Professor Lucy Bland

Professor of Social and Cultural History

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: History

Courses taught: History

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Lucy is a social and cultural historian specialising in late 19th and 20th century British gender history, the history of race relations, and the history of sexuality. She's a member of our Labour History Research Unit.

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Before joining Anglia Ruskin, Lucy was Reader in History at London Metropolitan University, where she ran an MA in Women’s History.

Lucy's research has concentrated on the history of gender, sexuality and feminism in Britain, 1880s-1980s. Her new projects are a social and cultural history of transracial adoption in Britain since the Second World War and an investigation of mixed race offspring of black GLs and British women born in World War 2.

She was Principal Investigator for a Leverhulme-funded project on 'Identifying the Parameters of the Women's Liberation Movement, 1970s and '80s' in 2008-9 (working with The Women's Library), and was on the editorial collective of Feminist Review 1997-2011, and is currently a co-editor of Women's History.

Research interests

  • Transracial adoption in Britain
  • Mixed race offspring of black American soldiers and British women born in World War II
  • History of British feminism
  • Gender relations in 19th- and 20th-century Britain
  • Eugenics, race and gender

Areas of research supervision

  • Nineteenth-century feminism/feminists (recently supervised a PhD on Helen Taylor)
  • Twentieth-century feminism/feminists (currently supervising a PhD on Constance Lytton)
  • Women anarchists (PhD)
  • Adoption and race
  • Eugenics
  • History of sexuality
  • Gender and crime


Lucy teaches on the modules:

  • Western Civilisation
  • Britain in the 19th Century
  • Britain in the Twentieth Century
  • Gender and Sexuality in Britain, 1880s-1980s


  • PhD Cultural History, University of Birmingham
  • MA Social Anthropology, University of Manchester
  • BA (Hons) Social Sciences, University of Manchester

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society
  • Senior Fellowship of HEA
  • Women’s History Network Steering Committee

Selected recent publications

Bland, L., 2013. Modern Women on Trial: Sexual Transgression in the Age of the Flapper. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Bland, L. and Rowold, K. (eds), 2013. Looking Forward, Looking Back: 20 years of the Women's History Network. Women's History Review Special Issue, 22(4).

Bland, L., 2012. Hunnish Scenes' and a 'Virgin Birth': a 1920s Divorce Case of Sexual and Bodily Ignorance. History Workshop Journal

Bland, L. and Hall, L., 2010. Eugenics in Britain: the View from the Metropole. In: Bashford, A. and Levine, P. (Eds.), 2010. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bland, L., 2008. The Trials and Tribulations of Edith Thompson: the Capital Crime of Sexual Incitement in 1920s England. Journal of British Studies, 43(3).

Bland, L., 2007. British Eugenics and 'Race Crossing': a Study of an Interwar Investigation. In Special Issue on 'Eugenics Old and New', New Formations, 60.

Women's Studies Group, CCCS, 2007. 2nd edition. Women Take Issue: aspects of women's subordination. London: Routledge.

Bland, L., 2005. White Women and Men of Colour: Miscegenation Fears in Britain after the Great War. Gender & History, 17(1).

Bland, L. and Doan, L., 1998. Sexology in Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires. Cambridge: Polity Press; Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bland, L. and Doan, L., 1998. Sexology Uncensored: the Documents of Sexual Science. Cambridge: Polity Press; Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bland, L., 2002. 2nd edition. Banishing the Beast: Feminism, Sex and Morality. London: IB Tauris.

Bland, L., 1995. Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality, 1885-1914. London: Penguin (also published as Bland, L., 1995. Banishing the Beast: Sexuality and the Early Feminists. New York: The New Press; also translated into Chinese).

Bland, L. and John, A., 1990. Autobiography and Biography. Gender & History Special Issue, 2(1).

Co-edited five issues of Feminist Review, 1999-2007.

Media experience

  • June 2013: interviewed on One Hundred Years of the Women’s Movement, BBC2
  • May 2013: interviewed on Today programme on 1920s flappers, BBC Radio 4
  • October 2011: Historical consultancy and interview for Mixed Britannia, BBC2
  • December 2006: Interview on Night Waves on History of Prostitution, BBC Radio 3