Laura is an historian of childhood, youth and ageing in twentieth-century Britain. She is working on a monograph provisionally entitled A Progressive Education? How Childhood Changed in Mid-Twentieth-Century English and Welsh Schools, which considers how teachers’ concepts of childhood and adolescence changed after 1945. Her current research project builds on this earlier work by considering how adolescents’ conceptions of adulthood have changed since the Second World War. It will explore the tension between the ‘ideal adult’ – the psychologically mature independent actor who can, for example, give informed consent to medical procedures – and the real adult who often doesn't live up to these prescriptions. What kind of adult did these teenagers believe they would grow up to be?
As Postdoctoral Training Coordinator for the Humanities Division, Laura is especially interested in the welfare of fellow early career researchers, as well as in providing training that focuses on academic writing, public engagement and coping with the experience of being on the academic jobs market.
Laura has published on inter-war and post-war British childhood and youth in Twentieth Century British History, Cultural and Social History, Contemporary British History and Medical Humanities. She has also co-run a series of oral history and storytelling workshops for children and adolescents with folk theatre company Rambling Heart at the University of Cambridge, funded by the AHRC (2012-13). Alongside her post as Postdoctoral Training Coordinator, she is a Stipendiary Lecturer in History at Lady Margaret Hall.
Laura was the Postdoctoral Training Coordinator until the end of September 2017.