Mile End Institute

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Dr Helen McCarthy


Deputy Director of the Mile End Institute

Room Number: QMUL School of History


Helen joined QMUL in September 2009. She studied History as an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, followed by a year at Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar.

Helen is a historian of modern Britain with broad research interests. Her first book, The British People and the League of Nations, was a study of internationalism in Britain in the 1920s and 30s. Her second book, Women of the World: The Rise of the Female Diplomat (Bloomsbury, 2014) is the first serious attempt to explore the place of women in British diplomatic life since the 19th century, tracing their influence and experiences as wives, patrons, experts and eventually as diplomats in their own right. 

Helen is currently writing a history of working motherhood in twentieth-century Britain, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2019. This will bring a rich and much-needed historical perspective to contemporary policy debates regarding gender equality in the workplace, childcare and parental leave.

She worked briefly for the think-tank Demos before completing doctoral studies at the Institute of Historical Research. From 2008 to 2009, she held a Junior Research Fellowship at St John’s College, Cambridge.



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