Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities

An interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculties of Arts and Medicine & Health at the University of Leeds

Dr Laura King

University Academic Fellow in Health, Family, and the Everyday

0113 3430272

Research Interest and Projects

My research focuses on the family, parenting and gender, and these interest are brought together in my past and current research projects on fatherhood. Having completed a BA in Modern History and Politics and MA in Twentieth-Century History at the University of Sheffield, I started a PhD entitled ‘Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, c.1918-1960’. This was supported by an AHRC Doctoral Award, and awarded in 2011. Following this, I took up a position as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, where I ran my own public engagement project, ‘Hiding in the Pub to Cutting the Cord? Fatherhood and Childbirth in Britain from the 1950s to the Present’. This involved working on a production called ‘Our Fathers’ by a Midlands theatre company, Babakas; publishing a pamphlet of fathers’ poetry; and exhibitions and events at a local arts festival.

This project also saw the start of my new postdoctoral research into men’s reaction to and relationship with their partner’s pregnancy, the birth of their baby, and the early infant care of that child. I am continuing this research in my current postdoctoral position at the University of Leeds, under the title ‘Men, Masculinity and Maternity in Britain from the 1950s to the Present’. Sources include oral history interviews, hospital record and medical literature, social research, and popular cultural texts. I am also currently completing a monograph based on my doctoral research, to be published with Oxford University Press.



Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, c.1914-1960 (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Book Chapters and Articles

‘The Perfect Man: Fatherhood, Masculinity and Romance in Popular Culture in mid-Twentieth-Century Britain’, in Alana Harris and Timothy Jones (eds), Love and Romance in Britain, 1918-1970 (Palgrave, forthcoming)

‘Hidden Fathers? The significance of fatherhood in mid-twentieth-century Britain’, Contemporary British History 26:1 (2012). pp.25-46. Article available here.

Reviews, Reports and Other Publications

‘Supporting Active Fatherhood in Britain’, Policy Paper for History & Policy, (June 2012). Available here.

‘Gender, Subjectivity and Oral History’, Conference Report, History Workshop Journal 73 (2012). pp.361-364 (with Angela Davis and Andrea Hajek)

Review of Jane Hamlett, Material Relations: Domestic interiors and the family in England, 1850-1910 (2010), Women’s History Review (forthcoming, 2012)

My work has also been featured in a number of publications for popular audiences, such as Warwick Knowledge Centre, BBC History Magazine, the Telegraph and for organisations such as Dadzclub.

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