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Award winning alumnus revisiting the past

A Masters by Research is helping Oliver Brown take his studies to the next level and uncover the secrets of the past.

Oliver studied BA History and loved his time at the University of Gloucestershire so much that he started a Masters last year.

“The backing I received by all of the lecturers was invaluable,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to receive an award from the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (BGAS) for my undergraduate dissertation. As a Masters student who is now supervised by Dr Vicky Randall and Dr Christian O’Connell, I again feel like I always have support.”

Oliver’s research is investigating the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the British right-wing between 1918 and 1930. ” While there is now a healthy amount of historical writing demonstrating the existence of British anti-Semitism (which was downplayed until the 1970s) in the interwar period, there are very few studies covering the 1920s. It aims to redress the studies conducted on British interwar right-wing anti-Semitism that are skewed towards the ‘devils decade’ of the 1930s, Oswald Mosely and the British Union of Fascists (BUF) created in 1932,” he said.

And his research has also taken a local turn.

“I have discovered that the first ever Labour Candidate for the Gloucester was Jewish and faced anti-Semitic discrimination during the build-up to the Coupon Election of 1918. He was accused of “shirking” his responsibilities during World War One. This was a common accusation levied at Jews during the Great War. He was also accused of not being sufficiently English because of his religious beliefs.”

And Oliver has already found that his passion for history has helped him take steps on the career ladder.

“The skills and confidence I have gained both as an undergraduate student and Masters by Research student have helped me greatly in my newly acquired role as a Democratic and Electoral Services Officer for the Gloucester City Council, which I am doing part-time while I complete my studies.”

The University of Gloucestershire offers a range of postgraduate courses, and to find out more, click here. This article originally appeared on the University of Gloucestershire’s History Blog, which you can read here.