Julia Laite's research interests include the history of migration, women and gender, sex and sexual labour, and family history and public history. Her first book, Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens, examined the criminalization of prostituiton in nineteenth and twentieth century London, and she has recently co-authored with Samantha Caslin a critical source edition of the Wolfenden report minutes of evidence, Wolfenden's Women.
She is the principal investigator of the AHRC-funded project Trafficking Past, with co-investigator Philippa Hetherington, which has built an international network of scholars resarching the history of trafficking, smuggling, and illicit migration in gendered and historical perspective. She is guest editing a special issue of the Journal of Women's History on this topic with Dr. Hetherington, which will appear in late 2021.
Her latest book, The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey (Profile, April 2021) is a global microhistory of a case of trafficking in 1910, which reconstructs a multi-vocal story of aspiration and exploitation in the early twentieth century world.
Dr. Laite has written about microhistory, digital methodologies, and history from below, and also maintains a strong interest in public history, creative history, and family history. She is currently developing a new project on family history, migration, race and settler colonialism.