James Pugh


  • Lecturer in Modern History, History

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I currently supervise or co-supervise a number of MA and PhD students. Subjects in which I am interested include:

The modern history of drugs, especially with a focus on Britain.
The modern history of drugs and warfare.
The history, theory and practice of air power, particularly during the era of total war.
The military history of the two World Wars, especially from a British perspective.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I have taught Modern History and War Studies at Birmingham since 2011, becoming a Lecturer with the Department of History in July 2017. I also have administrative experience of working in both national and local government and within Higher Education.

Research interests

My current research explores the history of amphetamines in Britain before, during and after the Second World War. I am interested in how specific cultures develop around drugs, and how societies, organisations and individuals encounter, negotiate and utilise psychoactives. Methodologically, I am concerned with how we excavate the hidden history of drug use and how we manage the fluidity and subjectivity inherent in evidence of drug experiences. My work includes a focus on social, cultural and military history, and I also have research interests in a number of air power history topics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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