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School of History

Professor Philippa Levine


Global Professorial Fellow



I work mostly at the intersection of the histories of race, sex and science, with an emphasis on Britain's former Empire.

After completing a doctorate at Oxford, I went on to hold positions in universities in Britain, Australia and the USA.


Research Interests:

I am currently completing a book on nakedness. I am also beginning a study of Jewish radicalism in East London, based in part on my own family's experiences.

My current research interests include eugenics and the history of human experimentation.


The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset 3rd revised edition (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020)
Eugenics: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017)

Japanese translation (Tokyo: Subarusya, 2021)

The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset. 2nd revised edition (Abingdon: Routledge 2013)

Japanese translation with new preface (Kyoto: Showado, 2021)

The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset (Harlow: Longman Pearson, 2007)

Italian translation: L’impero britannico (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2009)

Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire (New York: Routledge, 2003)

Feminist Lives in Victorian England. Private Roles and Public Commitment (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990)

Victorian Feminism 1850-1900 (London: Hutchinson Education, 1987)

The Amateur and the Professional. Historians, Antiquarians and Archaeologists in Victorian
England, 1838-1886 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986; paperback, 2002)

Edited collections:

The British Empire: Critical Readings, four-volume set (London: Bloomsbury, 2019)

The Rise and Fall of Modern Empires, four-volume anthology. Series/General Editor (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013)

The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Imperial Histories (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012)

The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Gender, Labour, War and Empire in Modern Britain. Essays on Modern Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire and Transnationalism, 1860-1950 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Gender and Empire: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; paperback, 2007)

Greek translation: Φύλο και αυτοκρατορία (Pedio Editions, 2016)

Women's Suffrage in the British Empire: Citizenship, Nation and Racer (London: Routledge, 2000)

Public Engagement

Recent contributions include:
Guest on Bad Blood: The Story of Eugenics, BBC Radio 4 series on the history of eugenics, November 2022

Guest on BBC’s Deeply Human series, discussing nakedness, 5 March 2022

NHK television channel, Japan, ‘International News 2021,’ segment on eugenic sterilisation, aired November 25 2021

Democracy is still under threat in the US, despite the Biden win (14 October 2021)

Panelist, Edward Morgan, So You Can Look Ahead play reading and Q&A: recorded on Zoom, edited on IMovie with some added images and music, then broadcast as a private You Tube showing, followed by a live Zoom Q & A with a panel of international eugenics scholars

Should we stop erecting statues? The Cecil Rhodes issue requires immediate remedy. But why do we erect monuments at all? (24 December 2020)

I quarantined in London. My friend quarantined in Sydney. Our experiences could not have been more different (21 October 2020)

Russia's fast-track vaccine is a lesson in ethics, human exploitation (13 August 2020)

Will we ever learn to use history as a guide? (17 June 2020)

Letting 'nature run its course' on COVID-19 ignores what led to this economic mess (20 May 2020)

‘The Controversy of the Nude,’ The Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum Magazine 101 (Spring 2021): 11

Oxford University Press blog, 12 May 2017

Guest post, NACBS blog, July 2016

‘From Postcard to Picasso: Nakedness on Display,’ Not Even Past, 18 May 2016

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