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School of History

Dr Jane Freeland


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8375
Room Number: ArtsTwo 2.04


I am a social and cultural historian of modern Germany and Europe. My research focuses on the history of gender, sexuality and feminism in divided Germany.

I joined Queen Mary in 2018. Prior to this, I held a Newton International Fellowship at the University of Bristol and worked as a Teaching Associate in Modern European History at the University of Sheffield. I completed my PhD in History at Carleton University, Canada, in 2016.

Undergraduate Teaching

HST4309-Europe in a Global Context Since 1800
HST5324-A Century of Extremes: Germany 1890-1990
HST6750-Berlin in the Twentieth Century


Research Interests:

My research examines the impact of 1960s feminism on contemporary discussions of gender and women’s rights. My current book project, ‘Feminist Transformations: Domestic Violence in Divided Berlin, 1969-2002,’ evaluates the legacy of feminist activism against spousal abuse in Germany. Looking at the process of opening battered women’s shelters in Berlin, the book examines how women activists created social change and how, in turn, their work transformed feminism. I have also published more generally on gender and sexuality under socialism.

I am currently developing a new project on women’s separatism in western feminist movements. This project will look at how concepts of feminist womanhood were constructed and contested in women-only spaces.

My interests include:

-History of gender and sexuality
-Divided Germany
-Social and legal change
-German film and literature


Journal Articles

“Creating Good Socialist Women: Continuities, Desire and Degeneration in Slatan Dudow’s The Destinies of Women,” Journal of Women’s History, Vol. 29(1) (2017): 87-110.
“Morals on Trial: State-Making and Domestic Violence in the East German Courtroom,” Perspectives on Europe, Vol. 44(1) (2014): 55-60.

Book Chapters

“Women’s Bodies and Feminist Subjectivity in West Germany,” The Politics of Authenticity:
Countercultures and Radical Movements across the Iron Curtain, 1968-1989. Edited by Joachim C. Häberlen, Mark Keck-Szajbel and Kate Mahoney. New York: Berghahn (forthcoming, Berghahn, 2018):
“Homosexuality and the Science of History in Anglo-American Perspective,” Was ist Homosexualität: Forschungsgeschichte, gesellschaftlice Entwicklung und Perspektiven, edited by Florian Mildenberger, Jennifer Evans, Rüdiger Lautmann, and Jakob Pastoetter (Hamburg: Männerschwarm Verlag, 2014): 305-318.

Review Essays

with Jennifer Evans, “Rethinking Sexual Modernity in Twentieth Century Germany” Social History, Vol. 37(3) (2012): 314-327.

Other Publications

Alexandria Ruble, Scott Harrison, Jane Freeland, Adam Blackler and Julie Ault, “Teaching Effective Engagement: Some Strategies and Techniques,” AHA Today, 20 November, 2017, American Historical Association:

“Writing Their Stories: Women’s Survivorship and the History of Domestic Abuse,” VIDA Blog, 5 December 2016, Australian Women’s History Network:

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