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Dr Zoe Strimpel (previous Research Fellow)


I am a historian of dating, gender, intimacy and feminism in 20th century Britain, with a particular interest in how gender politics shapes the intimate sphere. My first monograph, based on my doctoral work at the University of Sussex, was published in March 2020 by Bloomsbury and is entitled Seeking Love in Modern Britain: Gender, Dating and the Rise of 'the Single' (pictured bottom right). Before making the scholarly turn, I was a journalist and wrote two popular non-fiction books about dating (pictured right top and middle): What the Hell Is He Thinking? All the Question You Ever Asked About Men Answered (Penguin, 2010) and The Man Diet: One Woman's Quest to End Bad Romance (Harper Collins, 2012). The first of these was based on insights gained from a stint as a dating columnist at a London newspaper; a job that involved me trying to be something of a (scruffier, poorer) Carrie Bradshaw.

Following my PhD I spent two years as a research fellow on a Leverhulme-funded project at Sussex, Cambridge and the British Library examining the business practices of feminist publishers in the 1970s, focussing on Spare Rib. In November 2020 I began work as a British Academy postdoctoral fellow here at Warwick, researching 'Breakups in Britain, 1971-1993', a period of great relational tumult as Britain went from marriage peak to divorce peak following divorce reform, and a proliferation of relationship types meant more endings. In addition to my academic work I am also a commentator, public speaker and columnist for the Sunday Telegraph. I also co-present Hyped!, a podcast that dissects the hype surrounding blockbuster films, books, TV series, plays and music of the past few years.

More from Zoe at

Academic Publications:

-Seeking Love in Modern Britain: Gender, Dating and the Rise of the ‘Single’ (Bloomsbury: March 2020)
Journal articles:
-‘Spare Rib, the Women’s Health Movement and the Empowerment of Misery, Social History of Medicine. (Accepted, 2020)
-‘Computer dating in the 1970s: Dateline and the making of the modern British single’ (2017),Contemporary British History, 31 (3), pp. 319-342. 
-‘In solitary pursuit:Singles, sex war and the search for love, 1977-1983’ (2017),Cultural and Social History, 14 (5), pp. 691-715 
-‘Heterosexual Love in the Women’s Liberation Movement: Reflections from the Sisterhood and After Oral History Archive’ (2015),Women’s History Review, 25 (6), pp. 903-924
Book chapters:
-‘Liberating Pleasure: Women’s Fight For Sexual Rights’ in Margaretta Jolly and Polly Russell (eds), Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights: the Battle for Women’s Rights (British Library, 2020) 
-‘Spare Rib and the Print culture of Women’s Liberation’ (co-authored with Lucy Delap) in Laurel Forster (Ed.) Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Contemporary Britain (EUP, 2020) 
The Popular Culture of Romantic Love in Australia,edited by Hsu-Ming Teo (2018), Emotions: History, Culture, Society, 2, (2), pp. 357-359