Dr Laura King

Dr Laura King


Having completed a BA in Modern History and Politics and MA in Twentieth-Century History at the University of Sheffield, I continued to study for a PhD there, supported by an AHRC Doctoral Award.

My first job post-PhD, in 2011, was as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, where I ran a public engagement project, Hiding in the Pub to Cutting the Cord? Fatherhood and Childbirth in Britain from the 1950s to the Present.

I moved to Leeds in 2012, to take up a position as Arts Engaged Fellow (2012–2015), reflecting my growing interest in collaboration with partners and audiences beyond the campus. In 2015, I was appointed University Academic Fellow in the History of Health, Family and the Everyday, and in 2017 became Associate Professor in Modern British History.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of the Social History Society, Women's History Network and Oral History Society. I am also Deputy Director of History & Policy, and sit on the editorial board of the journal Genealogy.


  • Deputy Head of School

Research interests

My research focuses on the social and cultural history of everyday family life and emotional relationships in modern Britain. I have written about fatherhood, childbirth, family archives, the remembrance of the dead, and methodologies for collaborative public history. My current work focuses on the relationship with our ancestors and family history, and is based on collaborative research with a group of family historians. A book, provisionally entitled Living with the Dead, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

One of the most exciting parts of working as an academic historian, for me, is collaboration with others. My work on the relationship between the living and dead has involved projects with the Grief Series, Leeds Museums and Galleries and Leeds Dying Matters partnership, amongst others. In the past I’ve worked with a wide range of museums, arts organisations, charities, local government and community groups. I’m always happy to hear from anyone outside academia who is keen to collaborate.

Past research projects

My past research projects are listed below:

<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>

Student education

I teach on various aspects of modern British history, and on modules which encourage students to work with external partners and engage with public audiences.

I am able to supervise MA and PhD students focusing on the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Britain, particularly those with interests in gender, family, health and the life course. I welcome all enquiries - please do get in touch.

Postgraduate research students


Tanmay Kulshrestha: The Ayahs and their employers: Fathers, mothers and caregivers in colonial homes, c.1850-1947

Sophia Lambert: Understanding identity and assimilation through cemeteries: The Bradford Reform Jewish Community

Kate Wvendth: Ancestral Attributes: Intergenerational Influences and Family Development in Britain, c.1750–1950

Catherine Philip (MRes): The Financial Effect of the 1909 Flamborough Coble Disaster; Pride, Prejudice and Bumbleism in the Administration of the Disaster Relief Fund


Judy Cox: ‘‘Women are the equal of men’: rethinking class and gender in the chartist movement’

Lauren Wells: Meanings and Representations of male to female cross-dressing in Britain, c.1870 to 1945

Charlotte Tomlinson: A Million Forgotten Women: Propaganda and the Women’s Voluntary Services in Britain during the Second World War

Eleanor Murray: Learning Parenthood: Family, Schooling and Childhood, 1930–1980

Research groups and institutes

  • Medical Humanities Research Group
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums
  • Health Histories
  • Centre for Global Health Histories

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>