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Professor Lucy Bland


Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Lucy is Professor of Social and Cultural History specialising in late 19th and 20th century British history of gender, race and sexuality. She is a member of our Labour History Research Unit.

Email: [email protected]


Before joining Anglia Ruskin in 2013, 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, but more recently has turned to issues of race. She recently researched the mixed-race offspring of black GIs and British women born in the Second World War. With Dr Chamion Caballero she is currently investigating the official reports and commentaries on Britain’s interracial portside communities during the interwar years (for which they have been awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant). She is also working on a project on ‘The Mixed Body, Disharmonies, Disability and “Handicap”, 1920s-40s Britain’.

Research interests

  • Mixed race offspring of black GIs and British women born in World War II
  • History of mixed-raceness and inter-racial relationships in Britain
  • Transracial adoption in Britain
  • British feminisms
  • Gender relations, 19th and 20th century Britain
  • Eugenics, race and gender
  • Sexualities
  • British court trials, gender and race

Areas of research supervision

  • Nineteenth-century feminism and twentieth-century British feminism
  • Gender relations and family in Britain in nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • History of sexualities
  • Adoption, fostering and race
  • Mixed raceness
  • Eugenics
  • Gender and crime
  • Gender and race in both world wars

Lucy's past and present supervisions include:

  • Common Convictions: The Prison Experiences of Suffragettes 1905 – 1914
  • Orange women of Glasgow, 1909 – 2010: a history of the female Order in the West of Scotland
  • The Feminism and Political Radicalism of Helen Taylor in Victorian Britain and Ireland
  • Privilege, Protest, Prison: the Case of Constance Lytton
  • Anarchist Women in Late-Victorian Britain: 1880-1914
  • Single Irish women in Birmingham and the Back Country, 1860-1914
  • Edith How Martyn and birth control
  • Reconstructing Race and Nation under the New Right in Power, 1982-1989
  • British Asians’ Fight against Racism, 1950s-1990s
  • The Reintegration of Shell-Shocked Veterans in Britain During the 1920s
  • Women and the 1926 General Strike


Lucy currently teaches on the modules:

  • Gender and Sexuality in Britain, 1880s-1980s
  • A History of Now
  • From Welfare State to European State? British Politics and Society, 1906-75
  • 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


  • Senior Fellowship of HEA (Higher Education Academy), 2015
  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society, 2013
  • Women’s History Network, 1991-present (on Steering Committee, 2013-17)

Editorial boards

  • Editorial board of Women’s History Review, 2019-present
  • Advisory Board of New Formations, 2015-present
  • Co-editor of Women’s History Magazine [now Women’s History Today], 2013-17
  • Advisory Board of Gender & History, 1997-present
  • Editorial Collective of Feminist Review, 1997-2011
  • Editorial Collective of Gender & History, 1989-97
  • Editorial Board of Formations [now New Formations] 1983-1985


  • Online exhibition 'Brown Babies' given the 'Best Digital Engagement Award' by The Museums Association in Nov 2021
  • Social History Society prize for 'best book of social or cultural history of 2019' (for Britain's 'Brown Babies': the stories of children born to black GIs and British women in the second world war, MUP 2019), July 2021
  • VC Award for Outstanding Research Impact, Oct 2020

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for ‘Investigating the Investigations: a study of the official reports and commentaries on Britain’s interracial portside communities during the interwar years' Sept 2021 - Aug 2023
  • Small Research Grant from Being Human Festival for exhibition Britain's 'Brown Babies' of World War 2 and for 2 panels: 1) being mixed race: history and identity and 2) black and mixed-race children and the care system and the controversy around trans-racial adoption, 1940s-present, Nov 2019
  • BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for 'An Exploration of the Experience of Growing Up as Mixed-Race Offspring of African-American Soldiers and British Women born during the Second World War', Sept 2015 - Dec 2016
  • Conference grants from The History Society and The Royal Historical Society, both for The Women's History Network Conference, September 2011, that Lucy organised
  • AHRC research leave, Jan-June 2010
  • Leverhulme funded project on 'The Parameters of the Women's Liberation Movement in the Four Nations of Great Britain', April 2008 - Oct 2009

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. Winner of the Social History Society prize for best book of social history for 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:

'The War Babies of Black GIs and "Brown Babies": Experiencing Racism and Exclusion and Searching for a Sense of Belonging' in 'Black GI Children in Post-World War II Europe', Zeitgeschichte [Contemporary History] 48:1, 2021

'Born to Black GIs: from the demonization of father and child to the search for American roots', Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 18:3, 2020

'Thousands of mixed-race British babies were born in World War II – and adoption by their black American fathers was blocked', The Conversation May 2019

'Defying Racial Prejudice: 2nd World War Relationships between British women and black GIs and the raising of their offspring', Women’s History Review, vol 28:6, 2019 (published online 5 July 2017)

'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

Lucy’s recent research has appeared widely on radio and television, including BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3, local BBC radio stations around the country, BBC World Service, BBC World News, Channel 4 News, CNN. This research has also been widely written up in local newspapers and in the form of blogs.