Dr Lucy Delap
Director, History & Policy
Reader in Twentieth Century British History
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7042
Address: Department of History and Institute of Contemporary British History
K6.50, King's Building
King's College London
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS
History & Policy and public engagement
Lucy Delap works on modern British history, with a particular focus on gender, feminism and masculinities. She was educated in London, Swaziland and Cambridge, and taught at the University of Cambridge until moving to King’s College London in 2013. Previous research has centred on the Anglo-American components of feminist political thought, anti-feminism, gender in the maritime world (including a history of ‘women and children first’ in shipwrecks), feminism and gender in imperial contexts (with a specific interest in colonial Burma). Her monograph The Feminist Avant-Garde: Transatlantic Encounters of the Early Twentieth Century
(CUP, 2007) won the 2008 Women’s History Network prize. She published a study of domestic service in twentieth century Britain, Knowing Their Place
(OUP, 2011), which linked the first half of the twentieth century, a period widely understood to mark the decline of domestic service, with the late twentieth century revival in employment of private domestic workers. This study pays particular attention to neglected categories of domestic worker such as au pair, cleaner, and mother’s help. It situates domestic service in social and labour history, but also in cultural history through attention to the depictions of servants and employers in the comic press, pornography, and in heritage productions.
As Director of History & Policy, Lucy Delap works to connect historians to policy makers working in government, think tanks and through the media. She is currently working with partners at in Whitehall to explore how to deepen and make more interactive the relationships already established through History & Policy between historians and civil servants. In collaboration with colleagues, she is also developing an Equalities and Diversity Forum, based within History & Policy, to expand the project's work in this area.
Dr Delap has worked extensively in television and public commentary, including acting as series consultant for the 2012 BBC2 series Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs. She has been an editor for History & Policy (http://www.historyandpolicy.org/) since 2006, and now directs this project. Based at King’s College London since 2013, History & Policy is a national network of historians, and works to connects historians to the world of policy making, public opinion and the media.
Lucy Delap has been historical consultant to theatre and radio productions, and interviewed widely by the press in relation to shipwrecks, domestic service and feminism. She has given public lectures for organisations including the University of the Third Age, the National Maritime Museum, the Cambridge Folk Museum, the Hay Festival, and the Bedford Centre for the History of Women.
British history since 1840
History of feminism
History of emotions
Her current research focuses on changes in late twentieth century masculinities, in political culture, activism and intimate life. It is based on a major oral history project, in collaboration with the British Library, interviewing on the theme of men’s encounters with women’s liberation, between 1970 and 1993. Some of the interviews from this project can be seen at the British Library’s Sisterhood and After project: http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/sisterhood/index.html
She also works on religious masculinities, and has recently co-edited Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Twentieth Century Britain
(Palgrave 2013) with Susan Morgan. This collection provides one of the first attempts to acknowledge the multi-faith, post-Christian nature of modern Britain, and includes chapters on Jewish, Catholic, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan and ‘no-faith’ masculinities. Lucy Delap’s chapter focuses on the history of the Church of England Men’s Society, and the Anglican masculinities of the twentieth century.
Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Britain since 1890, co-edited with Susan Morgan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013),
‘Uneven Orientalisms: Burmese Women and the Feminist Imagination’, Gender and History, 2, (2012), 389-410
Knowing Their Place: Domestic Service in Twentieth Century Britain (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Feminist media history: Suffrage, periodicals and the public sphere, jointly authored with Maria DiCenzo and Leila Ryan, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
The Feminist Avant-Garde: Transatlantic Encounters of the Early Twentieth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
‘“Thus does man prove his fitness to be the master of things”: Shipwrecks, Chivalry and Masculinities in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Britain’, Cultural and Social History, 3, pp. 45-74, (2006).
Dr Delap’s previous research students have examined modern British history, with projects that range from the history of childhood, race and ethnicity in the Women’s Liberation Movement, world travellers in the era of women’s suffrage, women in the Social Democratic Party and performance cultures in twentieth century feminism. She is particularly interested in supervising students in the following areas:
Histories of gender in modern Britain
Feminism and anti-feminism
Within ICBH, Lucy Delap offers three Level 7 postgraduate modules:
History and Policy - offering students the opportunity to consider how history can and does engage with policy, with guest lecturers from Whitehall and the media
Gender in British Society 1900-45
Gender in British Society since 1945
All three modules are open to students from any Department - email Dr Delap for more information about course content, and contact your Departmental administrator if you would like to register for any of them.
Within the History Department, Dr Delap teaches the following undergraduate courses: