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Helen Sunderland

Helen Sunderland

PhD Candidate in History


I am a first-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. My MSt dissertation explored girls' engagement with ideas of citizenship in England between 1870 and 1910 through the family, civic events and periodical literature.

Research Interests

I am interested in the history of childhood and political cultures in modern Britain. My current research is on 'The Political Socialisation of Schoolgirls in Late Victorian and Edwardian England'. It seeks to extend the analysis of girls' citizenship to schooling experiences, and explore how politicised educational theory, practice and curriculum intersected with other socialising influences - religious and associational culture, the home and workplace. It will question how girls received, appropriated and perhaps subverted their political education. My doctoral research is supervised by Dr Ben Griffin.

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

Other Professional Activities

I am on the editorial team of the collaborative blog Doing History in Public.


  • Modern British History