Professor Mo Moulton

Professor Mo Moulton

Department of History
Professor of Modern British and Irish History

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, MA by Research, and PhD students. I'm interested in supervising projects on:
* twentieth-century Irish social history
* British or Irish queer history
* global histories of cooperatives or other collectives / alternative economic forms

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 and Ireland in the 20th century. I study collectives and communities: how people understand themselves as part of a nation, part of a subculture, or part of a cooperative, for example. I use the frameworks of queer history and postcolonial theory to study the past and to think about how it relates to our present-day preoccupations.

I'm currently working on a micro-history of Irish cooperative creameries - which I think have a lot to reveal about the stories we tell about twentieth-century capitalism. I'm also pursuing a side-project into why, and with what consequences, 'chosen family' became central to modern queer communities.

I'm interested in supervising PhD projects on:
* twentieth-century Irish social history
* British or Irish queer history
* global histories of cooperatives or other collectives / alternative economic forms


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 . <>

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


Moulton, M 2024, 'Dogs in the Picture: Restoring the Queer History of the Irish Family', History of the Family.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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