Professor Lucy Bland

Professor of Social and Cultural History

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: History

Courses taught: History

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 is the MA History course leader and a member of our Labour History Research Unit.


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 an investigation of mixed race offspring of black GIs and British women born in World War 2, and a social and cultural history of transracial adoption in Britain since the Second World War.

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.

Research interests

  • Mixed race offspring of black American soldiers and British women born in World War II
  • Transracial adoption in Britain
  • 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 (currently supervising a PhD on women anarchists in Britain, 1880s-1920s)
  • Gender and military (currently supervising a PhD on women in WAFF and US Air Force, 1940s-1990s)
  • Adoption and race
  • Eugenics
  • History of sexuality (currently supervising a PhD on Edith How Martyn and birth control)
  • Gender and crime


Lucy teaches on the modules:


  • Britain in the 19th Century
  • Britain in the Twentieth Century
  • Gender and Sexuality in Britain, 1880s-1980s
  • MA module Race, Racism and Resistance in Modern Britain


  • 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

Selected recent publications


Britain’s ‘Brown Babies’: the stories of children born to black GIs and British women in the second world war Manchester University Press, 2019

Labour, British Radicalism and the First World War Manchester University Press, February 2018 (co-edited with Richard Carr)

Reconsidering Women’s History: Twenty Years of the Women’s History Network Taylor & Francis, 2015 (co-edited with Katharina Rowold)

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

Women’s Studies Group, CCCS Women Take Issue: aspects of women’s subordination (2nd edition), Routledge, 2007 (co-authored)

Banishing the Beast: Feminism, Sex and Morality (2nd edition) IB Tauris 2002; (1st edition) Penguin 1995 (also published as Banishing the Beast: Sexuality and the Early Feminists The New Press, New York, 1995) (also translated into Chinese)

Sexology in Culture: Labelling Bodies and Desires Polity Press, Cambridge, 1998; University of Chicago, 1998 (with Laura Doan)

Sexology Uncensored: the Documents of Sexual Science Polity Press, Cambridge, 1998; University of Chicago, 1998 (with Laura Doan)

Co-edited Journals

(with Katharina Rowold) Women's History Review Special Issue: Looking Forward, Looking Back: 20 years of the Women's History Network, 2014

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

(with Angela John) Gender & History, issue on ‘Autobiography and Biography’ vol. 2, no. 1, 1990

Recent articles and chapters:

'Interracial Relationships and the "Brown Baby Question": Black GIs, White British Women and their Mixed Race Offspring in World War 11', Journal of the History of Sexuality, 26, 3, 2017

'Defying Racial Prejudice: 2nd World War Relationships between British women and black GIs and the raising of their offspring', Women’s History Review 2017

'Hunnish Scenes' and a 'Virgin Birth': a 1920s Divorce Case of Sexual and Bodily Ignorance. History Workshop Journal 73, 2012

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

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

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

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

Media experience

Feb 2018: appearance on Family Justice BBC1 (programme on capital punishment and Edith Thompson)

Oct 2016: appearance on Virago: changing the world one page at a time, BBC4

Oct 2016: live on Women’s Hour, Radio 4, re the mixed-race GI babies

August 2016: appearance on Murder Maps, series 1, episode 5: 'Murder in the Roaring Twenties' on UKTV Yesterday