David Hopkin studied history at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, from 1985 to 1988. He returned to Cambridge in 1994 to pursue his doctorate under the supervision of Peter Burke and Bob Scribner. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College from 1997 to 1999 and lecturer, then senior lecturer, in the Department of Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow, from 1999. He joined Hertford as Fellow and Tutor in History in 2005. He was made Professor of European Social History in 2017.
David Hopkin teaches modern European history. He provides tutorials for the 1st year (prelims) papers General History 4 Society, Nation and Empire 1815-1914, Foreign Text Tocqueville, and the Optional Subjects The French Revolution and Empire and The Romance of the People. For finals students (2nd and 3rd years) he provides tutorials for the nineteenth and twentieth century EWF History papers. He teaches historiography both at prelims and finals, and supervises undergraduate theses and bridge essays (for the school in History and Modern Languages).
Recent thesis and bridge essay titles include:
‘Méchante mère’: Infanticide in the folk ballads of nineteenth-century France
Voices of Salento: Identity in Traditional Song and Rituals of the ‘Terra d’Otranto’, c.1900 to the Present Day
‘Freaks, Frolics and Pugilistic Achievements’: Reconsidering the Significance of Punch and Judy in the Late 18th and early 19th Centuries
Depictions of Transgressive Female Behaviour in 18th and 19th Century Spanish pliegos sueltos
The Music of George Butterworth and the Reception of the English Pastoral, 1910-1939
The Female Soldier in Street Literature and Oral Culture in the German Speaking Lands, c. 1600-1950 (winner of the Folklore Society’s President’s Prize 2010)
The Charlton Horn Fair and London Plebeian Culture, 1700-1872
Auguste Blanqui and Armand Barbès at Belle-Ile and the Formation of a Blanquist Party in French Politics 1850-1871
Edwin Sidney Hartland: Matrilinial Kinship and the Patriarchy
La Bête est Morte: The Second World War and National Identity in French Bande Dessinée
Lieutenant Bilse’s ‘Aus einer Kleinen Garnison’ and the Politics and Culture of the German Officer-Corps
Descaves’ Sous-offs: Challenging the arche-sainte of the Third Republic
‘Penny Bloods’ and ‘Penny Dreadfuls’: Morality, Social Control and Class Relations in Victorian Popular Culture
‘Le Petit Paysan de Lussac’: Léon Pineau and the Regionalist Movement
Identity, Stereotypes and Self-Representation in English and Welsh Gypsy Oral Culture c.1880 – c.1930
David Hopkin teaches on several of the core courses for the Modern British and European History Masters degrees. He runs an optional paper on Peasant Societies, Economies and Polities in Western Europe, c.1750-c.1950 for the Masters courses in Economic and Social History. He is currently supervising three doctoral students and two masters students on topics relating to European social, cultural and military history, c. 1760-c.1914. He welcomes graduate applications in the fields of European popular culture, historical anthropology, rural and maritime societies, and military history.
Current and recent doctoral and masters theses titles include:
Inalienable Land? Lived Experiences of ‘Remembrement’ in a 1980s Normandy Village
Popular Political Song in Eighteenth-Century Liège and Lille
The Victorian Cavalryman: A Social Study of the King’s Dragoon Guards and the Queen’s Bays
The Servant Problem in Britain and France, 1900-1940
French Regionalists and the First World War
The Origins and Implementation of the 1906 French ‘Beauquier’ Law for the Protection of Landscape
‘Misery in the Moorlands’: Lived Bodies in the Landes de Gascogne, 1870-1914
The Language Question in Napoleonic France
The People’s Risorgimento? Italian National Discourses and Popular Culture in Tuscany, 1846-1860
Pacification, Collaboration and Resistance in Napoleonic Valencia 1812-1813
David Hopkin’s research is the field of social and cultural history of modern Europe. His particular field is oral culture and popular culture (songs, tales, riddles, dance, street theatre…). He explores historical communities through the stories that they told to themselves about themselves. His first book, Soldier and Peasant in French Popular Culture, was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone prize in 2003. Since then he has studied other social groups such as fishermen, home-workers and servants. The oral culture of these groups was the subject of his second monograph, Voices of the People in Nineteenth-Century France (2012), which won the Katharine Briggs Prize.The geographical focus of his studies is France and neighbouring regions such as Flanders and the Basque Country.
An interest in oral and popular culture has led to an interest in how these sources are produced and survived, and thus to the history of folklore and anthropology. With Tim Baycroft (Sheffield) he edited Folklore and Nationalism in Europe during the Long Nineteenth Century (2012). He has worked with numerous European based colleagues on these projects, especially with the Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique in Brest and the BEROSE team in Paris.
In 2016-17 he was on research leave as a Leverhulme Fellow working on ‘Lacemakers: Poverty, Religion and Gender in a Transnational Work Culture’ (see The Leverhulme Trust’s Annual Review 2015 p. 38 for details). Although handmade lace was a luxury, the women who made it were among the most penurious of workers in the nineteenth century. Nonetheless they participated in a lively work culture, one aspect of which were the songs they sang collectively. These songs commented on every aspect of their lives and constitute a wonderful source for the exploring an otherwise almost hidden social group: poor, usually illiterate women. Although that project concentrates on Flanders, France and Italy, he is also engaged on a research project to recreate the lace ‘tells’ (a specific repertoire of songs and rhymes) that were used in English lace schools in the nineteenth century. Together with Nicolette Makovicky (Oxford) he runs the website dedicated to the history, culture and practices of lacemakers and lacemaking Lace in Context.
with Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon, ‘La bataille de Saint-Cast (1758) et sa mémoire: une mythologie bretonne’, Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l’Ouest 114:4 (2007): 195-215. [Special issue of ABPO edited by Hopkin, Lagadec, Perréon and Christophe Cérino.]
‘Les religieux et la culture vernaculaire en Europe : un aperçu et un exemple’, in Fañch Postic and Pierre Pichette (eds) L’Apport des prêtres et religieux au patrimoine des minorités. Parcours comparés Bretagne/Canada français. Brest: CRBC, 2013.
with Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon, ‘ “L’Anglois”, un ennemi “héréditaire”? L’ambiguïté des sentiments envers les Britanniques dans la Bretagne du XVIIIe siècle’, in Jörg Ulbert (ed.) Ennemi juré, ennemi naturel, ennemi héréditaire: Construction et instrumentalisation de la figure de l’ennemi. La France et ses adversaries (XIVe-XXe siècles). Hamburg: DOBU Verlag, 2011. pp. 90-104.
with Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon, ‘Lendemains de guerre sur les côtes bretonnes. Descentes britanniques et ‘épuration’ en 1758’, in François Pernot and Valérie Toureille (eds), Lendemains de Guerre. De l’antiquité au monde contemporain: les hommes, l’espace, et le récit, l’économie et le politique. Brussels: Peter Lang, 2010. pp. 65-74. ISBN 978-90-5201-592-7.
‘Fishermen, Tourists and Artists in the Nineteenth Century: The View from the Beach’, in Impressionists by the Sea (exhibition catalogue, curated and introduced by John House). London: Royal Academy, 2007. ISBN 978-1903973882.
‘Storytelling and Networking in a Breton Fishing Village, 1879-1882’ in David Bates, Véronique Gazeau, et al (eds), Liens personnels, réseaux, solidarities en France et dans les îles britanniques (XIe -XXe siècle). Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2006.
‘Legendary Places: Oral History and Folk Geography in Nineteenth-Century Brittany’, in Frances Fowle and Richard Thomson (eds), Soil and Stone: Impressionism, Urbanism, Environment. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. pp. 65-84.
with Cédric Boissière, Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon, ‘La bataille de Saint-Cast, un événement ‘médiatique’ européen’, Société d’émulation des Côtes-d’Armor, 137 (2009). pp. 93-120. . [Special issue edited by Hopkin, Lagadec, Perréon on ‘Dossier Saint-Cast (1758-2008)’.]
with Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon), ‘La bataille de Saint-Cast (11 septembre 1758): quelques nouvelles perspectives’, Mémoires de la société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne 87 (2009). pp. 153-183.
with Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon, ‘William Todd et Walter Thomas: deux regards britanniques sur la bataille de Saint-Cast (11 septembre 1758)’, Société d’émulation des Côtes-d’Armor, 136 (2008). pp. 3-31.
with Yann Lagadec and Stéphane Perréon, ‘“A pleasant country”: visions britanniques sur les descentes de 1758 de Cancale à Saint-Cast’, Mémoires de la société historique et archéologique d’Ille-et-Vilaine (2008). pp. 31-70.
Guest editor for special issue of the Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l’Ouest 114:4 (2007) on Des descentes britanniques sur les côtes de l’ouest aux rapports trans-manche.
‘Cameron, William [nicknamed Hawkie], beggar, pedlar and wit’, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, electronic version, 2006.
‘The French Army, 1624-1914: From the King’s to the People’s’, Historical Journal 48:4 (2005): 1125-1137 [Review article].
Guest editor for special issue of the journal Folklore 115:2 (2004) dedicated to Folklore and the Historian.
‘Glasgow Broadside Ballads’ website, based on the Murray Collection, Glasgow University Library Special Collections. Prepared with Valentina Bold and David Morrison (Scottish Studies, Glasgow University).