Lecturer in History

Aurelia Annat

  • I am a member of the Faculty of History.

  • I teach papers in modern British and Irish history, looking at politics, society and culture since the late eighteenth century.

  • My particular area of interest is the cultural history of sexuality and gender in the twentieth century.

A detail from the back gate to Trinity College, with a gryphon in metal.


For the undergraduate degree in History (and Joint Schools), I teach the outline papers: Prelims paper Britain 1830-51; Final Hons paper Britain 1815-1924, and Britain 1900 to the present as well as the Bodies of Feeling theme paper; I also teach specialist papers on Women, Gender and the Nation in Britain 1789-1825; Ireland 1870-1922 and on British Twentieth Century Social History, including ‘Britain at the Movies’. In addition, I tutor theoretical and historiographical papers, especially those on Gender History and Art as an approach to history. I supervise undergraduate theses on a wide range of topics covering gender, sexuality, race and class in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain, especially those employing oral testimony; film or literary texts.

At Masters level, I teach on the MSt in History: Modern British History 1850-present, this includes supervision of dissertations addressing gender and sexuality in the twentieth century.

In addition, I deliver a range of programmes for Visiting Students, including the History Seminar course ‘The Forging of Modern Britain: Politics and Society since 1815’ for Hertford College, which I co-teach with Dr Luke Blaxill.


My research interests concern the history of alternative identities and how these are constructed through negotiation between collective and subjective experience. My DPhil, ‘Imaginable Nations: Constructions of History and Identity and the Contribution of Selected Irish Women Writers 1891 -1945’, supervised by Professor Roy Foster, explored women’s experience of nationalism at this transformative period in Irish history, arguing that a distinctly female subjectivity defined women writers’ engagement with nationalist discourse. I am currently developing this work into a monograph as well as pursuing the theme of mysticism as a locus for alternative identities in the context of Irish women in the fin de siècle in a paper entitled, ‘Finding Alternatives – Ireland’s Celtic Revival as a context for women’s mysticism and queerness, 1880-1924.’

However, my current research has increasingly turned towards alternative identities in the long 1980s, focusing on sexual subjectivity and examining how this was shaped by competing cultural and political discourses in Thatcher’s Britain. While my primary interest is gay teenage identity and how this related to visual media, I am more broadly interested in mental health and the history of the body in wake of permissive changes in the second half of the twentieth century. This wider perspective reflects my ongoing interest in histories of women’s agency and is partly influenced by my work as a research assistant for Dr Michael Biggs’ project: ‘Hunger Strikes by Suffragettes and Irish Republicans, 1909-1923’, under the auspices of the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. Alongside my interest in LGBTQ history, I remain committed to women’s history and was Treasurer for the Women’s History Network for four years.

Selected Publications

‘ ‘The Red Sunrise’: gender, violence and nation in Ella Young’s vision of a new Ireland: Advancing the Cause of Liberty’, in Irish Women’s Writing, 1878-1922, Anna Pilz and Whitney Standless (eds) (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016), pp.191-208

Images of Ireland: The Easter Rising in the Work of Sidney Gifford Czira (1889-1974)’, in Irish Studies in Britain, Brian Griffin and Ellen McWilliams (eds) (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), pp.121-135

Class, Nation, Gender and Self: Katharine Tynan and the construction of political identities, 1880-1930’, in Politics, Society and the Middle Class in Modern Ireland, Fintan Lane (ed.) (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Dr Annat

In both my research and teaching, I am interested in questioning the primacy of text and my work has been influenced by oral history as well as the material turn.