Mo Moulton


  • Associate Professor in the History of Race and Empire, History

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome queries from prospective MRes and PhD students. I'm especially interested in projects that bring together queer and trans history with histories of race and colonialism in Britain and Ireland. Past PhD projects supervised include: - Shahmima Akhtar, “‘A public display of its own capabilities and resources’: a cultural history of Irish identity on display, 1851-2015.” - Martha Robinson Rhodes, “Bisexuality and Multiple-Gender-Attraction in Britain, 1970-1990: A Queer Oral History.”


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Personal profile


After studying history at MIT (a surprising but happy choice), I worked in the non-profit sector, mainly on campaign financing, in San Francisco and New York. I earned a PhD, funded in part by the SSRC and a Mellon grant, from Brown University under the supervision of Professor Deborah Cohen. From 2010 to 2016, I taught at Harvard University’s History and Literature program.

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Research interests

I research the social and cultural history of Britain, Ireland, and the British Empire in the late 19th and 20th centuries. At the broadest level, I'm interested in the tension between historically contingent categories (from the national to the personal) and the ways that individual people and communities remake their own worlds through activism, art, and experiments in living that cross and re-cross the boundaries of those categories. I've written about Irishness in the aftermath of the Irish Revolution, the nature of historical queerness and transness, and the international circulation of ideas about economic co-operation.

I'm currently working on an intellectual history of kinship. This project asks how the category of kinship came into being in the 19th century, how it came to be a central term in debates about colonial difference, transatlantic slavery, and queer theory, and how it came to be understood as a means of creativity, a way of claiming social legitimacy and expanding possible ways to live.


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