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TU Berlin

Inhalt des Dokuments

Felix Fuhg


Center for Metropolitan Studies
TU Berlin
Hardenbergstraße 16-18
10623 Berlin

Project Description

Growing up in the Metropolis: Working Class Youth in London and the Making of Post-Victorian Britain, 1957-71

Winston Churchill, whose name is associated with the glorious past of Britain like none other, became seriously ill on the 15th of January, 1966. He died nine days later. While observing the funeral, Patrick O’Donovan wrote for the Observer: “This [the day of the funeral] was the last time such a thing could happen. This was the last time that London would be the capital of the world… This marked the final act of Britain’s greatness.” For many contemporaries, the death of Churchill marked the definitive end of the Age of Victorianism. The wind had already changed in Britain’s imperial politics, so with the end of the Second World War, Downing Street No. 10 was finally replaced by the White House as the center of world politics. Winston Churchill represented the imperial greatness of the country and the older generations in Britain saw his death as the final stage of an era forged by Britain’s global leadership.

Just a year after Churchill’s funeral and at the end of London’s status as being the capital of the world, Time Magazine hailed the wounds from which the country was suffering from. Piri Halasz declared London again to the capital of the world, but now as the capital of pop. For Halasz, the shift from London as the capital of the Empire to the capital of pop music was undertaken by a new class, a new elite, linked to the so-called Chelsea Set. The old Tory-Liberal Establishment that once ruled the Empire from the clubs along Pall Mall and St. James's, the still-powerful financial City of London, the church and Oxbridge’, was replaced by a young, swinging meritocracy, shaping a new post-Victorian image not just of London but of teenage revolution; young people who were earning the fruits of the welfare state, affluence, and consumption. Swinging London is still integral part of Britain’s historical post-war narrative today, and it still contributes to the national identity of the country. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London 2012 put the country’s pop-cultural revolution at center stage with the Industrial Revolution. It was youth culture that helped to overcome the gaps that the end of the Empire and the consequences of the war had left. It thus became as important as the Industrial Revolution.

Against the dominant narratives of Sixties’ London, the project is not just filling the gap of a non-existing history of working class youth culture as street culture, a form of social practice performed in the repetitive dimension of the urban day-to-day life but also use working class youth culture as a lens to analyze how and to what extend young people were not just affected by but also contributed to the making of a Post-Victorian Britain. Did the working-class teenager suffer from urban dispersal and the transformation of working class neighborhoods, or did slum clearance, council housing, and urban redevelopment provide new spaces for social interaction from which modern British youth culture was departing from? How were modern and, in some cases, new urban leisure venues used by working-class teenager, and to what extent did they function as laboratories for the developing and lively pop culture that made Britain world famous again?

The urban historyclass youth culture, London’s urban development, and the non-linear making of a Post-Victorian Britain along the lines of migration and the emergence of a multi-racial, urban society (1), the urban re-development of London (2), the formation and spatial settlement of transnational popular culture (3), and a changing world of work (4).



Urban History, History of London, Postimperial City, Cities and Consumption, Historical Anthropology, Youth Cultures, History of Work and Leisure, Migration History


Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London

since 10/2017
Guest lecturer, M.A. programme “Historical Urban Studies”, Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin

since 05/2015
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program Berlin - New York - Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin

since 05/2015
PhD candidate Humboldt University Berlin

2011 – 2014
Master of Arts in „History of the 19th and 20th Century“ at Free University Berlin

2009 – 2010
Study of History, Philosophy and Political Science at University of Vienna

2007 – 2011
Bachelor of Arts in Modern History and Philosophy at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen


Book Review “Sneeringer, Julia: A Social History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Germany: Hamburg from Burlesque to The Beatles, 1956-69, London: Bloomsbury Press, 2018”, in: Germany History. (forthcoming)

“Ambivalent Relationships. Youth Culture in London and the Making of the Multicultural Society in the 1960s”, in: Britain and the World, Volume 11 Issue 1, Page 4-26. Link: www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/brw.2018.0285

Conference Report (with Marlène de Saussure) “Imperial Port Cities in the Age of Steam. Towards a Comparative History of Entanglements“, H-Net. Link: www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php

Book Review “Andresen, Knud; van der Steen, Bart (Hrsg.): A European Youth Revolt. European Perspectives on Youth Protest and Social Movements in the 1980s. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2016”, H-Soz-Kult. Link: www.hsozkult.de/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-26071

“Globales Kapital zerstört die Metropole. Johnsons Bilanz vor der Bürgermeisterwahl in London”, SWR2, Kulturgespräch am 4.5.2016. Link: www.swr.de/swr2/kultur-info/johnsons-bilanz-vor-der-buergermeisterwahl-in-london/-/id=9597116/did=17382426/nid=9597116/1p9qbek/index.html)

Unterfangen Globalgeschichte. Und wie sie von der Digitalisierung der Geisteswissenschaften profitieren kann, Zeitgeschichte-online. (forthcoming)

Tagungsbericht New Directions in Global History (Centre for Global History, University of Oxford). H-Soz-Kult. Link: www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-4482


“Ambivalent Relationships. Youth Culture in London and the Making of the Multicultural Society in the 1960s”, Writing the History of Noise, 2nd International Conference of the Research Network "Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change", University of Reading, 6 - 7 September 2018. (forthcoming)

"Made in Britain? The Transnational in 1960s’ Pop and Fashion“, Britain and the World, Annual Conference of the British Scholar Society, University of Exeter, 21 - 23 June 2018. (forthcoming)

"Growing Up in the Metropolis: Working Class Youth Culture in London and the Making of Post-Victorian Britain, 1958-71“, German Historical Institute London, 22 May 2018.

"Der Traum von einem neuen (alten) Großbritannien. Jugendkultur in London in der Nachkriegszeit und die Entstehung eines post - viktorianischen Selbstbildes“, Research Colloquium Prof. Thomas Mergel, Humboldt - Universität zu Berlin, 15 November 2017.

"High - Rise. Jugendkultur, der soziale Wohnungsbau in London und die Verkündung des Endes des traditionellen Arbeiterbezirkes in den 1960er Jahren“, Research Colloquium Prof. Alexander Nützenadel, Humboldt - Universität zu Berlin. 8 September 2017.

“The Transformation of the Metropolis. Youth - Cultural Experience of Urban Change in L ondon the 1950s and 1960s”, Forschungskolloquium IGK 1705: “The World in the City: Metropolitanism and Globalization from the 19th Century to the Present”, Center for Metropolitanstudies, Technical University Berlin, 22 June 2017.

"Aufwachsen in der Metropole. Jugendkulturen in London im Zeitalter der Globalisierung, 1958 - 1971“, Research Colloquium Prof. Arnd Bauerkämper, Friedrich - Meinecke - Institut, Free University Berlin, 7 June 2017.

“Teenagers Future. London’s Labour Market, the Youth Employment Service and Britis h Youth Cultures in the 1960s“, Workshop „The De - industrialising City: Urban, architectural and socio - cultural perspectives“, German Historical Institute London, 12 – 13 December 2016.

“The Metropolitan Experience. Youth Culture as an Urban Phenomenon“, Workshop “ How to Write and Conceptualize the History of Youth Cultures“ am Center for Metropolitanstudies, 30 June - 2 July 2016.

“Experiencing the Global in the Local. The Everyday Life of London’s Working Class Teenager in the 1960s”, Britain and the World Annual Conference, King’s College London, 22 - 24 June 2016.

"Aufwachsen in der Metropole. Jugendkulturen in London in der Zeit der Globa lisierung, 1958 - 1974”, Workshop „ Räume, Märkte, Szenen: Neue Arbeiten zur Popgeschichte “, Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam in cooperation with Exzellenzcluster Bild Wissen Gestaltung (Humboldt University Berlin), 15 April 2016 .

“Place Matters. British Working Class Youth Cultures and the Globalization of London, 1958 - 1974”, Urban History Group Conference "Re - Evaluating the Place of the City in History“, University of Cambridge, 31 March – 1 April 2016 .

"Die Welt in der Stadt und die Entst ehung britischer Jugendkulturen in den 1960er Jahren“, 13. Doktorandenforum „ Neue Wege in die Zeitgeschichte, Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam 11. - 12. Februar 2015 .

Workshop "Das Prekäre in der Stadt. Eine Geschichte der städtischen Arbeiterklasse in Europa“, Education Programme of SPD Berlin Mitte, 21 January 2015.

Zusatzinformationen / Extras


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