Dr Kate Gibson

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow

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I am a social historian of eighteenth-century Britain, with a particular interest in the reproduction of inequality through family relationships. I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2018, funded by the Wolfson foundation. I have held fellowships at the Huntington Library in California, The John Rylands Research Institute in Manchester and the Royal Archives at Windsor. In 2019, I joined the University of Manchester as a postdoctoral researcher on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Faith in the Town: Lay Religion, Urbanisation and Industrialisation in England, 1740-1830’, which examines the role of faith in perceptions of work, family life, space and time for ordinary people living in Northern English towns during a period of social and economic change. From 2022, I will be staying at the University of Manchester for a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to work on the project ‘Looked-After Children: Fostering and Adoption in Britain, 1700-1839’. I have published in The Historical Journal, Past & Present, and Cultural and Social History, and my first book, Illegitimacy, Family and Stigma in England, 1660-1834, will be published by OUP in autumn 2022. 

I enjoy sharing my research with a wider audience, and have spoken about illegitimacy and family life in the past more generally on BBC radio 4, and worked as a consultant for the Royal College of Physicians museum, local history groups and tv documentaries. Prior to my PhD, I worked in museums and heritage producing events and exhibitions. 

I often blog about my research. Examples include - 

'Uncovering histories of care', History Workshop Online, 30 April 2021

'"Unrelated, including foster child": finding the history of care in the census', Care Experienced History Month, April 2021

Blogs on various aspects of daily life in eighteenth-century Northern England on the Faith in the Town blog



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