Teaching and Scholarship Lecturer in the History of the United States
BA, MA, and PhD (University of Leeds)
Gina Denton is a Teaching & Scholarships Lecturer in the Department of History. She joined the department in September 2019, having previously taught at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on modern U.S. history, and particularly on the interconnected histories of race, gender and social protest in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is also interested in gendered processes of knowledge construction and the history of women’s history and feminist archives, and in feminist pedagogy.
Gina’s research engages with many themes within the fields of U.S. history; women’s, gender and feminist history; African American history; and histories of social protest.
She is currently working on a monograph, entitled Mother Power: Women’s Radical Activism and the Politicisation of Motherhood Since the Sixties, which highlights the integral yet understudied role ideologies of motherhood played in shaping women’s activism in 1960s, 70s and 80s America. Focusing on the anti-Vietnam War, welfare rights, anti-busing and anti-abortion struggles, it explores how activists from across the political spectrum deployed maternal symbolism to advance their goals. The book ultimately reveals the endurance of maternalism during the 1960s and beyond, serving to disentangle this female political tradition from its usual association with reform movements and respectability politics during the early twentieth century. At the same time, Mother Power underscores the diversity, malleability and complexity of maternalist politics – illustrating how women from a variety of backgrounds forged distinctive versions of maternalism, and how activists fundamentally reinvented maternalist politics during this turbulent era. Moreover, by showing that maternal activists could be active participants in the struggle for women’s liberation, it challenges the popular assumption that motherhood and maternalism were incompatible with second-wave feminism. The book is a revised version of Gina’s AHRC-funded PhD thesis, awarded by the University of Leeds. She has published articles based on this project in The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Cultureand the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative.
Gina’s next major project will challenge conventional framings within U.S. feminist history regarding generational conflict and feminist ‘waves’ by exploring inter-generational feminist activism across a range of movements during the twentieth century.
She is also involved in the international, collaborative project Feminist Archives, Feminist Futures, which explores the gendered histories of archives and their relationship to feminist activism.