Ross McKibbin

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Ross Ian McKibbin,[1] FBA (born January 1942) is an Australian academic historian whose career, spent almost entirely at the University of Oxford, has been devoted to studying the social, political and cultural history of modern Britain, especially focusing on Labour politics and class cultures.

Early life[edit]

Ross Ian McKibbin was born in Sydney, Australia, in January 1942, the son of Arnold Walter McKibbin, a teacher, and his wife, Nance Lilian, daughter of Clarence Spence, a bank manager from Bega. McKibbin's father's family emigrated from Northern Ireland in the 1860s. His paternal grandfather was the secretary to the vice-chancellor of Sydney University and the family were staunchly Protestant. When Arthur McKibbin was demobilised from the RAAF after World War II, he took up teaching at North Sydney Boys' High School until 1951, when the family relocated to Forbes, a rural township in New South Wales; five years later, they moved to Orange, where McKibbin completed his schooling.[2][3]

In 1959, he enrolled at Sydney University, around the same time that his father was offered a bureaucratic post in the city's Education Department. At university, he involved himself in the Labour Club, wrote a dissertation on the origins of Australian nationalism and received a university prize for his fourth-year examination results. Influenced by a tutor, Ernest Bramsted, and his own Labour politics, McKibbin became interested in the history of the British Labour Party which, in contrast to its Australian counterpart, then embraced a certain left-wing idealism. Keen to access British archives, he completed his doctorate on the party's early history under the supervision of Pat Thompson at St Antony's College, Oxford, between 1964 to 1967. He returned to Australia to lecture at the University of Sydney between 1968 and 1969; finding, once again, that he needed ready access to British archives, he was appointed a Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford.[3]

Career and works[edit]

In 1972, McKibbin became a Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at St John's College, Oxford, and remained there for the rest of his career. Between 2006 and 2015, he was an Emeritus Research Fellow there and in 2015 he became Emeritus Fellow. In 1999, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy,[4] and in 2009, he was elected an honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.[5] McKibbin's work has focused on working-class life and the politics of the Labour party and the labour movement more generally. In the words of Peter Ghosh, McKibbin's work "embraces an unprecedented range of the life and activities of the ‘ordinary man’; it combines the most generous human sympathies with a stringent intellectual discipline; and it embodies a radical and novel conceptualization of the recent past".[6]

Bibliography[edit]

In addition to many reviews for the London Review of Books, and an obituary of his doctoral supervisor for The Guardian, McKibbin's academic works include:[7]

Books
Articles and chapters

Further reading[edit]

Clare V. J. Griffiths, James J. Nott & William Whyte (eds.) Classes, Cultures, and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin. Oxford University Press, 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keith Robbins (ed.), A Bibliography of British History, 1914–1989 (Oxford University Press, 1996), volume 6, p. 632
  2. ^ "McKibbin, Dr Ross Ian", Who's Who 2017 (online edition), Oxford University Press, 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b Boyd Hilton, "Ross McKibbin", in Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin, ed. Clare V. J. Griffiths, James J. Nott, and William Whyte (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  4. ^ "Dr Ross McKibbin", British Academy. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  5. ^ "McKibbin, Ross, FBA, FAHA", Australian Academy of the Humanities. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  6. ^ Peter Ghosh, "The Gov'nor: the place of Ross McKibbin in the writing of British history", in Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin, ed. Clare V. J. Griffiths, James J. Nott, and William Whyte (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  7. ^ Peter Ghosh, "Ross McKibbin: a Bibliography", in Classes, Cultures and Politics: Essays on British History for Ross McKibbin, ed. Clare V. J. Griffiths, James J. Nott, and William Whyte (Oxford University Press, 2011)