- Additional Positions at AU
- Affiliate Professor, School of International Service
- PhD, History, Harvard University, 2007
MA, History, Harvard University, 2003
AB, summa cum laude, History, Princeton University, 2000
- Languages Spoken
- French, Italian, Spanish
Professor Beers's research focuses on modern Britain. She is particularly interested in the ways in which politics both influences and is shaped by cultural and social life, and in the role of the mass media in modern society. Her most recent book, Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist, a history of Britain's second female cabinet minister, was awarded the 2017 Stansky award for best book published in the field of modern British history. She is also the author of Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party, as well as several journal articles and book chapters, and co-edited, with Dr. Geraint Thomas, Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars. She is currently editing the final volume of the new Cambridge History of Britain, covering the period from 1900 through to the present day.
In addition to her academic work, Prof. Beers has written on British and comparative politics for CNN, the Conversation, the Washington Post’s “Made by History” column, the New Statesman, and the London Review of Books, and contributed to both current affairs and historical programs on the BBC.
She is the Executive Director of the North American Conference of British Studies.
HIST-222 History of Britain II
HIST-235 West in Crisis,1900-1945
HIST-744 The Historian's Craft
HIST-898 Doctoral Continuing Enrollment
HIST-899 Doctoral Dissertation
- Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson: Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist (Harvard University Press, 2016).
- "Model MP?: Ellen Wilkinson, gender, politics and celebrity culture in interwar Britain." Cultural and Social History, Vol. 10, no 2 (June 2013): 231-250.
- "'Women for Westminster,' feminism, and the limits of non-partisan associational culture." In The Aftermath of Suffrage, Julie Gottlieb and Richard Toye, eds. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 224-242.
- Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party (Harvard University Press).
- "Thatcher and the women's vote," in Making Thatcher's Britain, edited by Ben Jackson and Robert Saunders (Cambridge, 2012), 113-131.
- "Introduction" and "'A timid disbelief in the equality to which lip-service is constantly paid': gender, politics and the press between the wars" in her and Geraint Thomas's Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars (Institute of Historical Research, London, 2012), 1-38 and 129-148.
- "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.
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- Leverhulme Trust Fellow, Exeter University, 2011-12
- Junior Research Fellow, Newnham College Cambridge, 2008-09
- Economic and Social Research Council postdoctoral fellow, Faculty of History, Cambridge University 2007-08
- Mellon Foundation postgraduate research fellow, Institute of Historical Research, London, 2006-7
- Outstanding Young Scholars Fellow, Department of History, Warwick University, autumn 2004
- Featured on WTTG-Fox 5 as an in-studio guest to discuss the rioting in London in August 2011.
Grants and Sponsored Research
- British Academy Small Research Grant SG 51480
- ESRC Grant PTA-026-27-1586
Area of Expertise
Politics and the media (particularly in Great Britain), the British Labour party, political betting
Laura Beers has published widely on the role of the media in British politics and industrial relations, the role of opinion polling in British politics, and the reliability of political betting markets. She is the author of three books. For her most recent book, Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist, she received The Stansky Prize, awarded annually by the North American Conference on British Studies for the best book published anywhere by a North American scholar on any aspect of British studies since 1800. The Wall Street Journal praised Beers for writing a "multifaceted portrait capturing the woman herself as well as her remarkable political career."