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Dr Hannah Young PhD

Lecturer in nineteenth-century British history

Dr Hannah Young's photo

Dr Hannah Young is a Lecturer in History within School of Art and Humanities at the University of Southampton.

I am a historian of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain, with a particular interest in exploring the relationship between Britain and empire. I studied history at UCL, and completed my PhD at UCL in 2017. Before coming to Southampton, I taught modern British and imperial history at UCL, Kings College London and the University of Hull and held an Economic History Society Tawney Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research. I also have a keen interest in public history and have worked at the Victoria and Albert Research Institute (VARI) as a Project Co-Lead and Public Engagement Fellow.

View my Humanities Commons page.


BA, History, University College London, 2011

MA, History, University College London, 2012

PhD, History, University College London, 2017


Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities’ Co-Lead and Co-Investigator/Public Engagement Fellow, Victoria and Albert Research Institute (2017-18)

Economic History Society R. H. Tawney Fellow, Institute of Historical Research (2018-2019)

Research interests

My research explores gender and absentee slave-ownership in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. My work examines what it meant — materially, legally, symbolically — for men, and particularly women, to own property, both metropolitan and colonial, landed and in the form of other human beings. In doing so, it serves to complicate ideas about what it meant to be a slave-owner, ‘West Indian’ and absentee.

I am currently working on developing a monograph from my PhD thesis. The book will explore how gender shaped the experiences of both slave-owning women and men. But it will place a particular focus on female absentees and the role they played in helping to transmit wealth rooted in enslavement into metropolitan society. In highlighting how both men and women worked to bringing slave-ownership home to Britain, the book will demonstrate that the histories of Britain and the Caribbean cannot be conceived of separately; they were inextricably intertwined.

I also have an interest in heritage and public history, particularly the ways that histories of empire and enslavement have – and haven’t – been remembered and represented in twenty-first-century Britain. I was historical advisor for the BAFTA-award winning BBC2 documentary Britain’s Forgotten Slave-owners (2015) and have worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where I undertook research exploring the relationship between British slave-ownership, collecting and the development of the Museum and, more broadly, encouraged them to confront the ‘difficult’ histories and practices built into the museum. A particular highlight was working with the poet and artist Victoria Adukwei Bulley, who responded to my research to create a series of five films entitled ‘A Series of Unfortunate Inheritances’.

Research project(s)

Gender, family and British slave-ownership

This project explores gender, family and absentee slave-ownership in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain.

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Book Chapters

  • Young, H. (2018). Katherine Mackenzie. In E. Ewen, R. Pipes, J. Rendall, & S. Reynolds (Eds.), The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (2 ed.). Edinburgh University Press.
  • Young, H. (2016). Forgotten women: gender and absentee slave-ownership. In K. Donington, R. Hanley, & J. Moody (Eds.), Britain's History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery: Local Nuances of a "National Sin" (Liverpool Studies in International Slavery; No. 11). Liverpool University Press.
Module codeModule title
HIST3240 Society and Politics in Victorian Britain, part 1
HIST3241 Society and Politics in Victorian Britain, part 2
HIST2229 Aristocracy to democracy
Dr Hannah Young
Avenue Campus
University of Southampton
SO17 1BF

Room Number: 65/2077

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