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Dr Liz Barnes

Liz Barnes
  • Convener of HSHAD: Historical Approaches and My Dissertation

Areas of interest

I am primarily interested in histories of sexual violence, particularly in relation to the social changes ushered in by the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States in the mid nineteenth century. More broadly, my research focusses on slavery in the US South, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction period, with a focus on how Black women navigated the constraints imposed by racism and patriarchy.

My PhD thesis examined Black women's relationships with three authorities in their lives: Black men, law enforcers, and agents of the federal government. I have forthcoming publications drawn from this research that examines the evolution of policing in the United States and the nature of gendered relationships within formerly enslaved families and communities.

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised MA students working on histories of race and gender in the United States.



  • Part 1 Option: Rape in the United States: from Colonisation to Civil Rights
  • Part 2 Option: The American Civil War
  • Part 3 Topic: Policing the United States


MA Option: Resisting and Abolishing Slavery in the United States

Research projects

I am currently converting my PhD thesis into a book provisionally titled Voicing Violation: Rape and Race in Slavery and Freedom.




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