Professor of Humanities
Location Arts Two 2.28
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2980
I came to Queen Mary in 2012 to take up a joint professorship in the Schools of History, and English & Drama. My previous post, which I had held since 1993, was in History at the University of East London. I have also held visiting professors at the universities of Amsterdam, Indiana, Notre Dame, and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. I am the QMUL Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre (a partnership between Queen Mary UL, Birkbeck College UL, the University of East London, and Bishopsgate Institute).
I am an intellectual and cultural historian with a special interest in the subjective dimension of historical change. My early research focused on feminist theory and history: I have published two well-known books on early British feminism, and in the late 1990s I ran a Leverhulme-funded international research project on feminism and Enlightenment. I am the co-convenor of a long-standing seminar at the Institute of Historical Research on ‘Psychoanalysis and History’, and have written a personal history of mental health care in the late twentieth century. I am currently researching attitudes to solitude in Enlightenment Britain.
- Feminist Theory and History
- Radical Ideas and Movements in Britain, 1790-1850
- Theories and Histories of Subjectivity
- Enlightenment Studies
- Psychoanalytic Studies
I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
- British Enlightenment ideas and cultural practices
- British women’s history, especially feminist politics and writings
- Radical movements in 18th-19th century Britain
- Histories and representations of selfhood and subjectivity, especially in Britain in the long 18th century
Publications since 2003
- Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
- The Last Asylum (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin, 2014).
- On Kindness (with Adam Phillips). Penguin, 2009; Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009.
- Women, Gender and Enlightenment, 1650-1850 co-edited with Sarah Knott, Palgrave Press, 2005 (pbk 2007).
- History & Psyche: Culture, Psychoanalysis and the Past, co-edited with Sally Alexander (Palgrave, 2012)
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- ‘Mary Wollstonecraft. Sobre mujer y vida pública’ [‘Mary Wollstonecraft on Women and Public Life’], in Rosa Capel (ed) Mujeres para la Historia. Figuras destacadas del primer feminismo (Madrid, Abada editors, 2004)
- ‘Feminists Versus Gallants: Sexual Manners and Morals in Enlightenment Britain’: in Sarah Knott and Barbara Taylor, eds, Women, Gender and Enlightenment, 1650-1850 (Palgrave,2005)
- ‘Separations of Soul: Solitude, Biography, History’, American Historical Review, 114.3, 2009.
- ‘Marian Engel’s Bear’, Women: a Cultural Review, 21.2, 2010.
- ‘The Demise of the Asylum in Late Twentieth Century Britain’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, vol 20, 2011.
- ‘Enlightenment and the Uses of Woman’, History Workshop Journal, 74, 2012.
- ‘Historical Subjectivity’, in Sally Alexander and Barbara Taylor, eds, History and Psyche: Culture, Psychoanalysis, and the Past (Palgrave, 2012).
Reprints and Translations
- ‘The Religious Foundations of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Feminism’, in Claudia Johnson, ed, Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft (Cambridge University Press). Reprinted in Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Norton Critical Edition (Deidre Lynch, ed), 2009.
- ‘Mary Wollstonecraft and the Wild Wish of Early Feminism’, History Workshop Journal, no 33, 1992; and ‘For the Love of God: Religion and the Erotic Imagination in Wollstonecraft’s Feminism’ in E Yeo (ed) Mary Wollstonecraft and 200 Years of Feminisms (London, Rivers Oram, 1997), both reprinted in Jane Moore (ed), Mary Wollstonecraft (London, Ashgate, 2012).
- On Kindness (Penguin, 2009): Italian, French, Spanish, German and Brazilian editions (2009-2012).
- ‘History Workshop Journal’ (2009): http://www.history.ac.uk/makinghistory/resources/articles/HWJ.html
- ‘History, the Nation and the Schools’ (2011): http://www.historyworkshop.org.uk/history-the-nation-and-the-schools/
Membership of professional associations or societies
QMUL Director, Raphael Samuel History Centre
Modern Intellectual History. Editorial Board, 2007- 2010.
Appearances in the media
I have contributed to discussions and been interviewed for
- BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, March 2011
- BBC Radio 4 In Our Time, December 2009
- Norwegian Radio (NRK): interview, April 2009
- BBC Radio Leeds: interview, March 2009
- BBC Radio 3 Nightwaves, January 2009