Martin Francis (Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor 1996-7) is currently the inaugural Henry R. Winkler Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Cincinnati. His current research interests lie in the fields of gender history (especially masculinity), cultural history and the social history of the two world wars. His most recent book is The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.
Professor Francis writes of his year as Fulbright-Robertson Professor:
When I arrived in Fulton in the fall of 1996, my first monograph – a study of the relationship between socialist ideology and the 1945-51 Labour government – was in press, and I was taking time to consider my next research project. I had originally intended to extend my research on the relationship between ideology and politics in modern Britain, but my year in Missouri gave me the opportunity to reflect at length on where I wanted to go next. Inevitably the presence of the Churchill Memorial led me to think about Churchill, and about how I might seek an intersection between his political styles and my growing interest in the histories of masculinity and the emotions. I decided to embark on a comparative study of how emotion was displayed in British and American culture in the twentieth century, with Churchill as one of my leading characters. I eventually abandoned this project, although it did lead to a number of articles (including one titled ‘Tears, Tantrums and Bared Teeth’, which appeared in the Journal of British Studies in 2002, and which compared the public emotional codes of Churchill, Eden and Macmillan. My year in the US certainly toughened my resolve to take a ‘cultural turn’ in my research, and my subsequent publications have attempted to fuse the traditionally quarantined concerns of either political or military history on one hand, and cultural history on the other. My year in Missouri was also my first visit to the States, and it was interesting to get to know the country from the heartland outward, as opposed to the usual process of first visiting the east coast, and only then proceeding into the interior. At the end of my term as Fulbright-Robertson Professor, I returned to Britain to take up a position at Royal Holloway, University of London, but I retained a desire to relocate to the US, which was realized when I moved to Cincinnati in 2003.