Portrait of Professor Wendy Webster Professor Wendy Webster

w.h.webster@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472397


Wendy Webster holds degrees from the University of Cambridge (BA and Ph.D) and the University of York (MA). She joined the University of Huddersfield in 2012 having previously taught at the Open University and the University of Central Lancashire.

Research and Scholarship

Wendy is a social and cultural historian with particular interests in questions of ethnicity, race, imperialism, migration, refugee movements, national identity, gender and sexuality in contemporary British history. She has published extensively in these areas, including articles in Gender and History, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, History Compass, Journal of British Studies, Journal of Social History, Twentieth Century British History, and Women’s History Review.

She developed many of her areas of interest through writing a women’s history of the 1950s — Imagining Home — which looked at migrant as well as indigenous women, the complex connections between white and black women’s lives in post-war Britain, and the many shared circumstances and experiences of white and black migrants. This established an abiding interest in placing British history in a wider context that was not isolated from the rest of the world.

Her next project — Englishness and Empire — used media sources, particularly film, to explore the impact of the end of empire on English identity and culture from the beginning of the Second World War through to Winston Churchill’s funeral. Her recent publications include continuing work on gender and migration in the post-war period — a co-edited collection with Louise Ryan — and a number of essays exploring Englishness and Europe.

Interests in transnational traffics in media and migration come together in Wendy’s current project — Mixing It. This traces the rich and complex history of national and ethnic diversity in Britain during the Second World War. Although such diversity was unprecedented, it is largely absent from memories of war. The project looks at a range of wartime sexual, racial and cultural encounters between different national and ethnic groups. It explores the impact of diversity on British society and the contributions of different groups to wartime culture, focusing on the BBC and British cinema.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Webster, W (2015) ‘Transnational Communities of Allies’. In: Fighting for Britain? Negotiating Identities in Britain during the Second World War. : Peter Lang. pp. 209-234. ISBN 978-3034318242

Webster, W., Light, R. and Martin, J. (2015) Mixing it: Diversity in Second World War Britain [Dataset]

Webster, W (2015) ‘Britain’s love/hate relationship with ‘foreigners’ during the Second World WarHistory Extra .


Webster, W (2014) ‘Enemies, Allies and Transnational Histories: Germans, Irish and Italians in Second World War BritainTwentieth Century British History , 25 (1), pp. 63-86. ISSN 1477-4674


Webster, W (2013) ‘"Fit to fight, fight to mix" Sexual patriotism in second world war BritainWomen's history review , 22 (4), pp. 607-624. ISSN 0961-2025


Webster, W (2012) ‘'The Whim of Foreigners': Language, Speech, and Sound in Second World War British Film and RadioTwentieth Century British History , 23 (3), pp. 359-382. ISSN 0955-2359

Webster, W (2012) ‘The Empire comes home : commonwealth migration to Britain’. In: Britain's expereince of empire in the twentieth century. : Oxford University Press. pp. 122-160. ISBN 9780199236589


McAuley, J., Ward, P., Thomas, P., Mycock, A., Matthews, J., McGlynn, C., Hayton, R. and Webster, W. (2011) ‘Academy for British and Irish Studies, 2011’. In: Academy for British and Irish Studies (relaunch), December 2011, University of Huddersfield

Webster, W (2011) ‘Mumbo-Jumbo, Magic and Modernity: Africa in British Cinema, 1946-1965’. In: Film and the End of Empire. : Palgrave macmillan. pp. 237-250. ISBN 9781844574230

Webster, W (2011) ‘The silent village : the GPO film unit goes to war’. In: The projection of Britain : A history of the GPO film unit. : Palgrave macmillan. pp. 263-271. ISBN 9781844573752

Webster, W (2011) ‘Book review - Chocolate, women and empire: a social and cultural history - By Emma RobertsonThe Economic History Review , 64 (3), pp. 1040-1041. ISSN 0013-0117

Webster, W (2011) ‘From Nazi legacy to cold war : British perceptions of European identity 1945-64’. In: European identity and the second world war 1939 - 1970. : Palgrave macmillan. pp. 92-110. ISBN 9780230273238


Webster, W (2010) ‘Home, Colonial and Foreign: Europe, Empire and the History of Migration in 20th-century BritainHistory Compass , 8 (1), pp. 32-50. ISSN 1478-0542


Webster, W (2009) ‘“Europe against the Germans”: The British Resistance Narrative, 1940–1950The Journal of British Studies , 48 (04), pp. 958-982. ISSN 0021-9371

Webster, W (2009) ‘Shorn women, rubble women and military heroes : gender, national identities and collective memories’. In: The essence and the margin. : Rodopi. pp. 51-70. ISBN 9789042025714


Webster, W (2008) ‘Book review - At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World edited by Catherine Hall and Sonya O. RoseInternational History Review , 30 (3), pp. 633-635. ISSN 0707-5332

Webster, W. and Ryan, L. (2008) Gendering migration : masculinity, femininity and ethnicity in postwar Britain . : Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9780754671787


Webster, W (2007) ‘Rose tinted Blighty : gender and genre in land girls’. In: Repicturing the Second World War: Representations in Film and Television. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 12-25. ISBN 9780230002579


Webster, W (2006) ‘There'll always be a England, representations of colonial wars and immigration, 1948–68’. In: Visual Culture and Decolonisation in Britain. : Ashgate. pp. 189-214. ISBN 9780754640028

Webster, W (2006) ‘Book review - Hard Labour: The Forgotten Voices of Latvian Migrant Volunteer Workers, Linda McDowellJournal of Historical Geography , 32 (4), pp. 887-889. ISSN 0305-7488

Webster, W (2006) ‘Transnational Journeys and Domestic HistoriesJournal of Social History , 39 (3), pp. 651-666. ISSN 0022-4529


Webster, W (2005) ‘The Empire answers : imperial identity on radio and film’. In: Rediscovering the British World. : University of Calgary Press. pp. 321-339. ISBN 9781552381793

Webster, W (2005) ‘Immigration and racism’. In: A companion to contemporary Britain. : John Wiley. pp. 93-109. ISBN 9780631220404

Webster, W (2005) Englishness and Empire 1939-1965 . : OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780199258604


Webster, W (2003) ‘The Monarch, the Media and the MonkeyBBC History Magazine , 4 (6), pp. 22-24. ISSN 1469-8552

Webster, W (2003) ‘The African-Caribbean community in Britain’. In: Readers guide to British history. : Routledge. pp. 10-11. ISBN 9781579582425

Webster, W (2003) ‘Domesticating the Frontier: Gender, Empire and Adventure Landscapes in British Cinema, 1945-59Gender and History , 15 (1), pp. 85-107. ISSN 0953-5233

Webster, W (2003) ‘Reconstructing Boundaries: Gender, war and empire in British cinema, 1945-1950Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television , 23 (1), pp. 43-57. ISSN 0143-9685


Webster, W (2002) ‘Book Review - , Austerity in Britain: Rationing, Controls, and Consumption, 1939-1955 by Ina Zweiniger-BargielowskaSocial History , 27 (2), pp. 223-269. ISSN 0307-1022


Webster, W (2001) ‘There'll always be an England : representations of colonial wars and immigration 1948-1968Journal of British Studies , 40 (4), pp. 557-584. ISSN 0021-9371

Webster, W (2001) ‘Representing nation : women obituaries and national biography’. In: Re-Presenting the Past: Women and History. : Longman. pp. 124-141. ISBN 9780582382190

Webster, W (2001) ‘Interviews’. In: Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms. : Routledge. pp. 471-472. ISBN 9781579582326

Webster, W (2001) ‘Sound recording and life writing’. In: Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms. : Routledge. pp. 822-824. ISBN 9781579582326

Webster, W (2001) ‘Race ethnicity and national identity’. In: Women in Twentieth-century Britain: Social, Cultural and Political Change. : Longman. pp. 292-306. ISBN 9780582404809


Webster, W (2000) ‘Border Crossings: enforced displacement and twentieth-century historyWomen's history review , 9 (4), pp. 825-833. ISSN 0961-2025

Webster, W (2000) ‘Defining boundaries: European volunteer worker women in Britain and narratives of communityWomen's history review , 9 (2), pp. 257-276. ISSN 0961-2025


Webster, W (1999) ‘Elspeth Huxley: gender, empire and narratives of nation, 1935-64Women's history review , 8 (3), pp. 527-545. ISSN 0961-2025


Webster, W (1998) Imagining home : gender, race and national identity . : Routledge. ISBN 9781857283518


Webster, W (1992) ‘Our life : working class women's autobiography in Britain’. In: Imagining Women: Cultural Representations and Gender. : Polity Press. pp. 116-127. ISBN 9780745609744


Webster, W (1990) Not a Man to Match Her: Feminist View of Britain's First Woman Prime Minister . : Women's Press. ISBN 9780704342316


  • Leverhulme Research Fellow in 2007-9.
  • Specialist advisor on modern British cultural history to the RAE History Panel in 2008.
  • Visiting Fellow at Australian National University in 2010.
  • Current member of the editorial board of Women’s History Review.
  • Current member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
  • Englishness and Empire (2005) won the prize for best work in the field of history and media from the International Association for Media and History in 2006.

Research Degree Supervision

I am happy to supervise dissertations in any area of twentieth-century British social and cultural history.

  • Topics particularly relevant to my interests would include:
  • the social and cultural history of the Second World War
  • British cinema
  • empire and Commonwealth
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • media
  • migration
  • national identity
  • sexuality

I would also be interested in supervising dissertations that use personal narratives including oral history or media sources.