Professor Barbara Taylor

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

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate supervision 

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

Single-authored books

Co-authored books

  • On Kindness (with Adam Phillips). Penguin, 2009; Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009.

Edited books

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Reprints and Translations

Web articles

Membership of professional associations or societies 

Editorial Positions

Appearances in the media

I have contributed to discussions and been interviewed for