Dr Pushpa Kumbhat

Dr Pushpa Kumbhat


I recently completed my PhD at the University of Leeds, School of History under the supervision of Professor Emeritus Richard Whiting and Professor Malcolm Chase. The title of my thesis is 'Working Class Adult Education in Yorkshire 1918–1939'. It analyses the significance of working class adult education to the wider labour movement. To explore these themes I focused on three adult education organisations – the Workers Educational Association (WEA), the National Council of Labour Colleges (NCLC) and the Co-operative Union. The main outcome of my research was to establish that voluntary adult education in the arts and humanities supported British democracy and citizenship at a national, local and regional level.

My PhD research led me to set up and run a public engagement and impact project entitled 'Who Led Leeds?'. This was a collaboration between the University of Leeds and Leeds Central Library, which aimed to create a public collection of biographies of Leeds City Councillors who served between 1918 and 1939. (The project was inspired by The Adult Student as Citizen (1936) a pamphlet published by the WEA that listed all their past students who went on to have careers in public service. The WEA presented the pamphlet as evidence of the democratic impact that they aimed to make via adult education)

While a LHRI post doc fellow I will be focusing on converting two chapters of my thesis for publication as individual journal articles. The first article 'The Adult Student as Citizen' (working title) analyses the biographies of twenty-six councillors, all with a background in adult education, who served on the City Councils of Leeds, Sheffield and York. The second article 'The Experience of Adult Education' (working title) explores the pedagogic experience of WEA tutorial classes from the direct perspective of adult students using recordings made by the students themselves in WEA log-books.

I will also be continuing the 'Who Led Leeds?' project by contributing more biographies to it.

In September I will commence work as a part time on-line tutor teaching a short course titled 'The Making of Modern Britain' to adult students. The course is run by Oxford University Department of Continuing Education.

I completed a Taught MA in Modern History (2013-2014) at the University of Leeds prior to commencing my PhD (2014-2017). My PhD was fully funded by a 110th University of Leeds Anniversary Scholarship. My MA studies were fully funded by an AHRC award. I was awarded a BA in History by the University of Reading. I also hold a B.Sc in physiotherapy from Glasgow Caledonian University.


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>