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Helen Sunderland

Helen Sunderland

PhD Candidate in History


I am a third-year PhD student researching schoolgirls and politics in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century England. My PhD is funded by an AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership and Corpus Christi College studentship. I completed my undergraduate and Master's degrees in History at the University of Oxford. 

Research Interests

I am interested in the histories of childhood, girlhood and political cultures in modern Britain. My current research is on the political socialisation of schoolgirls in England between 1870 and 1914. My doctoral research is supervised by Dr Ben Griffin.

My broader research interests include gender history, girlhood studies and the history of education. I am also passionate about public history and making academic research accessible to a wider audience. 


Part I: Paper 5 - British political history, 1688-1886

Historical Argument and Practice: Gender

Other Professional Activities

Writer, editorial team member and former co-editor-in-chief of collaborative public history blog Doing History in Public.

Co-convenor of Gender and Sexuality History Workshop.


  • Modern British History

Key Publications

'Politics in schoolgirl debating cultures in England, 1886-1914', Historical Journal (2019), pp. 1-23.

'"Politics for Girls": Representations of Political Girlhood in the Girl’s Own Paper and The Girl’s Realm'Victorian Periodicals Review, 52/1 (2019), pp. 1-26. Winner of the 2018 VanArsdel Essay Prize.