Dr David Geiringer FRHistS

Profile picture of Dr David Geiringer

Institute of Applied Health Research
Post-doctoral research fellow

Contact details

Institute of Applied Health Research
Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Geiringer is a social and cultural historian of modern Britain, with a particular interest in the histories of sexuality, religion, gender and emotions. He has published on Catholicism and sexuality, participatory oral history methods, the history of the home computer and anti-racism in the inner city.

His current role involves working with Dr Anne Hanley on the UKRI-funded project Histories of Sexual Health in Modern Britain. The project explores the complex personal, social, cultural and political factors that shaped people’s health experiences and outcomes from the First World War to the AIDS crisis.

His first book, The Pope and the Pill (2019) examined the sexual and religious experiences of Catholic women in post-war England. Described as ‘pathbreaking’, it used oral history material to reassess dominant narratives of sexual liberation and secularisation.

Dr Geiringer is interested in public history. He has collaborated with various partners such as The Museum of the Home, The Church of England and the Muslim Council of Britain, while also communicating his research to wider audiences through BBC Radio 4, The Independent, The Guardian and The Metro.


  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, 2021
  • PhD in History, The University of Sussex, 2016
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2014
  • MA in History, The University of Sussex, 2011
  • BA in History, The University of Nottingham, 2010  


Dr Geiringer completed his PhD at the University of Sussex in 2016, before collaborating on post-doctoral projects on the history of home computers (with Dr James Baker) and emotional labour (with Professor Claire Langhamer). He joined Queen Mary University of London as Lecturer in Contemporary History in 2017. From 2018-2022, he was Research Fellow in the School of Geography QMUL, working on the interdisciplinary project ‘Faith in the Inner-City: Anglicanism, Home and Urban Change Since 1970’.


Research interests

Sexual health histories: Dr Geiringer currently workswithDr Anne Hanley on the project ‘Histories of Sexual Health in Modern Britain, 1918-1980’. The project maps sexual health histories from the end of the First World War to the beginning of the AIDS crisis and brings those histories to bear on health challenges and inequalities facing society today. Dr Geiringer works on all strands of the project, with a focus on the project’s oral history research and public engagement programme.  

Rethinking Britain in the 1990s: Building on his research into the advent of the home computer, Dr Geiringer is currently researching the broader history of Britain in the 1990s. His work engages with a range of life-history resources to challenge the pervasive notion that the 1990s were a ‘holiday from history’ – a period of relative historical insignificance sandwiched between the class and cold wars of the 1980s, and a ‘post-9/11 ‘clash of civilisations’. He is currently collaborating with Prof. Helen McCarthy to develop a multi-disciplinary research network on emergent histories of 1990s Britain.  

Faith, race and urban change: Dr Geiringer recently worked on an interdisciplinary project with the historical geographer Prof. Alastair Owens titled ‘Faith in the Inner City: Anglicanism, home and urban change in London and Liverpool since 1945’. This project uncovered the complex and sometimes ambivalent role of Church of England in the everyday politics of race, deindustrialisation and urban renewal through the unique lens of the inner-city vicarage. The research interrogated the secularist and racialised frameworks within which the late-modern city has been understood.

Sexuality, gender and religion: Based on his AHRC-funded PhD research, Dr. Geiringer’s first book, The Pope and the Pill: Sex Catholicism and Women in Postwar England (2019) examined the sexual, religious and emotional experiences of Catholic women through archival and original oral history resources. The book reframed dominant narratives of social and cultural change, complicating the habitually intertwined narratives of ‘sexual liberation’ and ‘secularisation’. It advanced a new ‘active participatory’ methodology for oral historians, emphasising the need to work ‘with rather than on’ the memories of marginalised historical actors.

Other activities

  • Social Media Editor (2018-ongoing), Contemporary British History.
  • BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers finalist, 2020.
  • Academic Consultant for Adam Matthews Digital



Geiringer, D. (2019), The Pope and the Pill: Sex, Catholicism and women in post-war England, Manchester, Manchester University 


Journal articles:

Geiringer, D. and Baker, J. (2019) ‘Space, text and selfhood: encounters with the personal computer in the mass observation project archive, 1991–2004’, Contemporary British History, 33, (3) pp. 293-312

Geiringer, D. (2018) “At some point in the 1960s, Hell disappeared’: Hell, Gender and Catholicism in Post-war England’, Cultural and Social History, 15, 2, (2018), pp.255-272

Geiringer, D. (2017) ‘Catholic Understandings of Female Sexuality in 1960s Britain’, Twentieth Century British History, 28,2, pp.209-238.

Forthcoming: Geiringer, D. and Owens, A. (2022), ‘Anglicanism, race and the inner city: parochial domesticity and anti-racism in the long-1980s’, accepted for publication by History Workshop Journal.

Book Chapters:

Forthcoming: Geiringer, D., ‘Love and the Divine’ in C. Langhamer (ed.) A Cultural History of Love: The Modern Age, London, Bloomsbury.

Geiringer, D. and Kelly, L. ‘Family, marriage and sexual ethics in twentieth-century Britain’, in A. Harris (ed.)  The Oxford History of British and Irish Catholicism Vol V, Oxford, Oxford University Press.


Geiringer, D. (2021) Review of, ‘The Battle for Christian Britain: Sex, Humanists and Secularisation’, 1945–1980. Callum G. Brown (Cambridge, 2019). The Journal of British Studies, 60, 2, pp. 481-483.

Geiringer, D. (2019) Review of ‘Christian Radicalism in the Church of England and the Invention of the British Sixties 1957-1970’. Sam Brewitt-Taylor, (Oxford, 2018). Contemporary British History, 33,1, pp.157-159.

Geiringer, D. (2018) Review of ‘The Schism of '68: Catholicism, Contraception and Humanae Vitae in Europe, 1945-1975’, Alana Harris, ed., (Basingstoke, 2018). British Catholic History, 34, 3, pp. pp. 526-528. 

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