Dr Katie Carpenter
I fell in love with the Victorians as a child after reading The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson. I caught the ‘research bug’ as an undergraduate whilst studying Victorian lunatic asylums on an independent research module at Royal Holloway, University of London. As such, I decided to pursue a career in academia and went on to study for an MA in Modern History and a PhD, also at Royal Holloway.
Since this early fascination with the Victorians, my interests and expertise have expanded to encompass the social, cultural and political history of Britain in the long nineteenth century. I am deeply passionate about communicating historical research to public audiences and have developed a portfolio of public-facing work including blogs, videos, exhibitions and social media. I joined the School of History at the University of Leeds in the summer of 2022 as Lecturer in Public History.
- Curriculum Redefined Lecturer
- Widening Participation Lead
How did women experience science and scientific change in the home? This question formed the basis of my PhD project. I examined the middle-class kitchen and its material culture from c. 1870 to 1914 in Britain, to explore how housewives encountered science and technology through daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning. This included research on how middle-class girls were taught science and domestic science in some of the pioneering schools of the period.
Early Nineteenth Century Radicalism
Following my PhD, I received an AHRC Creative Economy Engagement Fellowship and spent 14-months working with the Parliamentary Archives and the Citizens Project, a heritage-lottery funded project based at Royal Holloway.
My main task in this role was to search the archives for documents related to the history of protest and political radicalism in the early nineteenth century. My archival research contributed to a range of public-facing outputs including an exhibition on the Peterloo massacre, an online course, and a range of blogs and videos.
The most exciting part of this role was being given free rein to search the archives for documents that was previously unknown and uncatalogued. My finds included some abolition petitions that were previously believed to have been destroyed in the 1834 fire at the Houses of Parliament, and two letters written by George III and George IV. It was during this time that I developed an interest in Queen Caroline of Brunswick, the despised wife of George IV who was put on trial in 1820. On the so-called ‘Queen Caroline Affair of 1820’, I curated a document exhibition (online due to COVID-19), showcasing the Parliamentary Archives’ related collections, and produced and presented a short video. I have since written a biographical essay of Caroline, published in 2023.<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>
- PhD History (RHUL)
- MA Modern History (RHUL)
- BA History (RHUL)
In my current role, I teach in areas related to public history, material culture and modern Britain. As a Curriculum Redefined lecturer, a key part of my role at Leeds is rethinking and developing how we teach history in higher education. I am particularly interested in outward-facing assessments, or, in other words, assessments that are directed at public audiences.
I have extensive teaching experience from universities across the UK. Prior to joining the University of Leeds, I held temporary lectureships at the University of Bristol (2021–22) and the University of Lincoln (2021). In addition, I have taught at the University of Highlands and Islands, University College London, King’s College London, Loughborough University and Royal Holloway.