco-British (AHRC Care for the Future/Labex Passés dans le présent) collaborative research project ‘Disrupted histories, recovered pasts: a cross-disciplinary analysis and cross-case synthesis of oral histories and history in post-conflict and postcolonial contexts’. She has been on the editorial board of the journal Oral History since 2015. She has just published an edited collection bringing together new scholarship on Vichy France and Everyday Life: Confronting the Challenges of Wartime (Bloomsbury, 2018).



  • L. Dodd & W. Michallat, ‘Hidden words, hidden worlds: narrative sources everyday life & narrative sources (France 1939-45)’, special issue of Essays in French Literature and Culture, 54 (2017)
  • L. Dodd & D. Lees, Vichy France and Everyday Life: Confronting the Challenges of Wartime, 1939-1945 (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)
  • L. Dodd, ‘Raconter les bombardements : interprétations, expériences, mémoires’, in Viviana Agousti-Ouafi and Eric Leroy du Cardonnay (eds), Archives et témoignages français et italiens: approches croisées et transdisciplinaires sur la Seconde Guerre mondiale (L’Harmattan, 2015)
  • L. Dodd, ‘Small fish, big pond: using a single oral narrative to reveal broader social change’, in Joan Tumblety (ed.), Memory and History: Understanding Memory as Source and Subject (Routledge, 2013)
  • L. Dodd, ‘La ville éventrée; or, how bombing turned the city inside out’, in Mark Clapson and Peter Larkham (eds), The Blitz and its Legacy (Ashgate, 2013)
  • L. Dodd, ‘”Relieving sorrow and misfortune”? State, aid and ideology in bombed-out France, 1940-1945’, in Claudia Baldoli, Andrew Knapp and Richard Overy (eds), Bombing, States and Peoples in Western Europe 1940-1945 (Continuum, 2011)


  • L. Dodd, ‘Mon petit papa chéri: fathers, children and family separation’, Essays in French Literature and Culture, 54 (2017), 97-116
  • L. Dodd, ‘Children’s citizenly participation in the National Revolution: the instrumentalization of children in Vichy France’, European History Review/Revue d’Histoire Européenne , 42.5 (2017), 759-780
  • L. Dodd, ‘It did not traumatise me at all’: childhood ‘trauma’ in French oral narratives of wartime bombing’, Oral History, 42.2 (2013), 37-48
  • L Dodd & M. Wiggam, ‘Civil defence as a harbinger of war in Britain and France during the interwar period’, Synergies Royaume-Uni et Irlande, 4 (2011), 139-150
  • L. Dodd, ‘“Partez, partez”, again and again: the efficacy of evacuation as a means of protecting children from bombing in France, 1939-1945’, Children in War, 6.1 (2009), 7-20
  • L. Dodd & A. Knapp, ‘“How many Frenchmen did you kill?” British bombing policy towards France, 1940–1945’, French History, 22.4 (2008), 469-492
  • L. Dodd, ‘Are we defended? Conflicting representations of war in pre-war France’, University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, 12, 2008 (online)