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Dr Laura Schwartz



Reader in Modern British History
Office H329

Office Hours: Tuesday 12 noon-1 PM and Wednesday 12 noon-1 PM. Term time only.
N.B. These will all take place via Teams – please book an appointment here


Academic Profile

I am a historian of feminism and labour movements in Britain, across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My work to date has examined the intellectual and political formations that drove successive feminist movements, but also how these ideas are ‘lived’ and taken up by women more widely. Over the course of my career I have explored how feminism has influenced the emergence of secularism; the reform of higher education; and, most recently, working-class politics. I am interested in exploring the political limitations and contradictions of British feminism, especially with regards to class and imperialism, as well as its achievements, and in considering these legacies for feminism today. I am now shifting my focus more towards labour history and am in the early stages of developing a collaborative project entitled '"Ordinary" Working-Class People? Brexit Britain and the 'New' Labour History'. This aims to critically interrogate the contemporary political mobilisation of a 'white' working-class and to consider alternative and more heterogeneous histories of class in Britain. I welcome applications from prospective postgraduate students working on nineteenth/twentieth-century feminism and/ or labour movements, or on the history of gender and class more generally.

I am a founding member of the History of Feminism Network and convener of the Feminist History Group at Warwick.

  • 2020-present: Reader in Modern British History,University of Warwick
  • 2016-2020: Associate Professor of Modern British History, University of Warwick
  • 2012-2016: Assistant Professor of Modern British History, University of Warwick
  • 2011-2012: IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Warwick
  • 2008-2011: Career Development Fellow, University of Oxford
  • 2005-2008: PhD, University of East London, thesis title ‘Infidel Feminism: Religion, Secularism, and Women’s Rights in England, c.1830-1889’

Selected Publications



  • 'Feminism and the Women's Colleges', Education and Activism: Women at Oxford 1870-1920 (2020)
  • 'Religion and the Women's Colleges', Education and Activism: Women at Oxford 1870-1920 (2020)
  • ‘The Politics of Remembering the Suffragettes’, Revue Francaise de Civilisation Britannique 23:1 (2018), 1-9
  • 'Enchanted Modernity, Anglicanism and the Occult in Early Twentieth Century Oxford: Annie Moberly, Eleanor Jourdain and Their "Adventure"', Cultural and Social History 14:3 (2017), 301-319.
  • 'A Job Like Any Other? Feminist Responses and Challenges to Domestic Worker Organising in Edwardian Britain', Special Issue 'Historicising Domestic Labour: Resistance and Organising', Eileen Boris and Premilla Nadasen (eds.), International Labour and Working Class History 88 (Fall 2015), 30-48.
  • '"What We Feel is Needed is a Union for Domestics Such as the Miners Have":The Domestic Workers' Union of Great Britain and Ireland 1908-1914', Twentieth-Century British History 25:2 (2014), 173-192.
  • 'Rediscovering the Workplace', History Workshop Journal 74 (Autumn 2012), 270-277.
  • ‘Women, Religion and Agency in Modern British History’, Women’s History Review 21:2 (2012), 317-323.
  • 'Cuts are a Feminist Issue' (co-authored with the Feminist Fightback Collective), Soundings 49 (Winter 2011).
  • ‘Feminist Thinking on Education in Victorian England’, Oxford Review of Education 37:5 (2011), 669-682.
  • ‘Rethinking the History of Feminism’ (co-authored with the History of Feminism Collective), Special Issue of Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010), 266-278.
  • ‘The Bible and the Cause: Freethinking Feminists vs. Christianity, England 1870-1900’, Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010), 266-278.
  • ‘Freethought, Free Love and Feminism: Secularist Debates on Marriage and Sexual Morality, England c.1850-1889’, Women’s History Review 19:5 (Nov, 2010), 775-793. Winner of the Claire Evans Essay Prize, Women's History Network (2008)

Book Chapters

  • 'Feminist Thinking on Education in Victorian Britain', in C. Brooke & E. Frazer (eds.), Ideas of Education: Philosophy and Politics from Plato to Dewey (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013)

Ph.D. Students

  • 2020- Rebecca Hickman, 'Gender Non-Conformity and the Quest for "Recognition" in the UK, 1970s to the Present Day', co-supervised with the University of Nottingham (fully funded by the AHRC Midlands 4 Cities).
  • 2019- Erin Geraghty, 'Transnational Feminists in Ireland 1900-1921: Imperial sisterhood or internationalist solidarity?', (fully funded by the Wolfson Foundation Scholarship).
  • 2018- Beckie Rutherford, ‘Apart or A Part’? Understanding the Agency and Erasure of Disabled Women Within the Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain, c. 1970-1993’ (fully funded by the Warwick History Department Scholarship).
  • 2018- Qiuyang Chen, 'A Micro-History of Women in Minnan Region, Southeast China in the 20th Century' (fully funded by a People's Republic of China Scholarship)
  • 2016- 2020 Amy Galvin-Elliott 'From Suffragette to Citizen: Female Experience of Parliamentary Spaces in Long Nineteenth-Century Britain'(fully funded by an ESRC Collaborative Doctoral Award).
  • 2014-2017 Kate Mahoney, 'Mental Health Activism in the British Women's Liberation Movement' (Fully funded by the Wolfson Foundation Scholarship).