Faculty Profile

Jennifer Purcell, PhD

Assistant Professor of History
View Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D. University of Sussex, Britain
B.A., M.A. University of Colorado

Areas of Expertise:

Social and cultural history of 20th century Britain; women and national identity; gender; life history

Courses I Teach:

  • Cultural and Social History of Britain, 19th and 20th centuries
  • Europe in World War II
  • Honors Colloquium
  • Modern Europe
  • Senior Seminar
  • War and Gender in Britain

I find that research helps to keep my teaching up-to-date, while teaching forces me to look at my research from a variety of angles. Students often share insightful observations that challenge me to consider new ideas that impact the way I approach my research and discipline. 

I am author of a book titled, The Domestic Soldier: Housewives on the Home Front (published in August 2010). I wrote the article "'Why Must We So Frequently Save the King?': British Housewives and National Identity during the Second World War," in Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009).

Publications:

2010

Domestic Soldiers: Six Women’s Lives in the Second World War. London: Constable and Robinson.

2009

“‘Why Must We So Frequently Save the King?’: British Housewives and National Identity during the Second World War,” in Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World, eds. Karen Ritzenkoff and Katherine Hermes. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.

2007

“British National Identity and the People: Women’s Ideas of the Nation during the Second World War.” University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History 11 (2007) online.

2005

“The Domestic Soldier: British Housewives and the Nation in the Second World War.” History Compass 4, no. 1 (2006): 153-160.

Reviews:

2011

“Review of Garry Campion, The Good Fight: Battle of Britain Propaganda and The Few,” Journal of British Studies, in editorial process.

Service:

Saint Michael’s College

2011-Present Gender Studies Advisory Committee

2010-Present Faculty advisor of Phi Alpha Theta, history honors society

2010-Present Honors Committee

2010-Present Center for Women and Gender Advisory Committee

2009-2011 History Department Meeting Secretary

2008-2010 Residence Hall Floor Visitor Dialogue Program

Nov 2010 Organized on-campus Norbert A. Kuntz lecture, “Murder in the Metro,” with Gayle Brunelle and Anne Croswhite-Finley

Nov 2009 Organized on-campus lecture, “The Tour Buses Don’t Stop Here: Voices from Small Town Vermont,” with Vermont History Magazine journalists Karl Decker and Nancy Levine.

April 2009 Invited lecture, ‘The Women’s Rebellion’ for Elder Education, South Burlington

2007-2009 Founder and faculty advisor of SMCVoice, student-led club dedicated to researching and documenting campus life and opinion

Fall 2007 History Department Meeting Secretary

University of Sussex

2005 Editorial Board, University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History

Co-organizer, 2005 Humanities Postgraduate Conference

University of Colorado at Denver

2003-2004 Colorado History Day Mentor and Judge

New England Historical Association

2011 NEHA Jim Hanlan Book Prize Committee Member

2010 NEHA Graduate Prize Committee Member

Presentations at Meetings:

2011 “The Comedy of Mabel Constanduros: Celebrity, Gender, and the BBC,” New England Conference for British Studies, October, Worcester, MA.

2011 “The Power of Mass-Observation,” invited paper. The Second World War: PopularCulture and Cultural Memory, July, Brighton, UK.

2011 “Women’s Use of Humour: The Comedy of Mabel Constanduros,” Social History Conference, April, Manchester, UK.

2010 “Heroism or ‘Purgatory’? Negotiating the Propaganda of the ‘People’s War’,” North American Conference on British Studies, November, Baltimore, MD.

2010 Comment, “Citizenship, Identity and the Self in Britain, 1880s-1940s,” New England Conference on British Studies, September, Burlington, VT.

2009 Comment, “British Imperialism in China and India,” New England Historical Association Conference, April, Portland, ME.

2008 “‘Damn All Foreigners!’: Personal Narratives and British National Identity in the Second World War,” Western Conference on British Studies, September, San Antonio, TX.

2008 Chair, “Nationalism and Identity in Modern Britain and Ireland,” Western Conference on British Studies, September, San Antonio, TX.

2008 “British National Identity and Women’s Ideas of the Nation during the Second World War,” New England Historical Association Conference, April, Boston, MA.

2007 “‘Why Must We So Frequently Save the King?’: British Housewives and National Identity during the Second World War,” War and Gender Conference, April, Central Connecticut State University, CT.

2006 “‘Housewife’ or ‘Domestic Servant in Husband’s Home’? The Domestic Identities of Women in the 1940s and 1950s,” Tenth Annual Women’s Studies Conference, April,Castleton State College, Castleton, VT.

2005 “‘Wish Stalin could be our P.M. a while’: Housewives, Politics and National Identity in the Second World War,” North American Conference on British Studies, October, Denver, CO.

2005 “‘Housewife’ or ‘Domestic Servant in Husband’s Home’? The Domestic Identities of Women in the 1940s and 1950s,” Fresh Perspectives Postgraduate Conference, March, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK.

2005 Chair, “Appropriating Landscapes,” Fresh Perspectives Postgraduate Conference, March, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK.

2005 Chair, “Scientific Environments,” Fresh Perspectives Postgraduate Conference, March, University of Sussex, Falmer, UK.

2003 “The Domestic Soldier: Domesticity and National Identity in World War II Britain,” Western Conference on British Studies, November, Tucson, AZ.

Professional Organizations:

North American Conference on British Studies

The Historical Association, UK

New England Historical Association

The Society of Authors

Life Off Campus:

I enjoy hiking, camping, and kayaking. I am also addicted to traveling in the United Kingdom and Europe.

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