Michael Reeve grew up in the north of England. He was born and raised in Kingston-Upon-Hull, East Yorkshire and has lived in Leeds, West Yorkshire, since 2008.
In July 2019, Michael was awarded a PhD in History by the University of Hull, after producing an AHRC-funded thesis on the bombardment of civilians during the First World War. This is now a book, published by Palgrave Macmillan in December 2021.
From 2017-19, he has also worked as a lecturer in modern history at Leeds Beckett University, and has provided teaching and guest lectures at the University of Hull on the First World War and diaspora histories of the twentieth century.
He is now a Lecturer in History at Bishop Grosseteste University, following a two-year tenure as an Academic Skills Tutor at Leeds Beckett University. He has also previously worked as a History tutor on the Access to HE History Diploma course at Infused Learning, a not-for-profit, distance-learning education provider. In April 2020, Michael joined the relaunched committee of History Lab Plus, a network for Early Career Researchers based at the Institute of Historical Research, London.
Michael is a historian of modern Britain, with research interests in military and civilian resilience, maritime and coastal community/identity and the social and cultural history of the British empire. His recent work has been primarily concerned with responses to the threat of enemy attack on the home front during the First World War (1914-18), utilising a social and cultural approach to a wide array of primary sources, from government memoranda and plans, to printed postcards, film, landscapes and material objects. He is also developing a substantial project related to conceptions of morale in British society and military culture during the twentieth century, including the First World War, Second World War and the Cold War. A concurrent strand is the social-psychological function and cultural significance of smoking for soldiers at the front and civilians at home, where tobacco becomes a means to steel resolve in the face of attack and to stave off pre-attack anxieties.
Michael has published articles for both academic and public audiences on smoking in the war context, anti-German sentiment, northern identity, and the material culture and representation of First World War bombardment. He has also given many talks at UK and international conferences, given museum tours and been invited to radio debates (BBC Radio) and podcasts (Western Front Association) on topics related to his research. In 2021, Michael consulted the production team of the Channel 4 documentary series, Britain by Beach (with presenter Anita Rani), alongside appearing as an interviewee in episode 4. He won the 2016 Yorkshire History Prize for his work on anti-German sentiment in Hull during the First World War and the 2020 Gordon Forster Essay Prize for an article related to the local adaptation of imperial culture in Hull. He has received funding from the AHRC, Royal Historical Society and the Historial de la Grande Guerre.
Michael has worked on public heritage projects, TV consultancy and, prior to entering the academic world, worked in retail and sales, and in the museums sector. This often involved historical interpretation, including dressing up as a Victorian policeman and, on occasion, an enormous teddy bear!
Michael is open to media, research and historical consulting engagements. Please use the contact page.