Dr Laura Beers AB, PhD, FRHistS

Department of History
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am lecturer in Modern British History. My primary research interest is political history, particularly the intersection between politics and the mass media, the relationship between politics and gender, and international politics between the two World Wars.


  • AB Princeton University,
  • PhD Harvard University


Before joining the University of Birmingham I was an assistant professor at American University in Washington, DC. I did my PhD at Harvard University and received my degree in June 2007. While completing my PhD, I held fellowships at Warwick University and the Institute of Historical research in London. I have held post-doctoral fellowships from the Economic and Social Research Council and Newnham College, Cambridge. During academic year 2011-12, I held a Leverhulme Trust fellowship at Exeter University.

Postgraduate supervision

I am open to supervising postgrads in modern British history, specifically projects relating to politics, the media, and gender.


My first book, Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party (Harvard University Press, 2010) dealt with the changing relationship between the mass media and progressive politics in the age of mass democracy.

I am the co-editor of Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars (Institute of Historical Research Press, 2012), and have published several articles on interwar British politics. 

I am currently researching a biography of the Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson, focusing on her involvement in transnational anti-fascist and anti-colonial networks.



  • Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party (Harvard University Press)

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Introduction and ‘A timid disbelief in the equality to which lip-service is constantly paid’: gender, politics and the press between the wars in Brave New World
  • Feminism and Sexuality in Ellen Wilkinson's Fiction, Parliamentary Affairs Vol. 64, no. 2 (2011), 248– 262.
  • Punting on the Thames: Electoral Betting in Interwar Britain, Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 45, no. 2 (2010), 282-314.
  • Is this man an anarchist? industrial action and the battle for public opinion in interwar Britain, Journal of Modern History, vol. 82, no. 1 (2010), 30-60.
  • Labour’s Britain, Fight for it Now!, Historical Journal, vol. 52, no. 4 (2009), 667-695.
  • Counter Toryism: Labour's response to anti-socialist propaganda, 1918-1939 in The Foundations of the Labour Party: Identities, Cultures and Perspectives, 1900-39, edited by Matthew Worley (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2009), 231-268.
  • Education or Manipulation?: Labour, democracy and the popular press in interwar Britain, Journal of British Studies vol. 48, no. 1 (January 2009): 129-52.
  • Whose Opinion? Changing attitudes towards opinion polling in British politics, 1938-1964, Twentieth Century British History, vol. 17, issue 2 (2006): 177-205.
  • The Battle of Britain, Review essay on Graham Stewart's Burying Caesar, The New Republic (19 February 2001): 43-9