WHS Steering Committee

WHS is run by a Steering Committee, elected each year by the membership at the AGM. We meet on a regular basis. The Steering Committee co-ordinates all WHS activities, acting as a focal point for projects, conferences and publications.

Current Steering Committee members

Alison McCall (Convenor) gained her history degree as a mature student through the Open University. She completed her PhD, entitled “The Lass o’ Pairts: Social mobility for women through education in Scotland, 1850-1901” at the University of Dundee in 2014.  Her interest in Women’s History developed from an early interest in genealogy and local history.

Lynn Abrams is Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow. Her primary research interests are in modern European and Scottish women’s and gender history and oral history. She is a co-editor of Gender in Scottish History since 1700 , author of The Making of Modern Woman: Europe 1789-1918 (Longman, 2002), Myth and Materiality in a Woman’s World: Shetland 1800-2000 (MUP, 2005) and Oral History Theory (Routledge, 2016, 2nd ed). She is currently researching women of the post-war transition generation, selfhood and liberation.

Esther Breitenbach is Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include women in Scottish politics, Scottish women’s history, and Scottish participation in the British Empire. She has written widely on women in Scotland, and on gender equality and equal opportunities issues. She co-edited, with Linda Fleming, S Karly Kehoe, and  Lesley Orr, Scottish Women: A Documentary History, 1780-1914 (EUP, 2013).

Rosalind Carr is a lecturer at the University of East London. She completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2008 with a thesis entitled ‘Gender, National Identity and Political Agency in Eighteenth-Century Scotland’. She has published articles on Scottish masculinities, and women and Scottish politics. Before coming to Scotland she worked at the Public Record Office of Victoria and the National Archives of Australia in Melbourne, and also volunteered with the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. She has published Gender and Scottish Enlightenment Culture (EUP, 2014) and her next project will investigate Scottish masculinities and violence in the imperial ‘frontier’ c.1780-1830.

Linda Fleming completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2005. She is currently Research Associate on the AHRC funded project The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2016. Her research interests include the cultural history of twentieth century Scotland, immigration and ethnicity in nineteenth and twentieth century Scotland and the uses of personal testimony in historical work.

Louise Jackson is a Reader in Social History at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests centre on the relationship between gender, criminality, policing and regulation in modern Britain. Publications include Women Police: Gender, Welfare and Surveillance in the Twentieth Century (MUP, 2006),  (with Shani D’Cruze) Women, Crime and Justice in England Since 1660 (Palgrave, 2009) and (with Angela Bartie) Policing Youth: Britain 1945-70 (MUP, 2014).

Ann Kettle (Treasurer and Membership Secretary) has recently retired from the University of St Andrews where she is an honorary senior lecturer in mediaeval history. She was one of the first to introduce a course on the history of women in a Scottish university and for 25 years taught an honours module on ‘Women in Mediaeval England’. Her main research interests lie in English social and economic history and she has published several articles on female domestic servants and prostitution in later medieval England. Various other activities have given her a research interest in the careers of modern female academics and earned her an OBE for services to higher education.

Helen MacDonald is the IT/Systems administrator at Glasgow Women’s Library. Having studied Physics before gaining an MSc in the History of Science, she joined GWL in 2005 (and combines both with a continued interest in the history of women and science). In 2010 she helped to develop the Women of Scotland project with Women’s History Scotland, building the website that now allows anyone in Scotland to record and map memorials to women (womenofscotland.org.uk). Following the public launch of the site in March 2012, she has continued to administer and promote the site through social and traditional media. She is interested in developing online resources and tools that open women’s history to a wider audience.

Eilidh Macrae is a lecturer in Sport Development at the University of the West of Scotland.  Her research interests are in the fields of gender, social history, and community sport. She has published work in the history of women’s sport, with articles focusing on education & sport and changing perceptions of exercise during pregnancy, and her book Exercise in the Female Life-Cycle in Britain, 1930-1970 was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. She is the Book Reviews Editor of the Journal of Scottish Historical Studies as well as the social media convenor for Women’s History Scotland.

Rebecca Mason is a third-year AHRC-funded PhD student in the History department at the University of Glasgow. Her thesis explores the litigating activities of married women in courts in seventeenth-century Glasgow, focusing on their rights to real estate and moveable property in contrasting legal jurisdictions. Her research is funded as part of the UK-wide AHRC project entitled ‘Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice: Britain and Ireland, c.1100-c.1750’. She is a PGR administrative assistant for the Centre for Gender History, and a PGR student representative on the School of Humanities Gender Equality Committee in the University of Glasgow. She is also a student ambassador for the Economic History Society. She holds an MA in Medieval and Early Modern History and a BA in History and English Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast. More broadly, her research interests include: the relationship between gender and economic development, the gendered structures of premodern law, and the impact of gender and marital status when entering law.

Yvonne McFadden is an independent researcher who completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2016. Her thesis entitled, ‘Creating a Modern Home: Gender, Culture and Consumption in Post-War Suburban Glasgow, 1945-1975’ examined the relationship between housing, gender, social mobility and work. Other interests include oral history, material culture and post-war feminism. She is currently a Community Curator at the Glasgow Women’s Library and is working to co-produce a permanent display from their museum collection. She is also working on publication from her doctoral research.

Amy Tooth Murphy is an oral historian specialising in lesbian and queer oral histories and post-war lesbian history, with an emphasis on domesticity. Her research interests include lesbian and queer literature, lesbian and queer history (with an emphasis on oral history), oral history theory and methodology, oral history and reading, reading and identity formation, memory and narrative, feminist theory, butch/femme cultures, and queer theory. Amy is Lecturer in Oral History at Royal Holloway, University of London where she is also Deputy Director of the MA in Public History. Amy is also a Founder and Managing Editor of the history of sexualities blog, Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexualities, and a Trustee of the Oral History Society. She tweets from @AmyToothMurphy

Elizabeth Ritchie is a lecturer in History at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She gained her PhD from the University of Guelph, Ontario, in 2010. Her research examines the intersections of gender, the family, religion, agriculture, education and emigration, mainly in the nineteenth-century Scottish Highlands but with occasional diversions across the Atlantic. She has published two book chapters on pregnancy: one on birth and baptism rituals and one on ‘pregnant emigrants’. Her recent article on Catholic-Protestant relations included an examination of how cultures of education were gendered, and her 2017 article examines the importance of livestock to migrant family economies. She is also working on a larger project examining the experience of Scottish women emigrants to Canada, 1772-1850.

Deborah Simonton (FRHS) is Associate Professor of British History, emerita, University of Southern Denmark, a Visiting Professor at the University of Turku, and for Spring 2016, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Utah State University. She leads the Network, Gender in the European Town, and her international reputation has led to invitations to act as an international expert reviewer for research grants, to act as a keynote speaker and join panels on a range of topics. She has published widely and has been commissioned to contribute to landmark publications. She studies the gendered and power relations articulated in the shifting economic structures of corporate towns in the context of commercial and polite culture. She is interested in the language of skill, which drew heavily on the masculine traditions of urban guilds and apprenticeship, and she has explored how the urban community was masculinised, how women utilised a range of strategies to either conform or circumvent urban regulation; and how commercial trading shaped the ways that men and women established themselves in urban culture. Having taught sociology, cultural history, language, politics and history, she brings an interdisciplinary approach to her research. She has published A History of European Women’s Work in Europe since 1700 (Routledge, 1998), and Women in European Culture and Society, Gender, Skill and Identity since 1700 (Routledge 2010) and a companion sourcebook. She has extensive editing experience which includes, as a founding editor, Women’s History Magazine, the Routledge History of Women in Europe (2006), with Anne Montenach, Female Agency in the Urban Economy, Gender in European Towns: 1640-1830 (Routledge, 2013) and with Anne Montenach and Marjo Kaartinen, Luxury and Gender in the Modern Urban Economy: A European Perspective, c.1700–1914 (Routledge 2014). She edited Catastrophe, Gender and Urban Experience in Europe, with Hannu Salmi (Routledge 2016). She is General Editor of The Routledge History Handbook on Gender and the Urban Experience (2016), and The Cultural History of Work (6 vols, Bloomsbury, 2017) with Anne Montenach, and on the editorial committee of Cultural History Journal.

Fiona Skillen is a lecturer in Sport and Events Management at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research focuses on the historical development of women’s sport in Britain. Her ground breaking work emphasises a new way of looking at women’s sporting past by examining ‘sites of participation’, places such as schools, work places and municipal provision in addition to the more traditional focus on clubs and sports institutions. In doing so her work highlights the ways in which sport was integrated in to women’s everyday lives and also provides a clearer understanding of the development of many popular contemporary sports such as tennis, golf and hockey. Her monograph, Women, Sport and Modernity in Interwar Britain (2013) draws on this research. She has also worked on media representations of sportswomen, advertising, sports clothing and the public and medical debates surrounding women’s increased participation in physical activities. In recent years she has researched around the history of the Commonwealth Games in Scotland with Dr Matt McDowell (Edinburgh University). She has also worked in the heritage sector and has collaborated on the develop of several projects, including the 2009 Gude Cause March and the latest of which is her involvement with the establishment and launch of Scottish Women in Sport’s Hall of Fame.

Andrea Thomson is a Research Associate on the Housing, Feminism and Women’s Citizenship in Britain, c.1945 to the present Project at the University of Oxford and is based in Salford/Manchester. Her research examines family, marriage and marriage breakdown in post-war Britain, setting experience within a detailed exploration of the wider social, legal, religious and cultural context. She has extensive research knowledge of working-class lives and, in particular, working-class women’s lives in the postwar period, along with interests in family, relationships, domestic abuse, oral history, and community and public engagement.

Perry Willson (Vice-convenor) is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Dundee. Her research focuses mainly on women and gender in twentieth-century Italy, particularly the Fascist period. Her publications include The Clockwork Factory. Women and Work in Fascist Italy (Oxford University Press, 1993); Peasant Women and Politics in Fascist Italy: the Massaie Rurali (Routledge, 2002); (ed.) Gender, Family and Sexuality: the Private Sphere in Italy 1860-1945 (Palgrave, 2004); Women in Twentieth-Century Italy (Palgrave, 2010 and an Italian edition with Laterza Editori, 2011) and (ed.) La Mamma: Interrogating a National Stereotype (Palgrave, forthcoming 2018). She is a member of the Editorial Board of Modern Italy journal and was co-chair of the Gender and War track for the Seventeenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities (Hofstra University, New York, 2017).

Valerie Wright (website coordinator) is currently Research Associate on the Leverhulme Trust funded project ‘Employment, Politics in Culture: Scotland 1955-2015’, based in Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow, where she is also a member of the Centre for Gender History. Her current research interests focus on industrial and political change in postwar Scotland and the consequences of deindustrialisation. Other research interests include post-war childhood and play and the long-term effects of postwar residential relocation as a result of slum clearance. Her doctoral research ‘Women’s Organisations and Feminism in Interwar Scotland’, completed at the University of Glasgow in 2008, focused on women’s role in associational culture and politics in interwar Scotland and challenged the dominant view that feminism was moribund following the partial enfranchisement of women in 1918. She has published several outputs from this research.