Intellectual Portraits: politics, professions and identity in twentieth century England

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    This article brings together six talented women historians in twentieth-century England whose scholarly productions helped shape modern historical practice but who are little known in the canonical accounts of history-writing in the period. The author is looking to map and describe historical communities from a grounded and qualitative perspective using a biographical approach pioneered by Olive Banks, showing the sequencing of connections located in time and space, social history and social geography. The crux of the argument is that these intellectual portraits tell us something about the ‘career’ chances for scholarly women that are significant to debates over politics, professions and identity, and women’s position in higher education today. The key objective is to provide a historically situated account of their contribution to developments within the field, attending not simply to their ideas but to their social status in relation to the university-based discipline of history.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)740-767
    Number of pages27
    JournalHistory of Education
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2014


    • gender
    • identity
    • intellectual
    • politics
    • professions


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