Catherine Hall

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Catherine Hall FBA (born 1946 in Kettering) is a British academic. She is Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London and chair of its digital scholarship project, the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership.[1] Her work as a feminist historian focuses on the 18th and 19th centuries, and the themes of gender, class, race and empire. She was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 2018, and received an honorary degree from University of York in 2019. She rejected the Dan David Prize in 2014, out of support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions-movement. She is the widow of the cultural theorist Stuart Hall.


Hall was born Catherine Barrett in 1946 in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Her father, John Barrett, was a Baptist minister, while her mother, Gladys came from a family of millers.[2] In the early 1960s, while on a march for Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Hall would meet her future husband, Professor Stuart Hall, and the two would go on to marry in 1964. The couple had a daughter, Becky, and son, Jess, and the family lived in Birmingham.[3][4] In 1970 Hall attended the UK's first National Women's Liberation Conference at Ruskin College, Oxford. She also became a member of the Feminist Review collective between 1981–1997.[5] Her husband, Stuart, with whom she travelled, died in 2014.[6]

Supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions-movement in 2014, she rejected the award of the Dan David Prize from the Dan David Foundation in Tel Aviv, Israel. Hall stated that it was "an independent political choice" to reject the award which included a £225,000 research fund.[7] In July 2018 she was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA)[8] and in 2019 received an honorary degree from the University of York.[9]

Selected works[edit]

Hall is a feminist historian, known for her work on gender, class, race and empire between 1700 and 1900.[9]


  • Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780–1850 (1987, new edition 2002, with Leonore Davidoff)
  • White, Male And Middle-Class: Explorations In Feminism And History (1992)
  • Gendered Nations: Nationalisms And Gender Order In The Long Nineteenth Century (2000 editor, with Ida Blom and Karen Hagemann)
  • Defining The Victorian Nation: Class, Race, Gender And The British Reform Act Of 1867 (2000, editor, with Keith McClelland and Jane Rendall)
  • Cultures Of Empire: Colonisers In Britain And The Empire In Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries (2000, editor)
  • Civilising Subjects: Metropole And Colony In The English Imagination, 1830–1867 (2002)
  • Race, Nation and Empire: Making Histories, 1750 to the Present (2010, editor, with Keith McClelland)
  • Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain (2012)


  • "Writing History, Making 'Race': Slave-Owners and Their Stories". Australian Historical Studies. Informa UK Limited. 47 (3): 365–380. 31 August 2016. doi:10.1080/1031461x.2016.1202291. ISSN 1031-461X. S2CID 152113669 – via Taylor & Francis Online. (Full text can also be requested via Researchgate.)


  1. ^ "Staff | Legacies of British Slave-ownership". Retrieved 2 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ HALL, STUART. (2018). FAMILIAR STRANGER : a life between two islands. [Place of publication not identified]: PENGUIN Books. ISBN 978-0-14-198475-9. OCLC 1005885722.
  3. ^ David Morley and Bill Schwarz, "Stuart Hall obituary", The Guardian, 10 February 2014.
  4. ^ Morley, David; Schwarz, Bill (11 February 2014). "Stuart Hall obituary - Influential cultural theorist, campaigner and founding editor of the New Left Review". The Guardian. p. 39. Retrieved 21 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Hajkova, Anna (17 February 2020). "Feminist History Group". The University of Warwick. Warwich Un. Retrieved 21 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Grant, Colin (31 March 2017). "Familiar Stranger by Stuart Hall review – from Jamaica to the New Left and Thatcherism". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "One of Britain's most famous academics refuses Israeli award". The Independent. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Record number of academics elected to British Academy | British Academy". British Academy. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Honorary graduates for 2019 announced". University of York. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]