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Professor Hilary Hinds


Hilary Hinds

County College



Tel: +44 1524 592230

Research overview

My research interests focus in particular on marginal, topical and ephemeral cultural texts, and have resulted in a number of studies of seventeenth century religious writings, especially those from the radical sects, and with a particular focus on early Quakerism. I am also interested in middlebrow and material culture of the late nineteenth to mid twentieth century, an interest which I have pursued through a Wellcome Trust funded project on the cultural history of twin beds, resulting in a monograph published by Bloomsbury in 2019.  I would be interested in supervising projects that relate broadly to these areas.

PhD supervision

I would be interested in supervising research projects on seventeenth-century literature, particularly writing from the radical religious sects, and on projects relating to twentieth-century women's writing and/or feminist criticism.

Research Interests

My principal area of research is in early modern radical religious writing, with a special emphasis both on early Quakerism and on writing by women from the radical sects of the second half of the seventeenth century. My main publications in this area are George Fox and Early Quaker Culture (Manchester University Press, 2011); God's Englishwomen: Seventeenth-Century Radical Sectarian Writing and Feminist Criticism (Manchester University Press, 1996); two scholarly editions of work by the prophet Anna Trapnel (Anna Trapnel’s Report and Plea [Iter, 2016], and  The Cry of a Stone [Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2000], both originally published in 1654); and the co-edited collection Her Own Life: Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen (Routledge, 1989).

I am currently pursuing my interest in early modern sectarian writing in a project entitled 'Quakers in North-West England and the Politics of Space, 1652-1653', working with Lancaster colleagues to examine the ways in which early Quakerism emerged from and was shaped by a series of distinctive spatial networks. A pilot version of the website setting out the work of this project can be seen at: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/quakers/01_quakers_home.html  

My most recent monograph grew out of an examination of twentieth-century women's middlebrow fictions of disappointment, which led to a study of the origin and history of twin beds. This project investigated the mobilisation of twin beds within discourses of modernity, from their origins in late-nineteenth-century concerns about health and hygiene, to their signifying capacity within debates about marriage and sexuality in the twentieth century. I was awarded a year's research leave by the Wellcome Trust to undertake research for this project, which has now been published as A Cultural History of Twin Beds (Bloomsbury, 2019). An Open Access edition of the book is available here: https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/a-cultural-history-of-twin-beds/

I have supervised (or co-supervised) to completion PhDs on the following topics:

  • From the Feminine to the Maternal: Elusive Maternal Subjectivities and the Rejection of Motherhood in Contemporary American Fiction

  • The Sapphic Sleuth: Investigating Identity, Causality, and Craft in Hardboiled Lesbian Detective Fiction

  • Popular and High Culture in the early Stuart Court Masque

  • Gender and Sexuality in Literary Constructions of Englishness, 1918-1945.

  • Literary Self-Construction in the Diaries of Anne Lister

  • Contemporary Sexualities: Community and Identity; a Case Study

  • Robert Southwell and Late Elizabethan Rhetoric

    I have worked in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University since 2000. Before this, I worked at Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education (now the University of Gloucestershire), and at Fircroft College of Adult Education, Birmingham. In 1999, I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center, Mount Holyoke College, USA, in 2006 at the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada, and in 2022 at the Hunanities Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland.

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