Staff Profile:Dr Natalie Thomlinson

Dr Natalie Thomlinson
Job Title:
Associate Professor

I am the undergraduate admissions tutor for the history department.


  • Part1 Option: 'Black Britain: Postwar histories of race and migration in the United Kingdom'
  • Part 2 Option: 'Sexual Politics: Gender, sex and feminism in Britain from 1918'
  • Part 2 Option: ‘From War to the New Millennium: Britain 1918 – 2000’ (co-taught with Professor Matthew Worley)
  • MA option: ‘Hidden from history’? Women and gender in historical writing’

I also contribute to team-teaching on the Part 1 modules 'Journeys Through History' and 'Research Skills and Opportunities', the part 2 module 'Historical Approaches and My Dissertation', and both undergraduate and MA dissertations.

Postgraduate supervision:

Lead supervisor

  • Amy Gower 'Conflict and Conformity: Feminism, Agency and Gender Inequality in English Secondary Education, 1970 - 2000' (AHRC funded, 2017 - ).
  • Emily Peirson-Webber, ‘Masculinity and the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike’ (AHRC funded, 2018 - )
  • Joanne Raineau, ‘The Women’s Refuge Movement in the UK, 1971 – 2000: Identity, representation, and conflict (2020 - )
  • Michelle Tessman, ‘Feminism and the press: British newspapers and the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1968 – 1985 (2020 - )

Second supervisor

  • Rose Knight, 'Mother, Home, and Mammy: Motherhood, Race, and Power in the Antebellum South'. (Completed 2017, no corrections).
  • Amy Austin, ‘Transgender Britain, c.1870-1930’ (working title) (2018 - )


I welcome enquiries from anyone wishing to pursue a PhD on any and all aspects of postwar British gender/feminist history.

Areas of Interest:

I am a historian of feminism and gender in modern Britain, though my work is fundamentally concerned with how both of those categories are mediated through race and class. My first book, Race and ethnicity in the women's movement in England, 1968 - 1993 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) examined debates between white and ethnic minority women about the place of race in the feminist movement in England during this period, and was selected by Choice magazine as an 'Outstanding Academic Title' for 2016. Using a source base of oral history, feminist periodicals and archived personal papers, this monograph presents a historically grounded account of second-wave English feminism that unpacks how the legacy of empire, the racialised structures of English society, and the traditions of leftist thought, inscribed and limited the ways through which white and ethnic minority feminists interacted with and thought about each other.

Having explored the social world and intellectual landscape of feminist radicals in this research, I have become increasingly curious about both the reception of feminism in British society and culture more broadly during this period, and how individuals negotiated gender in the everyday during an era of such profound shifts.

Partly as a way of exploring these questions, between 2018 and 2020, I have been co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project ‘Women and the miners’ strike: Capturing changing gender roles in working-class communities in Britain after 1945’, alongside Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite at UCL.( ).

For this project, we have undertaken oral histories with approximately 100 women from coalfield communities, asking them about their lives in general, and about their experiences during the strike specifically. We are interested in the experiences of women who became involved in the support movement during the strike, which at its height ran soup kitchen and food parcel operations which kept over 100 000 striking miners and their families fed, but have also interviewed women who were less active supporters of the strike, and indeed some who were actively opposed to it. What do women’s diverse experiences during the strike tell us about broader changes in the lives of women from working-class communities in post-war Britain? Such changes were often highlighted by a media focus on women's activism during miners' strike, rather than simply caused by the strike itself. Finally, we are also interested in how the persistent requests of women involved in the strike to 'tell their stories' itself shaped their subjectivities and prompted them to reflect on gender identities and relations in highly specific ways.

We are currently under contract with Oxford University Press to write a monograph resulting from this research, to be published in 2023/4. You can find out more about the lives of the women we interviewed here on this online exhibition:

More broadly, I am also interested in oral history, self-narratives and subjectivity, Black history, the history of the left and radicalism, and feminist theory.

Research groups / Centres:
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