Dr Mo Moulton

Dr Mo Moulton

Department of History
Associate Professor in the History of Race and Empire

I study the social and cultural history of Britain, Ireland, and the British Empire in the late 19th and 20th centuries. I'm interested in the origins of modern ideas about race, gender, family, and national identity. Those questions have led to me write about a range of topics, including the Irish in Britain, queer history, and the co-operative movement. I'm currently working on an intellectual history of kinship. At the heart of all my historical work is the way people remake their own worlds through activism, art, and experiments in living


  • PhD, Brown University, 2010
  • A.M., Brown University, 2005
  • S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001


After studying history at MIT (a surprising but happy choice), I worked in the non-profit sector, mainly on campaign financing, in San Francisco and New York. I earned a PhD, funded in part by the SSRC and a Mellon grant, from Brown University under the supervision of Professor Deborah Cohen. From 2010 to 2016, I taught at Harvard University’s History and Literature program.


I convene the MA in Modern British Studies. At the undergraduate level, I teach 'Gross Indecency to Gay Marriage: Gender and Sexual Minorities 1885 to the present' and Practising History.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome queries from prospective MRes and PhD students. I'm especially interested in projects that bring together queer and trans history with histories of race and colonialism in Britain and Ireland.

Past PhD projects supervised include:
- Shahmima Akhtar, “‘A public display of its own capabilities and resources’: a cultural history of Irish identity on display, 1851-2015.”
- Martha Robinson Rhodes, “Bisexuality and Multiple-Gender-Attraction in Britain, 1970-1990: A Queer Oral History.”

Find out more - our PhD History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I research the social and cultural history of Britain, Ireland, and the British Empire in the late 19th and 20th centuries. At the broadest level, I'm interested in the tension between historically contingent categories (from the national to the personal) and the ways that individual people and communities remake their own worlds through activism, art, and experiments in living that cross and re-cross the boundaries of those categories. I've written about Irishness in the aftermath of the Irish Revolution, the nature of historical queerness and transness, and the international circulation of ideas about economic co-operation.

I'm currently working on an intellectual history of kinship. This project asks how the category of kinship came into being in the 19th century, how it came to be a central term in debates about colonial difference, transatlantic slavery, and queer theory, and how it came to be understood as a means of creativity, a way of claiming social legitimacy and expanding possible ways to live.


Recent publications


Moulton, M 2019, Mutual admiration society: how Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford circle remade the world for women. 1st edn, Corsair, London . <https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/titles/mo-moulton/mutual-admiration-society/9781472154439/>

Moulton, M 2014, Ireland and the Irish in interwar England. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


Moulton, M 2023, '“Both your sexes”: a non-binary approach to gender history, trans studies and the making of the self in modern Britain', History Workshop Journal. https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbac033

Moulton, M 2022, 'Co-opting the cooperative movement? Development, decolonization, and the power of expertise at the Cooperative College, 1920s-1960s', Journal of Global History, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 418-437. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1740022821000279

Moulton, M 2017, 'Not to Nationalise, but to Rationalise? Cooperatives, Leadership, and the State in the Irish Dairy Industry 1890-1932', Irish Economic and Social History, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 85-101. https://doi.org/10.1177/0332489317718977

Moulton, M, Delaney, E, de Nie, M & O'Neill, C 2016, 'Roundtable Discussion: Teaching Transnational Irish History', Eire-Ireland; a journal of Irish studies, vol. 51, no. 1&2, pp. 266-277.

Moulton, M 2013, '"You Have Votes and Power": Women's Political Engagement with the Irish Question in Britain, 1919-23', Journal of British Studies, pp. 179-204. https://doi.org/10.1017/jbr.2012.4


Moulton, M 2022, The most woman-studentish? Somerville College and student life at Oxford, 1912–1920. in E Baigent (ed.), The Centenary of Degrees for Women at Oxford Unviersity. History of Universities Series, Oxford University Press.

Moulton, M 2020, Les Cooperatives et la decolonisation dans l'empire britannique. in A Blin, S Gacon, F Jarrige & X Vigna (eds), L'utopie au jour le jour: Une histoire des experiences cooperatives (XIXe-XXIe siecle). Arbre Bleu editions, Paris.

Moulton, M 2013, Bricks and flowers: unconventionality and queerness in Katherine Everett's life writing. in B Lewis (ed.), British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives. Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 63-86.

View all publications in research portal