Eilis Boyle

Eilis Boyle


PhD project

My PhD examined the reconfiguration of disability, gender and power in spaces of care in interwar Britain. Focusing on the experiences of mentally and facially wounded (male and female) veterans, it comparatively analysed mental and physical wounds for the first time in the context of interwar care, revealing important points of commonality and departure in disabled veterans’ experiences, and engendering new ways of thinking about disability and care. Drawing on qualitative methodologies and interdisciplinary frameworks from gender and disability studies, this study interrogated how disabled veterans managed their (in)visibility, autonomy, agency and authority in systems predicated upon ideals which they struggled to conform to and at times actively sought to resist.

My PhD was conducted as part of the European Research Council-funded Men, Women and Care project, which examined the gendering of formal and informal caregiving in interwar Britain. 

I completed my MA by research at the University of Leeds in 2016. This project examined the social and psychological impact of facial injuries in Britain after the First World War, emphasising the agency and distinctive voices of facially wounded veterans. 


‘“An uglier duckling than before”: Reclaiming Agency and Visibility Amongst Facially-Wounded Ex-Servicemen in Britain After the First World War’, Alter European Journal of Disability Research, 13.4 (2019), 308-22

(with Dr Jessica Meyer), evidence submitted to Mental Health of Men and Boys Inquiry, UK Parliament Women and Equalities Committee, 22 May 2019  

Book review of Stefanie Linden, They Called It Shell Shock: Combat Stress in the First World War (Solihull: Helion & Company Limited, 2017), Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 2017


University of Huddersfield 

2020                 Module leader, lecturer and seminar tutor, level 3, The Great War: Culture and Society

University of Leeds

2019                 Module designer and tutor, level 1, Historiography and Historical Skills: Gender and Disability after the First World War

2018                 Seminar tutor, level 1, The Modern World, 1750-1989

2017                 Module designer and tutor, level 1, Historiography and Historical Skills: Continuity and Social Change in First World War Britain: Medical and Gendered Perspectives 

Selected public engagement and impact 

Intern, History & Policy at Leeds, 2019

Exhibition Co-Curator, Goodbye to all that? Legacies of the First World War, Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery, Leeds, 2017-19

Documentary appearance in Facing the Aftermath: The First World War and the Birth of Facial Reconstruction, Legasee, The Veterans’ Video Archive, May 2019

Podcast appearance, Legacies of War podcast, University of Leeds, February 2017 

Research Intern, Somme 1916: From Durham to the Western Front, centenary exhibition, Palace Green Library, Durham, 2015 

Selected conference papers

‘Caring for Facial Injuries in the First World War: Patient and Nurse Perspectives’, poster presentation, International Society for First World War Studies (University of Leeds, September 2019)

‘Gender, Rights and Visibility: Conceptualising the Care of War-wounded Women in Interwar Britain’, Social History Society Annual Conference (University of Lincoln, June 2019)

‘The Value of Public Engagement in Historical Research’, invited talk, Impact and Public Engagement training workshop (University of Leeds, March 2019) 

‘“Without her help I could not continue at all”: Exploring the Relationship Between Gender, Care and Visibility in Local and Domestic Communities in Post-war Britain’, 1918-2018: An Internal Conference (University of Wolverhampton, September 2018)

‘“Without her help I could not continue at all”: Examining the Gendered Dynamics of Domestic Care in Post-war Britain’, Care After the First World War (University of Leeds, April 2018)

‘Facial Wounds and Care in Britain During and After the First World War’, public talk as part of the Bowes Museum’s First World War Commemoration Project (Bowes Museum, May 2018)

‘“An Uglier Duckling Than Before”: The Case of Reginald Evans and the Domestic Reintegration of Facially wounded Veterans’, What Tommy Did Next: Veterans’ Activities and Organisations of the First World War, in the UK and Beyond (University of Edinburgh, March 2017)

Blog posts

‘Psychological Wounds and Accountability in Post-war Britain: A Response to Kandace Bogaert’, Men, Women and Care blog, February 2018

‘Facial Injuries and Care in World War I’, Effaced from History? Facial Difference and its Impact from Antiquity to the Present Day, July 2017 

‘Negotiating Networks of Care’, Men, Women and Care blog, June 2017 

‘What Tommy Did Next: Veterans’ Activities and Organisations of the First World War, in the UK and Beyond’, Men, Women and Care blog, March 2017

‘The Subjective Nature of Disfigurement’, Men, Women and Care blog, February 2017


  • Social History Society
  • Disability History Association


Research interests

I am a social and cultural historian, research interests include: 

  • Gender

  • Disability 

  • Masculinities 

  • Trauma 

  • Facial difference 

  • Histories of medicine 

  • Psychiatry 

  • The social and cultural impact of conflict 


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • M.A. by Research
  • B.A. (Hons) English Literature & History, first-class honours