Document Actions

Dr Hiroki Shin

BA (Aoyama Gakuin; University of Tokyo), MA (University of Tokyo), PhD (University of Cambridge)

Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details



  • Hiroki Shin is a socio-economic historian studying Britain and Japan in the modern period (c.1700 to the present). After completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2009, he was a visiting fellow at Yale University (2008) and a research associate at the University of York (2008–2012) and the University of Manchester (2013–2014). He was a Researcher in History at Birkbeck College from 2013 to 2017.
  • Please download a copy of Hiroki Shin's CV here.

Research interests

  • My research focuses on the so-called intangible commodities in the modern world, especially money, energy and travel, and how consumers/users have interacted with them. My PhD thesis explored Britain’s experience with the first national-scale introduction of inconvertible paper currency during the Bank Restriction Period (1797–1821). My project at the University of York/National Railway Museum investigated how railway travel has been promoted through marketing since the late nineteenth century. I am currently working on the ‘Material Cultures of Energy’ project with Prof Frank Trentmann, while preparing a manuscript for a monograph entitled The Material Lives of Paper Money.


  • H. Shin, ‘Paper Money, the Nation, and the Suspension of Cash Payments in 1797’. Historical Journal 58.2 (2015), pp. 415–442.
  • H. Shin, ‘Mobility under Pressure: Civilian Rail Traffic in Britain during WWII’, in H. Shin, S. Majima and Y. Tanaka (eds.), Moving Around: People, Things and Practices in Consumer Culture (Forum for History of Consumer Culture: 2015), pp. 53–60.
  • H. Shin, ‘Have Consumer Movements Enhanced Transport Justice? Passenger Representation on Britain’s Railways before 1947’, in C. Divall, J. Hine and C. Pooley (eds.), Transport Policy: Lessons from History (Ashgate, in print).
  • H. Shin, ‘The Art of Advertising Railways: Organisation and Coordination in Britain’s Railway Marketing, 1860-1910’. Business History 56.2 (2014), pp. 187–213.
  • H. Shin,  R. Wright and F. Trentmann, From World Power Conference to World Energy Council: 90 Years of Energy Cooperation, 1923–2013 (London: World Energy Council, 2013).
  • H. Shin, ‘Saving with Excitement? The Premium Bond and Consuming Savers in Post-War Britain’, in H. Shin, Y. Tanaka and S. Majima (eds.), Genealogies of Curiosity and Material Desire: Proceedings of the History of Consumer History Conference 2012 (Tokyo, 2012), pp. 49–58.
  • H. Shin and C. Divall, ‘Cultures of Speed and Conservative Modernity: Representations of Speed in Britain’s Railway Marketing', in Benjamin Fraser and Steven Spalding (eds), Trains, Modernity and Cultural Production: Riding the Rails (Lenham: Lexington Books, 2011), pp. 3–26.
  • H. Shin, ‘Business Strategy and Corporate Image: Britain's Railways, 1872-1977’, in Heli Mäki and Jenni Korjus (eds), Railways as an Innovative Regional Factor (Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education and the City of Kouvola, 2009), pp. 63–84.
  • H. Shin, ‘People’s Money? Life with Banknotes during the Bank Restriction Period (1797–1821),’ in Proceedings of the Fifth Anglo-Japanese Conference of Historians (Tokyo, 2007).
  • H. Shin, ‘The Bank of England Note Outside London, 1797–1821,’ in Business Archives: Sources and History, November 2006, pp. 55–68.

Current activities

  • My current main research project is ‘Material Cultures of Energy: Transition, Disruption and Everyday Life in the Twentieth Century’. It is a four-year project, funded by the AHRC, led by Prof Trentmann. As the co-investigator, I am conducting the core research for the project as well as coordinating and managing the project’s research and public engagement activities. The project aims at incorporating consumers’/users’ perspectives and material dimensions in energy history in order to inform the current discussions about environment and global resource problems.