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Dr Sarah L Jones

PhD, BA, MA

  • BS8 1TB

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Personal profile

Research interests

I’m a social and cultural historian of gender and sexuality, working mostly on histories of modern Britain and America.

My current research explores the popular life of sexual science in print, specifically looking at how debates and ideas from sexual science played a role in early twentieth-century culture. While I’m interested in the relationship between sexuality and print culture more broadly, my most recent work has investigated the history of popular, mass-produced sex advice literature - how it was written, published, sold, and accessed, but also how and why it was read and consumed. A monograph, The Science of Sex Advice: Popular Sexology in Early Twentieth-Century America, is currently in the works.

Much of this research has been informed by my work on the Wellcome Trust funded Rethinking Sexology project at the University of Exeter, where I was a research fellow prior to joining Bristol in 2020.

Previously, I have worked on the history of sex radicalism and fin de siècle ‘free love’ movements. My recently published article in the Journal of Victorian Culture makes use of some of this research and interrogates how sex radical communities in both Britain and the United States were able to cohere through transatlantic print networks. It is open access and can be found here.

When i'm not busy with all of that I also conduct research into impactful and innovative pedagogy. As an Education Incubator Fellow at the University of Exeter, for example, I worked with colleagues and students to develop new methods for blending digital skills into history courses. I’m also really interested in how we can use research into histories of gender and sexuality to meaningfully engage with the public beyond the university. I am currently heading up a project called ‘Of Rainbows and Granite,’ which will use historical research to help create a new table top role-playing game to encourage those outside the academy to explore queer history.

I’ve supervised a vast array of excellent research projects that have covered such diverse topics as the history of drag culture, polyamory, Victorian pornography, women's magazines, sex scandals, "dykes on bikes," sex work, and the Spice Girls. I'm happy to speak to any students with interests in modern histories of gender, feminism, sexuality, sex radicalism, or popular culture, as well as the history of science, LGBTQ+ history, and histories of print.

Contact details:

Email: Sarah.Jones@bristol.ac.uk

Twitter: @callingdrjones_

Office: B46, 13 Woodland Road

My consultation hours are Monday 10-11, Tuesday 2-3, or by appointment. You can book here.

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