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Professor Emerita of Modern British History, Keele University

Karen Hunt was appointed Professor of Modern British History at Keele University in 2006. On retirement in 2016, she was made Professor Emerita. She has since moved to Dorset where she is very active as a historian

She has published widely on the gendering of politics, including Equivocal Feminists: the Social Democratic Federation and the Woman Question (1996), based on her prize-winning PhD, and Socialist Women: Britain 1880s to 1920s (2002), with June Hannam. Her most recent book is Staffordshire's War (2017). This explores the construction and maintenance of a local home front and how this affected the daily lives of people living in Staffordshire during WW1. It draws on the newly discovered Mid Staffordshire Miliitary Appeals Tribunal papers and the work of volunteers on an HLF project which explored the ways in which the Tribunal papers give us a window onto everyday life on a provincial home front.

Karen has always juggled a number of projects: the life and politics of the socialist, suffragist and communist Dora Montefiore (1851-1933); interwar women's politics; the politics of food in WW1. Since retirement she has published in relation to all these projects: an essay on ‘Labour Woman and the Housewife’ in Edinburgh Companion to Women’s Print Media in Interwar Britain, 1918-1939 (2017); ‘Gender & Everyday Life’ in SR Grayzel & TM Proctor (eds), Gender and the Great War (2017); and 'Censorship & Self-Censorship: Re-visiting the Belt Case and the Making of Dora Montefiore (1851-1933), 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (2018).

During 2018, she has been particularly busy speaking at commemorative events for the Great War and for the Representation of the People Act. She has been speaking all over the country particularly on overlooked aspects of both commemorations: adult suffrage, Women's Suffrage in Dorset; and on local home fronts, particularly the role of women. She was worked with HLF projects in West and East Dorset, including researching an exhibition in Bridport Museum entitled Home Front, Home which tells the story of the Bridport home front through the lives of 7 women.

Over many years she has worked to promote women’s history: locally through Manchester Women’s History Group; nationally through the Women’s History Network; and internationally as a board member of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History. She is now a committee member of West of England & South Wales Women's History Network and in November 2018 ran a series of women's history events in Bridport.


  • 2016–present
    Professor Emerita, Keele University