Teaching Responsibilities

I teach the following module on the BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching course:

SDC 6001 Policy and Strategic Management in Sport
SDC 6003 Contemporary Issues in Sport
SDC 6005 Dissertation


Sport is a major form of leisure. It is essentially a cultural construct, assuming different meanings and social functions in terms of changing social norms and political priorities.  The changeable meanings and purposes of sport are crucial to an understanding of its instrumentality in terms of social function and its deployment in social policy. My research thus underpins and enhances teaching and learning in the areas of current sport policy and the social issues pertaining to sport in modern society. My primary focus on leisure rather than sport offers a social contextualization of sport which avoids the limitations of a non-holistic approach to its study.  It also widens my capacity to offer PhD supervision, with current doctoral students undertaking research in Mass Observation and Worktown, physical activity, Nordic walking and Indian classical dance.

Education and Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education Management (Distinction)
  • PhD ‘Public libraries, leisure and the provision of fiction between 1850 and 1914’
  • M Phil. in Cultural Studies

Research Interests

Most of my research is in the history of leisure in Britain between1850 and1939.  My doctoral thesis investigated the distribution and consumption of fiction in public libraries before the First World War. I later published a number of papers on the National Home Reading Union. More recently I have published on leisure and sport in Mass Observation’s Worktown (Bolton) and am currently working on the historical theorisations of leisure as a social good in the social policy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In 2009 I established the Centre for Worktown Studies. This is a joint undertaking between the University of Bolton and Bolton Museum. It presents  the annual ‘Recording Leisure Lives’ history conference and has obtained AHRC funding for a PhD studentship to work with the Humphrey Spender ‘Worktown’ photographic Collection. In the REF2014 it was described as a good example of a research environment.

I have also undertaken research in the socio-cultural factors influencing participation in sport amongst British South Asian populations. I am currently working on a book chapter on current government policy on physical activity and health.


1992 ‘Betting, billiards and smoking: leisure in public libraries’ Leisure Studies vol.11 pp. 187-199.

1995  Leisure and the rise of the public library London: Library Association Publishing.  isbn 1 85604 131 X

1995 Home reading’ in Continuity and innovation in the public library: the development of a social institution, eds. M. Kinnell and P. Sturges, London: Library Association Publishing, pp. 67 – 84. isbn 1 85604 134 4

2002 ‘The National Home Reading Union 1889-1930’. Journal of Victorian Culture, 7 (1) pp. 86-110.

2002 The Preston Acropolis: a Victorian cultural citadel’ Proceedings of the 14th Northern Annual Victorian Studies Colloquium on Culture Institutions, Trinity & All Saints College, Leeds.

2003 ‘Rambling, socialism and the evolution of the countryside as a leisure space’, Proceedings of ‘Leisure: our common wealth?’, the Annual Conference of the Leisure Studies Association 2002, Brighton: Leisure Studies Association, isbn 0 906337 02 5

2004 ‘The Co-operative Holidays Association and the cultural formation of countryside leisure practice’. Leisure Studies, 23 (2) April, pp. 143-158.

2004 The Harris legacy: philanthropy and the Preston Public Library in the late 19th century’ in P. Vodosek, A. Black and P. Hoare (eds.) Philanthropy for libraries, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2004 pp.111-124.

2006 ‘Libraries for leisure time’, History of Libraries in Britain edited by A. Black and P. Hoare, University of Cambridge Press, pp. 40-55. isbn 13: 9780521858083

2009 ‘Continuity, change and performativity in leisure: English folk dance and modernity 1900-1939’, Leisure Studies, 28 (3) pp. 297-311.

2010 ‘Objects of utility: cultural responses to industrial collections in municipal museums 1845-1914’, Museum in Society, March 2010, 8 (1) pp. 18-36

2010 ‘An English Chautauqua: the National Home Reading Union and the development of rational holidays in late Victorian Britain’. Journal of Tourism History, 2 (3) pp. 213-234.

2011 ‘The National Home Reading Union Abroad’ in  Reading Communities from salons to cyberspace. Ed. D. Sedo  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 9780230299887

2013 ‘Theorisations of Leisure in Inter-War Britain’ [with H. Pussard] Leisure Studies Vol. 32, No. 1, 1–18

2013 ‘All-in Wrestling in Inter-War Britain: Science and Spectacle in Mass Observation's ‘Worktown’. International Journal of the History of Sport, Vol. 30, No. 12, 1418–1435

2014 ‘The New Leisure, Voluntarism and Social Reconstruction in Inter-War Britain’ Contemporary British History, 29 (1) pp 51-83.

2014 Introductory Essay to the Worktown Collection, Adam Matthew Mass Observation Digital Archive http://www.massobservation.amdigital.co.uk/FurtherResources/Essays/Worktown

2015 ‘Voluntary Action and Leisure: an Historical Perspective 1830-1939’ Voluntary Sector Review  6 (2) pp.153-172.]

2016   Snape, R.  ‘Everyday Leisure and Northernness in Mass Observation’s Worktown 1937-1939’, Journal of Cultural Research   20 (1) 31-44   http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14797585.2015.1134058

2016  McHugh Sandie, Snape Bob, Haworth, John & Carson, Jerome ‘Everyday leisure and happiness in Worktown: a comparison of 1938 and 2014, World Leisure Journal, 58, 4, pp. 276-284 (Published online: 07 Sep 2016) DOI: 10.1080/16078055.2016.1225890 

2016 Fletcher,Thomas;  Carnicelli, Sandro;  Lawrence, Stefan &  Snape, Robert ‘ Reclaiming the ‘L’ word: Leisure Studies and UK Higher Education in neoliberal times, Leisure Studies, DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2016.1261182

Edited volumes

Snape, R. and Swain, P. (eds.) (2013) Recording leisure Lives: Sports, Spectacles and Spectators in 20th Century Britain. Brighton: Leisure Studies Association. isbn 978 1 905369 32 4

Snape, R. and Constantine, M. (eds.) (2012) Recording Leisure Lives: everyday leisure in 20th century in Britain. Brighton: Leisure Studies Association. isbn 978 1 905369 29 4

Snape, R. and Smith D. (eds.) (2011) holidays and tourism in 20th century Britain. Brighton: Leisure Studies Association. isbn  978 1 905369 23 2

Snape, R. and Pussard, H. (eds.) (2010) Recording Leisure Lives: games, sports and pastimes in 20th century Britain. Brighton: Leisure Studies Association. isbn  978 1 905369 18 8

Snape, R. and Pussard, H. (eds.) (2009) Recording Leisure Lives: histories, memories and archives of Britain in the 20th century. Brighton: Leisure Studies Association. isbn 978 1 905369 14 0

Snape, R. et al. (ed.) (2003) Access and Inclusion in Leisure and Tourism, Brighton: Leisure Studies Association. isbn 0 906337 92 5