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Dr Jacqui Turner

Areas of interest

I am broadly interested in C19th and early C20th parliamentary politics and political cultures including gender, early feminism and a mix of working class politics and religion.

My existing research 'The soul of the Labour Movement' is a detailed examination of the Victorian morality and spirituality upon which the life of the Labour movement was built and includes the wider contribution of the women's movement, children's associations and radical literary traditions. My current research concerns early female pioneers in politics, focusing largely on female MPs between 1919 and 1931 primarily as 'sex-candidates'. I examine the contribution of early female MPs but also reassess the importance of the 1918 Representation of the People Act on British democracy, in relation to women and the emergence of female politicians - I am particularly interested in Nancy Astor, who was the first female MP to sit in the House of Commons and whose papers are held at the University of Reading.

After spending several years working in heritage, I remain interested in archives and collections, material culture, museums and heritage.

I also have an interest in digital humanities and the value of open access provision.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising research on:

  • The Astor legacy, Christian Science and the Anglican Parliament (Melanie Khuddro)
  • Rent strikes on municipal housing estates in 1939 (Fiona Lane)
  • Elizabeth, 6th Baroness Craven: female travel and autobiographical writing in the late Eighteenth Century and early Nineteenth Century (Helen Lockhart)
  • Young women in service in Berkshire and Hampshire in the late C19th and early C20th (Peter Jolly)
  • The Conservative Cabinet and the 1928 Franchise (Abbi Tibbott)

 

PhD research skills

  • What's not there? Absences and difficult histories in collections - gender and the archive.
  • Curating exhibitions and digital exhibitions from the archive.
 

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Year 1: Making the Modern Family and the Origins of the Welfare State
  • Year 1: Suffragette PENDING for 2023
  • Year 2: 'Rebel Girls' Radical Women 1795-1919'
  • Year 2: Representations of the People: Democracy and Society in Britain, 1838-1928(team taught with Professor David Stack) PENDING for 2023
  • Year 3: Discovering Archives and Collections (placement module)
  • Year 3: 'Battleaxes and Benchwarmers' - The aftermath of suffrage and female early MPs 1918-1931 (I also try to take my students to parliament to meet a female MP to engage with women’s place in society, politics as well as in the past)
  • Year 3: Dissertation supervision

Postgraduate

MA (PGT):

  • Building a New Jerusalem: The emergence of the Labour Party in Britain (co-taught with Professor Matt Worley)
  • Theory and Themes: Gender and Women's History
  • Historical Skills and Resources: Engaging with collections and material culture
  • Dissertation supervision

Collections-based teaching

I am a huge advocate for collections-based teaching. In all modules from year 1 through to postgraduate study, my students visit the University of Reading's Special Collections and utilise primary material. Handling primary material connects the student with the past and introduces them to the joy unearthing an unexpected gem. I also endeavour to take my third-year students to Parliament to meet a female MP to engage with women's place in society politics as well as in the past.

Research centres and groups

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (from May 2021)
  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (from 2019)
  • Gender History Cluster, University of Reading

https://www.reading.ac.uk/research/themes/theme-heritage-creativity/rd-history/history-cluster-gender.aspx

Awards and honours

Research Engagement and Impact Award Winner 2020

“… for her inspiring contribution to the centenary celebrations of Nancy Astor, the first female to take her seat in parliament…This project stands out for connecting Humanities research to social activism and engaging bravely with political controversy.”

Impact Awards 2020 (reading.ac.uk)

Teaching Excellence Award for Arts Humanities and Social Sciences 2019

"Jacqui is one of the most enthusiastic lecturers I have met while at Reading University. She consistently goes above and beyond to not only to teach us the course content but provided us with unique learning experiences. A lecturer who loves what she does and is an expert in her area, a real asset to the History department."

Collaborative Teaching Award 2018

Partnered celebration of 'Vote 100' with Dr Madeleine Davies (English Literature) and Mr Guy Baxter (University Museums and Special Collections Services). In celebration and inspired by 'Vote 100'.

"The 'Feminism 100' event series was jointly organised by the School of Languages and Literature and the School of Humanities and ran over the spring term. It made three significant achievements; it produced a creative and innovative school-led collaboration, cultivated a close partnership between staff and students from History, Classics and Literature, and showcased the value of work placement modules. The collaboration is a shining example of what we are most proud of at Reading - our students and our teaching and learning partnerships."

Research Engagement and Impact Award Finalist 2018

Judges’ comments: “We were impressed by how Jacqui has built relationships and networks to bring research about women’s role in politics to the fore in Parliament”

More information here.

Diverse and Inclusive Teaching Excellence Award 2017

"I nominated Dr Jacqui Turner for RUSU's Diverse and Inclusive Teaching Excellence Award which she won. Jacqui supported me throughout my degree, enabling me to pursue topics I was passionate about. I honestly cannot stop praising her."

Nikita Rai (BA History)

Impact and Public Engagement

Jacqui Turner Astor 100 Project Poster

I worked with the national Vote100 project on the centenary of the women's vote in 2018 and local Reading Vote100 projects. I was the national curator for the Astor100 centenary programme from the University of Reading. Astor 100 was a year-long celebration of women in politics, Nancy Astor and her wider legacy. It incorporated a major series of academic and public engagements that took place during 2019 and on into 2020. The Astor archives are held here at the University of Reading Special Collections.

Visit the Astor Research and Astor100 web pages here.

As a direct result of curating the National Astor 100 programme, I am currently writing on the 'impact of impact' and in particular the 'expert voice' in the media and on social media.

Recent Awards and Nominations

Research Engagement and impact Award Winner 2020

Judges' comments: " for her inspiring contributions to the centenary celebrations for Nancy Astor, the first female to take her seat in Parliament… This project stands out for connecting Humanities research to social activism and engaging bravely with political controversy."

https://www.reading.ac.uk/research/impact/research-engagement-awards-2020.aspx

Research Engagement and Impact Award Finalist 2018

Judges’ comments: “We were impressed by how Jacqui has built relationships and networks to bring research about women’s role in politics to the fore in Parliament”

More information here.

Publications